This tutorial shows you how to create an image that looks worn down and distressed, as if it’s been there for years.

Applications needed: Photoshop 6+

Skill Level: Easy

1. Start with a new 400×400 pixel document and give it a neutral background. I chose a tan colour to work with.

2. Add some texture to your background by going to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Use a low setting to achieve a small amount of graininess.Add Noise

3. Just so things don’t appear too sharp we’ll apply a blur by using Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. We now have a background to work our picture into.Gaussian

4. Now import the image you’ll be working on into a new layer. I’m using an EPS illustration I created. For this technique it best to have an item that features a muted colour palette. Repeat steps 2 and 3 on the new image.Import

5. On your new layer turn the opacity down to about 95%.

6. Now choose the eraser tool and adjust the opacity to 50%. You will then want to choose a rough spray-paint style brush to use. Here are the settings I used for my example. Feel free to experiment with the settings.


Brush Tip Shape: Diameter 16px / Spacing 54% Brush Settings

Shape Dynamics: Size Jitter 34% / Minimum Diameter 12%

Brush Settings

Scattering: Scatter 545% / Count 1 / Count Jitter 16%

Brush Settings

7. Now begin erasing the imported image randomly. You’ll want to go over the whole image distressing some places more then others. Take your time and make sure not to overdo it.
Partway Finished

8. Create a new layer and select a darker version of the colour you picked as your background colour. Then select the Brush tool, change the opacity to 10% and use the new brush preset we created for the eraser. Now use the brush all over the document to create some darker colour variation.Finished

And with that you’re done.