Create a Scratched Metal Text Effect in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will demostrate the steps I took to create a scratched Metal Text Effect using Photoshop.

Together we can practice different use of filter effects for create textures, adjusting layer blending styles, selection techniques, brush tool and dodge/burn tools.

Here is a preview of the final work of this tutorial:

All right let’s get started!

Step 1

Create a new document, size doesn’t really matter. I chose 800x400px because that’s where my comfort zone is. Fill the background layer with black colour.

We are now going to create a texture layer, which will be used later on to add effect to the text.

Create a new layer called “Texture 1”, fill it with a light grey colour (See image below for details)

Step 2

On “Texture 1” Layer, go to filter > noise > add noise and use the following settings:

Then go to filter > blur > motion blur and apply the following setting:

Then hit Ctrl + M to apply the Curve image adjustment, use the following settings:

You image should look like this:

Step 3

Still on the “Texture 1” layer, go to Filter > Texture > Mosaic Tiles and apply the following settings:

then go to Filter > Texture > Patchwork and apply the following settings:

After applying those texture filters, use the Dodge and Burn tool to give the “Texture 1” Layer some lighting contrast.

Dodge Tool Settings:

Burn Tool Settings:

Effect After:

We can use the level adjustment tool to further adjust the output levels, see below for details:

Effect after level adjustment:

Step 4

Create a new layer called “Color Overlay”, set its blending option to “Color Dodge”. Then grab a big round brush to paint some RGB colour on the layer.

Here is the effect so far:

Optional: You can apply a gaussian blur to the “Texture 1” layer if you like, detailed settings see below:

Step 5

Hide the last two layers we created. Make a new layer  under the “Texture 1” layer and type some texts on it. You may use any font you like, I chose this font from Name the layer as “Text”.

Adjust the position of your text according the image below:

Change the layer blending options of this text layer as follows:

Inner Shadow

Inner Glow

Bevel and Emboss

Gradient Overlay

Your text will now look like this:

Step 6

Now we need some more textures with lots of scratches and cracks. I downloaded the following image from CG Texture.

Load this texture into Photoshop, then go back to our text document and select the “Text” layer. Use Crtl + Left-Click to select the text,

then drag the selection onto the texture image (anywhere you like). Hit Crtl + C to copy the selection and hit Ctrl + V to paste it onto the “Text” layer.

Name the new layer as “Texture 2” and change its blending option to “Overlay”. Your image will look like below:

Step 7

Make “Texture 1” and “Colour overlay” layers visible, change the blending option of “Texture 1” to color, see below for details:

The effect will now look like this:

Ok! That’s it for this tutorial! You may want to add some of colour, or change the existing colour overlay and add some more textures. That’s totally up to you!

Here is my final image: (I adjust the colour balance and add a bit more fancy effects)

If you have any questions, just drop me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Cheers and have a great 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

  • Abdurrahman

    Super work,

  • Thanks buddy!

  • Giacomo

    Hi! What’s the use of TEXTURE1? It doesn’t appear in anything? Please make me clear of it! Thanks

  • Hi Giacomo~ texture 1 is used for adding some final scratch effects on top of “texture 2”, it also creates some more depth for the text. Make sure you change the layer blending option of “Texture 1” to “color” or “soft light” :)
    Hope this helps

  • To nice name! Thanks for the add!

  • psaddict
  • Rosy

    Nicely done. Always appreciate a good tip/tutorial, thanks. :))

  • Phil

    Hi, I’m having a problem with step 3. Texture is grayed out so I can’t select it… any suggestions? Thanks in advance for any help.

  • Melissa

    the links don’t work and I’m trying to follow the tutorial D:

  • Hi Phil, with step 3 you don’t have to select anything, just apply the filters and dodge and burn tool straight onto the layer.
    Hope this helps :)

  • Hi Melissa~ yeah the font link is down, look like their site is having problem. I uploaded the texture and insert it into the article already :)

  • Phil

    Hi James – not sure why I couldn’t adjust the texture first time I tried; it’s all good now. Thanks for the tutorial, and your help. Cheers.

  • no worries buddy! :)

  • James Jenkins

    thats really cool !

  • Altgold

    Hi there I like your post

  • The mosaic tile effect is really cool! The final effect looks more like bloody scratched metal because of the red tones on the lower part. I can just imagine this in some suspense movie poster :)


    nice effect

  • iqra

    my texture tool is inactive..i dont know y..but i cant use it untill it becomes active


    The problem some of you have with getting the __Filter > Texture > …etc__ option to work is because your colour bit is too high (usually set to 16 bit) go to __Image > Mode > 8 bits/channel__ instead.

    Hope i helped :P

  • Steve

    Truly helpful and nonetheless AWSOME!

  • cimone key

    what other affects did you add..i want my letters to look like yours

  • Kiwi

    Yo man, I’m stuck at the beginning.. I’m using cs3, when i’ve added new layer and filled with light grey then tried adding the filter, but it does nothing? What have i done wrong? I’ve re-checked.. Done everything exactly the same as you.. Still stuck

  • Paul

    Hi all!Man i don’t know why at the step 2 ,i create the texture 1 layer ,i go to the filter >noise>add noise but when i click for add noise 1 message appears :area selected si empty.Please help.

  • James Qu

    @Paul: you need to make sure you fill the texture layer with grey colour first before you add the noise. This will make sure the area is not empty.
    Hope this helps!

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