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How to Create a Wood Grain Texture in Photoshop

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Photoshop is not just a tool for retouching or manipulating photos. It can also be used for creating your own textures. In this quick tip tutorial, I’m going to show you how to create a wood grain texture, just by using color, in Photoshop! 

Wood textures are easily customizable and come in different styles. There are two categories of wood characteristics: hardwood and softwood.

  • Softwood is lighter and cream-colored, with straight fibers, and annual rings which are distinct. Some common types of softwood are pine, redwood, and cedar.
  • Hardwood is darker colored. Fibers are close and compact. Annual rings are not distinct. Types of hardwood include mahogany, walnut, oak, cherry, and rosewood.

For this tutorial, we will create a hardwood mahogany wood grain texture.

If you would like to save time, head over to GraphicRiver and choose from any of the ready-to-use texture styles available there.

What You'll Learn in This Photoshop Wood Grain Tutorial

  • How to create a wood grain texture in Photoshop 
  • How to create a texture from scratch with filters
  • How to use a texture in Photoshop
  • How to save a texture and apply it to a mockup design

What You'll Need

You will need the following resources:

Let's get started!

1. How to Set the Artboard

Create a New Document (Command-N). 

For this wood grain Photoshop tutorial, we will work on an A3 size artboard. The dimensions can be any size really, depending on your project.

Launch Photoshop, press Command-N to create a New Document, and set the following: 

  • Name the file 'Mahogany_WoodGrain'
  • Width: 4961 px
  • Height: 3508 px
  • Orientation: Landscape
  • Resolution: 300 dpi
  • Color Mode: RGB color (For Print use CMYK)
  • Background Contents: White
  • Create

create new document a3 size landscape orientation for wood grain texture photoshop

2. How to Form the Base Wood Texture

Step 1

Let's begin by creating the base of our mahogany wood. Mahogany varies in color from a medium brown to a deep red-brown, depending on the age of the wood. We are going for a deep reddish-brown hue.

From the toolbar, set a Foreground color of #4c1a01 and a darker Background color of #2f1000.

Pick the Paint Bucket Tool (G), and fill the artboard space.

USe Paint bucket tool to Fill artboard with Foreground Mahoganyy photoshop wood grain tutorial Color

Step 2

To form the base of the wood grain, we need to apply a few filters.

At the top of the screen, select the Filter menu, and start by adding Noise: Filter > Noise > Add Noise

  • Amount: 14.21%
  • Distribution: Gaussian
  • Check Monochromatic (to strengthen the effect)
  • OK
add noise filter to color artboard for grain effect monochromatic

Step 3

Nexthead back to the Filter menu and render the CloudsFilter > Render > Clouds.

how to render filter clouds photoshop wood grain tutorial

3. How to Create a Wood Grain Texture in Photoshop

Step 1

Now let's give the base a wood grain effect. Mahogany has ribbon-striped, closed, straight and small grain.

Go back to the top menu and select Filter > Distort > Shear. This will open the pop-up Shear dialog box. 

We need to set the Shear curve. Click on the curve line and drag it towards the edges, to form a flipped 'S' shape. You only have a tiny preview box, but try to experiment with the Shear curve to see the effect preview. Add more points if you would like to, and press OK.

distort and apply shear curve to wood grain texture s shape curve preview

Step 2

Next, let's adjust the Levels, to add contrast to the grain layer. 

From the top menu, select Image > Adjustments > Levels... (Command-L).

  • Adjust the RGB Channel to:
  • R: 14
  • G: 0.91
  • B: 255
  • and OK.

Note: You can experiment with these to adjust the appearance of the texture and wood pattern.

experiment with Image Levels to adjust RGB channel

Step 3 

Since mahogany has ribbon-striped grain, we need to apply a Wave to the texture to make it look more natural. 

Go to Filters > Distort > Wave, and set the following:

  • Number of Generators: 606 
  • Type: Sine
  • Wavelength: Min 90 Max 152
  • Amplitude: Min 1 Max 52
  • Scale: Horiz. 19% Verti. 1%
  • Undefined Areas: Wrap Around
  • And OK

Experiment around with the values until you get the kind of look that you want. Make sure the waves are not too overworked.

Apply Filter wave to control wavelength scale and ribbon shaped Mahogany Wood grain

Step 4

Next, let's add some manual distortion, by applying Liquify (Filter > Liquify).

Use the Twirl Tool (C) to add some knots to our wood. The settings depend on the resolution of the artboard image and how tight you want the knots to appear. Go ahead and experiment with the Brush Tool Size for more precise results. 

Afterwards, move on and use the Forward Warp Tool (W) to smudge it for a more natural sculpted look.

Once you get the results you need, press OK.

add wood knots use twirl tool and smear using forward wrap tool brush

Step 5

Now let's go a little bit further and change the wood color to a lighter shade so we can see the fibers better.

From the top menu, select Image > Adjustments > Levels ... (Command-L) and move the sliders until you get the desired color.

  • Set RGB Channel to:
  • R: 0
  • G: 1.061
  • B: 232
  • and OK.
adjust image levels command L RGB

4. How to Sculpt the Grain of the Wood Texture

Step 1

Moving on, let's add an extra touch to the grain to make it look hard, by sharpening the fibers.

From the top menu, Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen. You will notice the fibers appear slightly better.

sharpen wood fibers filter

Step 2

We need to bring out the grain and sculpt the appearance.

Open the Layers panel (Window > Layers). Duplicate the texture layer by dragging the Background layer onto the Create New Layer icon on the Layers panel.

Then head back to the top menu, and let's Emboss: Filter > Stylize > Emboss. This will open the Emboss dialog box. Set:

  • Angle: 135°
  • Height: 24 Pixels
  • and OK.
layer panels filter stylize emboss set angle and height

Step 3

For the finishing touch of our Photoshop wood grain tutorial, head over to the Layers panel. Set the Blending Mode to Vivid Light and Opacity to 36%.

And our mahogany wood grain texture Photoshop tutorial is done! Well done.

photoshop wood grain tutorial set blending mode to vivid light wood texture photoshop tutorial

5. How to Save and Apply the Texture to a Mockup Design

Step 1

Now let's save our texture so we can apply it to our mockup.

Go to File > Save as. Give the file a name or keep it as it is, and then select JPEG Format and Save to your texture folder. This will open the JPEG Options dialog box.

Select Maximum Quality, and OK.

You’ll now be able to apply it to our mockup.

Save wood texture file as JPEG format on Photoshop for mockup

Step 2

For this tutorial, I decided to apply the wood texture to a table menu. Download the Minimalist Menu file, and go to File > Open.

Open the folders Menu A4 > Back.psd.

Navigate to Photoshop’s Layers panel. Unlock the 'background' layer, by pressing the Lock icon. Click the 'background' folder, to drop down the layers. Toggle off the visibility if the 'bg' layer, by pressing the eye icon. 

toggle off visibilty and unlock layer in Layers panel for back menu

Step 3

From the Layers panel, click Create New Layer.

And simply select the Mahogany_Wood_Texture.JPG file from your computer folder, and drag it onto a new layer and scale into place, to cover the menu artboard.

Create new layer and drag texture onto to cover artboard

Congratulations! 

In this wood texture Photoshop tutorial, you learned how to create a mahogany wood grain texture just by using color and few filter options. Once you've explored the Filter Gallery, you'll be able to create your own textures and much more.

Have fun and experiment with each filter's variance and strength settings to achieve different results for other wood types. Use the techniques you learned in this wood pattern Photoshop tutorial to create your own textures! You can create them really quickly.

Check out the three other wood samples I created. Please feel free to share your wood pattern Photoshop samples and leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.

wood texture photoshop tutorial

Discover Wood Pattern Photoshop Textures 

I hope you enjoyed this wood texture Photoshop tutorial. Check out some other wood texture assets on Elements! 

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If you're not sure what type of wood will suit your design, check out this huge collection of wood texture, consisting​ of 101 hi-res wooden texture photos in TIFF format,​ ready for print at 300dpi.

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If you're looking for an old-style lumber effect, this collection of 45 wood textures is ideal—and it comes with a bonus logo mockup!

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