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How to Create a Distressed Painted Wall Text Effect in InDesign

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

This quick and simple text effect will transport you to the colorful streets of Mexico. It's easy to put together using Adobe InDesign, and you can adapt the text to suit your own purposes. Why not try using this effect for street food or restaurant branding?

Suitable for beginners to InDesign, this is a good all-round introduction to some of the basic tools and panels in InDesign.

Let’s go!

What You’ll Need to Create Your Text Effect

We’ll put together the text effect in Adobe InDesign, but you’ll also need access to vector software like Adobe Illustrator for quickly editing the paint splash graphic we’re going to use in the design.

You’ll also need to download the following fonts and images from Envato Elements:

Install the fonts on your computer, and you’re ready to get started.

1. How to Create a Brick Backdrop for Your Text

Step 1

Open InDesign and go to File > New > Document. You can create your text effect on any page size, but here I’m going to set it up on a single A3 Landscape page. Click Create once you’ve set your page size.

Expand the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and double-click on Layer 1, renaming the layer Wall.

Create two more new layers, naming them Paint and, at the top, Type.

type layer

Then lock both the Type and Paint layers, and click on Wall to activate it. 

wall layer

Step 2

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Color > Swatches), and choose New Color Swatch from the panel’s main menu. 

Name the swatch Mustard and set the levels to C=7 M=22 Y=83 K=0. Click Add and Done.

Repeat to create four more new swatches, with the following names and CMYK levels:

  • Red: C=0 M=84 Y=77 K=0
  • Off-White: C=4 M=4 Y=2 K=0
  • Stone: C=10 M=12 Y=32 K=0
  • Green: C=83 M=30 Y=89 K=17
new color swatch

Step 3

Working on the Wall layer, select the Rectangle Frame Tool (F) and drag across the page. File > Place, navigate to the brick wall photo, and Open, allowing it to fill the frame. 

brick wall image

With the image frame selected, head up to Object > Effects > Transparency. Bring the Opacity down to 75% and click OK


Step 4

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to create a shape across the page, extending the right and left edges outwards by about a quarter-page width. 

From the Swatches panel, set the Fill Color of the shape to Stone

stone swatch

With the shape selected, go to Object > Effects > Transparency, as before. Set the Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 55%. 


Click on Gradient Feather at the bottom of the Effects window’s left-hand menu. Set the Type to Radial, allowing the gradient to become more transparent towards the center of the shape. 

Then click OK to exit the window. 

gradient feather

2. How to Add Type to Your Design

Step 1

Return to the Layers panel and lock the Wall layer. Unlock the top layer, Type

Use the Type Tool (T) to create a text frame centrally on the page, typing in a word (like here, ‘Oaxaca’). From either the top Controls panel or the Character panel (Window > Type & Tables > Character), set the Font to Buckwheat Painted.

text frame

Then switch the Font Color to Green

font color green

Step 2

With the text frame selected, go to Object > Effects > Transparency. Set the Mode to Multiply and the Opacity to 95%. 

multiply transparency

Click on Inner Glow in the left-hand menu. With the Mode set to Normal, bring the Opacity down to about 40%. Set the Size to 0.946 mm and add around 15% Noise. Then click OK

inner glow

Step 3

Select the text frame and Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste it. 

pasted text

Working on the copy of the frame, switch the Font Color to Off-White. 

off-white swatch

Head back to Object > Effects > Transparency, and uncheck the Inner Glow box to remove the effect. Adjust the Transparency Mode to Normal, and click OK


On the copy, Right-Click > Arrange > Send to Back. 

send to back

Then position it just underneath the green text, poking out a little to the left and down, to create a shadow effect. 

shadow text

Step 4

Create another text frame to the top-right of the large text frame, and type in an introductory word or phrase (like ‘Bienvenido a’), setting the Font to LunchBox Slab Bold and the Font Color to Red

font lunchbox

Hover over the bottom-right corner of the text frame and rotate it slightly upwards, giving it a subtly jaunty angle. 

text frame

Step 5

Go to Object > Effects > Transparency, and set the Mode to Multiply and Opacity to 95%. 


Click on Drop Shadow in the window’s left-hand menu, and adjust the Effect Color to Mustard. Increase the Opacity to 100%, Distance to 3 mm, Angle to 51, Spread to around 70%, and Noise to about 13%. 

drop shadow

Click on Outer Glow, and set the Opacity to 55%. Add about 30% Noise and then click OK. 

outer glow

3. How to Add a Splash of Paint to Your Text Effect

Step 1

Open up the hand-painted masks pack you downloaded earlier, and expand the EPS-Format folder. Find the image named 19.eps, and open it in Adobe Illustrator. 

masks pack

Right-Click > Ungroup the graphic. 


Step 2

Expand the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches) and choose New Swatch from the panel’s menu. 

new swatch

Set the levels to C=7 M=22 Y=83 K=0, to match the Mustard swatch in your InDesign document. 

new swatch

Apply the yellow swatch to the Fill of the paint splash. Then select the paint splash and Edit > Copy it. 

copied splash

Step 3

Head back to your InDesign document and lock the Type layer. Unlock the middle layer, Paint

Edit > Paste to drop the paint splash vector onto the page. Position it behind the main text frame in the center of the page. 

paint layer

With the vector selected, go to Object > Effects > Transparency, and set the Mode to Multiply, before clicking OK.


And there we have it! Your text effect is finished, and it’s looking fantastic! To save it as a PDF, JPEG or PNG image to print or share online, simply head up to File > Export in InDesign. 

Awesome Work—You're Done!

Your text effect is finished—awesome work!

final text effect

If you're on the hunt for more great fonts to use in your text effects, head on over to Envato Elements to browse a huge range of display typefaces.

Make sure to check out these other quick text effect tutorials:

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