Add a Rusty Time Worned Effect to Your Text in Photoshop

by Francois Parenteau, 2009/08/29

I had to revamp a logo for a friend of mine lately and he is much into the grungy look. Being in a hardcore metal band probably influenced that. So my first thought was “rusty and old”. Turns out he loved it!

I will now show you how i did it. It’s actually pretty simple and only really involves some layer styling. This tutorial requires a basic knowledge of Photoshop.

Setting up the background

Begin by creating a new document , i always start out with a 1680×1050 resolution, but that’s just me. We will start this off with a background. Grab this amazing wood planks picture and paste it in your document, then center it.


Add a new layer and using the paint bucket fill it with a dark grey, i used color #323232. Then apply a soft light blend, it should look like this.


Add another layer. In this one we will darken the edges, to add more focus to the image center, where our text will be. Toggle to Quick Mask Mode by pressing “Q” on your keyboard with the desired layer selected. Then draw an oval reaching the four edges of your document.


Apply a gaussian blur of approximately 200px to the mask.


Toggle back to normal mode (press “Q”) and fill the layer in black using the paint bucket. It should look like this.


Adding some type

Get the Optimusprinceps font if you want the same old-school feel i was looking for. And type in your text with a big font size, around 72 points.


Applying texture

The idea here is to use a texture to overlay on the text, and play with the colors so it looks like rust. I found a sweet looking wood image that serves the purpose just right. You can download the woodgrain texture here, it’s the 3rd one. Open it then paste a part of it over your text in a new layer. It must cover the text entirely.


Now we want to crop that wood grain so it has the same shape as the text underneath it. Hold CTRL and click the text layer thumbnail preview to select everything in it, then invert your selection (CTRL+SHIFT+I). Go back to your wood layer, and press delete. You should now have wood text.


Styling the layer

It’s now time to add some style to this new layer. Use the same settings as the next three images.


The result of these should look like this.


Duplicate the layer, and apply the Color Burn blending mode. You now have a rust effect!


The end result

Click on the image below to see the finished image.


1 Comment

    • Reply Cancel Reply
    • August 30, 2009

    Looks great :) A bit Rusty :P :) The funny thing (about the name) is that "Rust" means kind of peace, silence, quiet in Dutch :)

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