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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Create a Rusty Texture in Photoshop

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Read Time: 9 min
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a rusty metal texture in Photoshop. I will explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create the texture, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

Do you want to save time with a ready-made texture? Check out this set of Rust Textures over on Envato Elements, where you can find thousands of awesome textures!

rust texturesrust texturesrust textures

What You'll Learn in This Rust Texture Tutorial

  • How to create a rusty metal texture
  • How to make a rusty metal seamless texture
  • How to create a rusty metal background
  • How to create an iron rust texture or any other metal rust texture
  • How to apply a corroded metal texture to a photo

What You'll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following resources:

1. How to Start Creating a Rusty Metal Texture

First, create a new file. Go to File > New, and set the Width and Height to 3000 px and the Resolution to 72 px/in.

creating new filecreating new filecreating new file

2. How to Create a Rust Texture

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create a rust texture. Go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Background Color, and choose the color #59200d.

creating new solid color fill layercreating new solid color fill layercreating new solid color fill layer

Step 2

Press Control-Shift-N on your keyboard to create a new layer, and press D to reset the swatches. Then, go to Filter > Render > Clouds, press Control-T on your keyboard to transform this layer, and set the Width and Height to 400%.

adding clouds filteradding clouds filteradding clouds filter

Step 3

Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, and set the Shadow Output Level to 100 and Highlight Output Level to 155. Then, go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, and set the Angle to -90° and Distance to 200 px.

adjusting levels and adding motion blur filteradjusting levels and adding motion blur filteradjusting levels and adding motion blur filter

Step 4

Now go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Texture > Grain, and set the Intensity to 50, Contrast to 25, and Grain Type to Regular. Then, go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Texture > Grain, and set the Intensity to 15, Contrast to 25, and Grain Type to Vertical.

adding grain filtersadding grain filtersadding grain filters

Step 5

Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to add a layer mask that reveals the whole layer. Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches, and go to Filter > Render > Clouds. After that, click on the link icon between the layer thumbnail and the layer mask to unlink them. Press Control-T to transform the layer mask of this layer, and set the Width and Height to 150%.

adding clouds filteradding clouds filteradding clouds filter

Step 6

Now go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, and set the Angle to -90° and Distance to 500 px. Name this layer Texture_1.

adding motion blur filteradding motion blur filteradding motion blur filter

Step 7

Alt-click on the Background Color layer and drag it just above the Texture_1 layer to duplicate this layer. Then, change the Blending Mode of this new layer to Color and name it Texture_1_Color.

duplicating layerduplicating layerduplicating layer

Step 8

Press Control-Shift-N on your keyboard to create a new layer, and press D to reset the swatches. Then, go to Filter > Render > Clouds, press Control-T on your keyboard to transform this layer and set the Width and Height to 400%.

adding clouds filteradding clouds filteradding clouds filter

Step 9

Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Texture > Grain, and set the Intensity to 40, Contrast to 50, and Grain Type to Stippled. Then, go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Texture > Texturizer, and set the Texture to Sandstone, Scaling to 100%, Relief to 5, and Light to Top.

adding grain and texturizer filtersadding grain and texturizer filtersadding grain and texturizer filters

Step 10

Now go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Brush Strokes > Spatter, and set the Spray Radius to 10 and Smoothness to 5.

adding spatter filteradding spatter filteradding spatter filter

Step 11

Go to Filter > Pixelate > Mezzotint, and set the Type to Coarse Dots. Then, press Control-Alt-F on your keyboard to apply this filter again. After that, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light, set the Opacity to 50%, and name it Texture_2.

adding mezzotint filteradding mezzotint filteradding mezzotint filter

Step 12

Now go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color to create a new solid color fill layer, name it Texture_2_Color, and choose the color #fe9f33. Then, press Control-Alt-G on your keyboard to create a clipping mask, and set the Blending Mode of this layer to Color.

creating new solid color fill layercreating new solid color fill layercreating new solid color fill layer

Step 13

Repeat the process for creating the Texture_2 and Texture_2_Color layers to create another colored texture layer. This time, set the Opacity of the texture layer to 100%.

creating another texture layercreating another texture layercreating another texture layer

3. How to Make the Final Adjustments

Step 1

In this section, we are going to make the final adjustments to the texture. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to create a new gradient map adjustment layer and name it Color Look. Then, Double-click on this layer thumbnail, and in the Properties panel, click on the gradient to open up the Gradient Editor panel and enter the settings below. After that, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light.

creating new gradient map adjustment layercreating new gradient map adjustment layercreating new gradient map adjustment layer
The left color stop has color #fe9f33, the middle color stop has color #fe7133, and the right color stop has color #59200d.

Step 2

Press D on your keyboard to reset the swatches, and go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map to create another gradient map adjustment layer, and name it Overall Contrast. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Luminosity.

creating new gradient map adjustment layercreating new gradient map adjustment layercreating new gradient map adjustment layer

Step 3

Now go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Vibrance to create a new vibrance adjustment layer and name it Overall Vibrance/Saturation. Then, Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, in the Properties panel, set the Vibrance to +50 and Saturation to +25.

creating new vibrance and saturation adjustment layercreating new vibrance and saturation adjustment layercreating new vibrance and saturation adjustment layer

Step 4

Press Control-Alt-Shift-E on your keyboard to make a screenshot, and press Control-Shift-U to desaturate this layer. Then, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and set the Radius to 5 px. Also go to Filter > Stylize > Emboss, and set the Angle to -45°, Height to 75 px, and Amount to 150%.

adding gaussian blur and emboss filtersadding gaussian blur and emboss filtersadding gaussian blur and emboss filters

Step 5

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Soft Light, and name it Emboss Effect. The texture is now ready for use, and this is also how to create a rusted steel texture or an iron rust texture. You can also create a rusty metal seamless texture from our result and use it as a seamless pattern!

changing blending modechanging blending modechanging blending mode

4. How to Apply the Corroded Metal Texture

Step 1

In this section, we are going to apply the texture to a photo. Open your photo, place the texture, and use a layer mask to define where the rust will be visible. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Darker Color.

placing textureplacing textureplacing texture

Step 2

Now duplicate this layer and set the Blending Mode of this new layer to Color Dodge, and Opacity to 35%. Then, adjust the blending of both texture layers as shown below:

adjusting blendingadjusting blendingadjusting blending

Step 3

Add the texture layers to a folder, and add the layer mask with the adjusted clouds filter applied to the folder to randomize the texture.

randomizing texturesrandomizing texturesrandomizing textures

You Made It!

Congratulations, you've succeeded! You've now learned how to make a rusty metal texture in Photoshop. Here is the final result of applying our rusty metal background to an Off-Road Car stock photo:

final resultfinal resultfinal result

5 Rusty Texture Examples From Envato Elements

Want to see more rusty textures? Check out this list of textures from Envato Elements, where you can find thousands of awesome textures!

Rust Textures (PNG)

rust texturesrust texturesrust textures

There are 20 high-resolution, rusted, scratched and cracked paint textures in this collection. The textures are perfect for use in a wide variety of projects!

Rust Textures Volume 1 (JPG, PSD)

rust textures volume 1rust textures volume 1rust textures volume 1

You can find an impressive 34 rust textures in this pack. They are high resolution, and you can use them as backgrounds or photo overlays to give your designs a grunge look!

Rusted Steel Textures (JPG)

rusted steel texturesrusted steel texturesrusted steel textures

Here we have two rusted steel texture files included. They are both in 4K resolution, and they’re an interesting choice for creating prints or wallpaper!

Rust Metal (JPG)

rust metal backgroundsrust metal backgroundsrust metal backgrounds

This item includes six high-resolution rust metal backgrounds. The best thing is, each of the backgrounds has a unique metal style and texture!

Metal Rust, Scratches and Cracks Backgrounds (PSD, PDF)

metal rust scratches and cracks backgroundsmetal rust scratches and cracks backgroundsmetal rust scratches and cracks backgrounds

With these 20 rusted, scratched, and paint-cracked backgrounds, you also get three lighting effects and one photo effect. You can use them for anything from websites to posters!

Did you like this rusty metal texture Photoshop tutorial? Then you may also like:

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