Design a Vintage Car Poster with Grunge Texture, Font and Brushset in Photoshop

In this tutorial,  I will show you the processes involved in making an old-looking, vintage car poster with grunge texture, font and brushset in Photoshop.

The PSD file of this tutorial is available to buy on PSD Vault Shop, or via the PSD Vault VIP members area.

Along the way, we will be using a series of Photoshop techniques such as layer blending options, image adjustments, filter effects and masking. Some of the techniques can be a bit tricky (especially with the Pen Tool), but why not just have a try :)

Here is preview of the final image result for this tutorial:


Alternative version with Newspaper Texture overlay – This idea comes from one of my workmates Claudia Ferreira, who is awecome web/graphic designer and a very nice person!


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Ok let’s get started!

Step 1

Download a copy of this grungy texture pack from devaintArt and choose one of those textures, load it into Photoshop. We will be using it as our background for the car poster.

I chose “Texture 1” from the pack:


Now duplicate the background layer and set the duplicated layer’s blending mode to “Multiply” and opacity to 80%. You will see the texture darken a little bit:


Step 2

To further add Duplicate the “Background Copy” layer once and hit Ctrl + Alt + Shift + B to bring the Black and White image adjustment tool, apply the following settings:


Keep the blending mode of the duplicated layer to “Multiply” and adjust the layer opacity to 90%, you will see the following effect:


Add a vector mask for this layer by click on the following button on the layer palette:


Click on the Mask icon and grab the Eraser Tool with a big soft brush, erase a portion of the duplicated layer by following the direction as shown below:


You will see by doing so it created some colour variation and we now have a light source coming from the top right.

Optional: you can add a gradient fill layer on top of this and apply the following settings:


Set the blending mode of this gradient fill layer to “soft light” and opacity to 80%, you will see the following effect:


Step 3

Now we can add the car image onto our texture. Download a copy of this classic car image from and load it into Photoshop.

Use the Pen Tool (or any other selection tool you prefer, but it’s good to practice Pen Tool cos you will feel the benefit later on) to make a working path as show below:


Then Right-click and choose “Make selection” and set the feather radius to 0 pixel, press Ctrl + C and copy the selection, then go to our document and press Ctrl + V to paste the car onto the canvas, resize it as shown below:


Use the Eraser Tool to clean up the edges of the car: (if you did not make a perfect selection)


Name this layer as “Car” and set its blending mode to “multiply” and you will have the following effect:


Step 4

Dupliate the “Car” layer twice. On the “Car Copy” layer, apply the following Gaussian Blur settings:


Set its blending mode to “overlay”.

Then on the “Car Copy 2” layer, go to Filter > Artistic >Watercolor and apply the following settings:


Set its blending mode to “Screen” with 70% opacity. You will have the following effect:


Make  a duplicate of the previous Gradient Fill layer, drag it to the top and right-click on the layer, choose “create clipping mask” and set its blending option to “overlay”.

This will highlight the car according the light source:


Step 5

Create a new layer called “grunge brush” on top the “Background Copy” layer, below the “Car” layer. Download a copy of this brushset from Load it into Photoshop.

On “Grunge Brush” layer, use the brush we just download, randomly paint around the car (alter the flow and opacity of the brush for dynamic effect):


Create a new layer on top of the “grunge brush” layer, call it  “grunge stream”.  Grab the Pen Tool to make a work path, right-click and stroke it using a grunge brush we just downloaded (Make sure “Simulate Pressure” is selected) as shown below:


Hit Esc Key to cancel the path, use the Free Transform Tool to distort it until similar as shown below:


Duplicate the “grunge stream” layer twice, on each duplicated layer, use the Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T) to alter the size, angle of the stream, and position them as shown below:


Merge all the duplicted layers and the original “grunge stream” layer together. Duplicate the merged layer once, rotate and position it as shown below:


Step 6

Now we can add some text effect on the poster. Download a copy of this font from Type some text onto our document as shown below:


On the text layer, apply the following layer blending options:

Blending option


Drop Shadow


Inner Shadow


Outer Glow


Inner Glow:


Color Overlay


And you will have the following effect:


Step 7

For the final touch-up, we can add some cloud texture on it. Download a copy of this cloud image from, load it into Photoshop.

Press Ctrl + A to select the whole image, copy and paste the selection onto our poster, put the newly created layer just above the “Background” copy layer, below the “grunge brush” layer.

Resize and fit it to the canvas as shown below:


Go to Image > Adjustment > Channel Mixer and apply the following setting on the cloud layer:


Change the blending mode of this layer to “soft light” and you will have the following effect:


Optional: if you feel the colour of the car look a bit distracting, you can simply go to “Car” layer and desaturate the layer:


Ok that’s it for this tutorial! You can of course add some of your own texture or filter effect and see what the end results are!

Here is my final result for this tutorial: (sightly adjusted Hue, and add a bit of radial blur to it)


Alternative version with old Newspaper Texture overlay: (You can download this texture here) – This idea comes from one of my workmates Claudia Ferreira, who is awecome web/graphic designer and a very nice person!)


Hope you enjoy this tutorial, drop me a comment if you have any question, I will try my best to help you out.

Cheers and have a nice day!


  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

  • Show Comments

  • James Tipper

    You spelled brush wrong in step two. “Brsuh”

  • admin

    @James: thanks for pointing it out! just that I couldn’t find where the typo is…

  • hospital

    Great information! Very useful for me. Thanks a lot.
    The idea is awesome. Congrats.

  • Matt

    Hey, great tutorial on grunge effects, but I think that you should change the coloring of your grunge brushes layer, or w/e its called.

    The white just doesnt work in front of an already bright background.

  • psaddict
  • no one u know

    Brush is spelled wrong in the picture in step 2 =]

  • admin

    @Matt: very good point!!! I will do alternative version with a dark brush and upload it as comparison.

    Thank you very much for this feedback

  • admin

    @no one u know: i see…what a mistake! oh well, hope everyone would still understand it though :)

  • I love your work! This is really good, excellent techniques, and amazing final artwork. Thanks for sharing this tutorial, looking forward to the next one!

  • Marco

    This is very beatiful and nicely done ^^

    To bad I’m na nOOb and don’t understand half of it. Is there a chance making a video tutorial out of this?

  • photo retouching

    A really impressive result. Keep posting!

  • I liked the brushset from deviant art

  • fao

    i love it!!! thanks thanks! =D

  • walnutz

    very awesome tutorial bro,,, thanks a lot

  • Abner

    Great tuts man, and great site, very very informative, helped me learn alot.
    don’t worry about these clowns who pick your work apart. They should be thankful for your useful advice, and focus on that and not on small trivial matters.

  • image masking services

    Very informative tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  • deej

    what is a workaround for the black and white adjustment if you don’t have that tool? I’m using cs2

  • James

    @deej: you can try Channel Mixer with “monochrome” option selected.
    Hope this helps!

  • Mel

    I would love you to design us a logo – along this grungey theme, I’ve tried but it’s far to complicated for me.

    Please contact us if you’d like to help.



  • Rebeca Molins

    Great tut!! I want to go through them all. I have been wanting to learn about working with textures, and did my own thing following the instructions. Don’t pay attention to those who are critical, great job and THANKS!!

  • James

    @Rebeca Molins: thank you so much, I’m glad that this tut is useful to you! and btw, I only listen to constructive criticism, and always ignore the rest :)

  • Ingrid

    I searched an hour for step 5 (Part 3). Because when I wanted to do the “free transform tool” was the line of the Pen tool that changed and not the “stroke” added. The only solution I found is to click on “Enter” instead of Esc after doing the “Stroke Path” in order to transform the picture made, but the result is not exactly similar. And I noticed if I wanted, after clicking on “Free transform”, the line and the image change, it would have taken me to be in mode like after clicking on “Create New Fill or Adjustment layer or create a new mask” (Sorry, I’m French and my English is bad). The tutorial is beautiful but I would have liked to see more images of the layer box to check.

  • Infographiste

    Great tuto! I love vintage stuff, i’ll try this with my grandpad’s car :) thanks for sharing

  • Very creative. Do not stop to be creative, my friend. Thank a lot.

  • Old Cars

    Hey ,I really enjoyed reading what you had to say.You have lots of good ideas.This is really a great stuff.Keep going.Thanks for sharing.

  • Wooowww! Great Tutor. Thanks for sharing.

  • i have learned more about this post so . I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative Editing abilities has inspired me

  • Interesting way of tutoring. I liked it a lot. Thanks!

  • Wow! amazing grunge effect!

  • where do i get the grunge brush ?

  • Absolutely Great Tutorial!! Thank you

  • very nice tutorial, Thanks for sharing……..

  • eden

    the Master of photo effect..
    nicely done..
    u’re inspiring :D

  • wink

    The 1st step grunge texture download at deviantart is corrupted. Don’t go there! I got the Win 7 Antivirus 2011 (a false antivirus program) that automatically downloaded itself onto my computer. It totally hijacked my computer – I could not use any browser and had numerous pop ups that warned of infections. I had to go to a restore point, ran Malwarebytes and I have no problem now. Has anyone else had this problem?

    Great tutorial, too bad someone hijacked the deviantart download.

  • James Qu

    @wink: the grungy texture download link is now fixed. thank you very much for pointing it out. I did not notice this before.

  • Bad Boy

    What about the window? You still have the scene in the background… which do you think would look better, with or without the blurred original scene?

  • Punk Pixie

    i love this. i used an old record player instead of the car and used my own brushes which i found online for free but it was the vintage thing i was trying to learn and its been fun. i feel more confident if i’m given more creativity at work, i used to look at stuff like this and think crikey i will never know how to do that stuff it looks so complicated but it totally isn’t! thanks!!!

  • Web Hosting

    I think it would be better if  the car is bigger in the picture … overall the design is okay.

  • Building Inspections Auckland

    Wow! Nicely done..I liked it!

  • Taupo Accommodation

    Good work! Keep it up…

  • Jfud420

    the grunge texture link is not working.  anywhere I can get this still?

  • F-noir

    Same problem, the package ling ai’nt working…

    keep up the good work

  • Guest

    Nice Photo editing

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