Add a Vintage Grunge Effect in 5 Easy Steps with Photoshop
Grunge textures are one of the most popular search terms in our Storyblocks library–and for good reason! Textures are an invaluable resource to graphic designers and photographers alike. Grunge textures, in particular, can send a picture back in time, creating a dramatic, vintage effect. That’s why we’ve created this simple tutorial to show you how to quickly add grunge-styled textures using stock vectors and photos.
Whether it’s for home decor or website illustrations, the grunge effect is one of the most versatile graphic design techniques. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to add a grunge texture to an image in five easy steps. And if you’re anxious to learn more, you can also check out our tutorial on adding background textures in Photoshop.
Step 1. Choose an Image
You’ll want to pick an image that looks convincingly vintage when you add the grunge effect. You can download the image we used here.
Once you’ve selected your image, go ahead and open it in Photoshop.
Step 2. Add the Grunge Texture
Select a grunge texture. Drag the grunge texture file onto your Photoshop workspace. Adjust the size of the texture as needed by dragging the corners of the image.
Join Our Creative Community
Access the best video tips, design hacks, and deals straight to your inbox.
Step 3. Choose a Blending Mode
Select a blending mode from the drop-down menu under the “Layers” panel on the right. You can experiment with blending modes until you find one that fits your project. We selected “Hard Light” for this tutorial.
Step 4. Add a Black & White Adjustment Layer
Under the “Adjustments” panel, click the “Black and White” icon. You can also go to the menu bar and select Image > Adjustments > Black & White.
Step 5. Adjust the Opacity on the Grunge Texture Layer
Select your grunge texture layer, click “Opacity,” and adjust the slider until you achieve the desired effect.
Pro-tip: Remove Unwanted Marks from the Image
If you find that the texture is just a little too grungy, you can always make more adjustments to the image. For our picture, we wanted to get rid of a few of the marks that were obscuring the girl’s face.
Select the texture layer, then go the menu bar and select Layer > Rasterize > Smart Object.
Once you have rasterized the texture layer, click on the “Healing Brush” icon on the left (it looks like a Band-Aid).
Before you can fix the image, you need to select a “source point.” The source point is a location on the image that you want to use to repair a damaged area. To select a source point, just Option+Click on a clean area near the damaged area. We selected a part of the girl’s cheek without any grunge marks as our source point.
Once you have selected your source point, just click and drag your mouse over the area that you want to repair. You can experiment with the length of your strokes to see what technique works best for your image.
Voila, your image is complete!
Now go forth and create faux-vintage photos!
Check out our royalty-free stock photos to find some inspiration. You can download all of these photos, textures, and more as part of your Storyblocks subscription. Once your project is complete, share it with us in the comments, or upload it to Instagram and tag @storyblocksco.