I'm very interested in the best paint to create some studio-like backdrops for doing studio photography.

My aim is to take some fashion shots with blown-out white backgrounds, and also with dark backgrounds.

I've been to some professional studios, one of which seemed to paint a large amount of wood very white.

However I am not sure what is the best paint to do this with, ( i.e. matt, probably not gloss?)

Can someone help me with what paint I should be using for this studio setup?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There are some earlier questions on pure black and pure white backdrops, but none about paint specifically. I don't know anything about paint, so I'm not answering, but keep in mind that it's not really done with the background color: it's done with the lighting. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Apr 13, 2014 at 13:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by "blown-out"? Could you show a picture? Because if it is what I think, you might use glossy white for a better effect... \$\endgroup\$
    – TFuto
    Apr 14, 2014 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ blown out as in the background is just pure white, making the subject the focus. what are you thinking? \$\endgroup\$
    – yoshiserry
    Apr 15, 2014 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm can you show some preferably video examples of how blown out white bakgrounds, and dark black backgrounds (like in sports photos) are created? \$\endgroup\$
    – yoshiserry
    Apr 15, 2014 at 10:23

2 Answers 2


Anything that is light neutral-ish color will do - "very white" is not required.

For white background you are going to over expose the background, the color of the wall will not be visible under all that light, a dark wall will require more light but anything that isn't actually dark and that doesn't have a very strong color will do just fine (obviously all white and off-white colors fall into this category).

For black background we make the background fall into darkness, all colors become black when they don't get enough light so, again, the color isn't important.

I would try to avoid very strong colors and reflective paints will make working with the wall more difficult (but even glossy wall paints don't tend to be that glossy) but other than that the color isn't important at all - unless your walls are a dark color you probably don't need to paint it at all.

  • \$\begingroup\$ how much light, i.e. what power of studio light in whats is best for this. I have seen from 200 - 500 watts but friends tell me fashion lights are better which are $1000 to $3000 each but can output way more light >> 3000+ watts! Thoughts? \$\endgroup\$
    – yoshiserry
    Apr 21, 2014 at 23:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @yoshiserry in the past I've successfully used one $70 Chinese speedlight and a cream-ish off-white wall to create a white background image. the more expensive lights are better but you don't need that much light unless you need to overpower the sun or have a huge area to light. in a studio, photographing one or two people, a 3 or 4 speedlight kit will give you all the power you really need and a good 500 watt set (preferably with adjustable power) will give you all the extra power, speed and flexibility you will ever want. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nir
    Apr 22, 2014 at 8:04

I would go with a light gray color. Your color is not really that important as long as you stay neutral. If you want a nice bright blown out background, an infinite white background I have a video showing how to make any wall no matter what color or texture turn out brilliantly white without having to use any expensive software. All you need is just your camera and a couple of flashes.

Here is a photo and a link to the video to show you what I am talking about. Go toward the end of the video for the white background part. Infinite white background How to make an infinite white background anywhere


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.