Photoshop Textures / Creating "Grunge" Inspired Edits

This blog is much overdue, but I finally got around to creating it! Woo!

When I released my Grunge series, I was blown away by the response it got. It led to many people wanting to know how I did it so here’s a quick tutorial thing!


  • Photoshop

  • Lightroom [not necessary but helpful]

  • Resources [below]



Choosing your image is kind of a challenging step. You have to choose one that is going to compliment the texture paper you downloaded, and one that will fit the style of ~grunge~

I’m going to choose three, a simple and two more complex ones. I edit them in black + white (you can do whatever you choose) in LR and export them straight into Photoshop using Command+E (CTRL E on PC). If your computer gets too slow with PS and LR open at the same time, save the photo on your desktop or wherever you choose in high resolution, exit LR and open it in photoshop. 

I9K and Vanna will have a video tutorial which will be all the way at the end. If you want to watch those instead go for it

Anyways, I'll edit the photos in LR, with Ryan's I'll remove the background just by making it completely dark (tutorial  ;) scroll to the bottom). 


Now that your image is open in PS, it’s time to choose the right texture paper. I put all the grunge papers I download in one folder for easy access. 

Choosing the right one is going to be trial and error so be patient. 

The first paper I’m going to try is #11. I’m going to make it fit the image and rotate it to my liking. 

Then I’m going to “place it” by hitting enter and make sure the texture layer is still selected by clicking on it. After this, it’s time to blend it. Go to the “Normal” drop down menu and you’ll be given many blending options that you might not know how to use but it’s ok. Choosing these is also trial and error. I’m going to start with Lighten and go from there. 

It works pretty well but I am thinking of a less distracting edit for this photo, which means I might have to choose a new texture. This photo has a lot of black space and the texture has a lot of white stains which will transfer directly into the black space regardless of which blend mode I use.

So I’m going to choose something not as strong, #18. Do the same rotating/fit to photo. And experiment with blending mode. Starting with Lighten again, but I want something darker/more contrasty so I’m gong to Hard Light. That’s too contrasty now, so I’ll try Difference. That’s exactly what I want so I’ll keep that. Now you can decide to add dust or to keep it as it is. I want dust for this one so I’m going to add some that is kind of subtle. Treat the dust layers the same as the textures: Rotate, resize, blend. 

 new texture layer

new texture layer



And that’s pretty much it! I suggest saving it as .tiff (PS file) and low res JPEG for social media. Keep all layers separate on the .TIFF file so you can come back and adjust anything you want later on.