How to Create Grunge Textures
By Amelie Mueller
Updated September 22, 2017
Items you will need
Three photos of clean concrete
Grunge textures are great way to add interest and dimension to a photograph or graphic design. While there are many grunge textures available on the Internet for download, you can save some money by creating your own. With a basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop, you'll be able to make your own custom grunge textures. You can even fine-tune them to make sure they have exactly the nuances you need for your project. Use this simple guide to create one grunge texture, or take the time to compile a wide collection of textures to use on future projects.
Creating a Grunge Texture
Create a new document in Photoshop by clicking File > New. When a dialog box pops up, enter Grunge Texture in the title box and enter 2500px by 2500px in the document dimensions section, then press OK. A new blank canvas named Grunge Texture will open. You will composite your three photos of concrete in this file to create your texture.
Open your first photo of clean concrete by clicking File > Open. Navigate to the image's location on your hard drive and click OK.
Desaturate the photo of concrete by clicking Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.
Paste the concrete photo into Grunge Texture by clicking on Select > All and then clicking on Edit > Copy. Open the blank document by clicking on its tab and then click Edit > Paste.
Resize the photo of concrete to fit the dimensions of the new document by clicking Edit > Free Transform. Click and drag on the handles that are located on the edges of the photo. Make sure the canvas is completely covered by the photo. You can move, expand and crop the photo as desired to match your needs.
Open the second photo of concrete, desaturate it and copy and paste it into the Grunge Texture file. Resize the second photo as needed using Free Transform.
Change the Blend Mode of the second photo by double-clicking it on the Layers Palette. A layer style options menu will open. Look under General Blending and change the Blend Mode to Soft Light. Click OK.
Open the third photo of concrete, desaturate it and copy and paste it into the Grunge Texture file. Resize the second photo as needed using Free Transform. Change the Blend Mode to Overlay.
Adjust the contrast of all three photos of concrete as your project requires by clicking on each individual photo layer, then clicking Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast. Not all photos will need these adjustments -- they should be made at your discretion.
Save a copy of your Photoshop file with all the layers attached by clicking File > Save As. You can leave the name as Grunge Texture or change it. Select .PSD as the file type and click on Save.
Save a flattened copy to use on your projects by clicking File > Save As. Again, keep the Grunge Texture title or change it. Select .JPG as the file type and click on Save.
When selecting your photos of concrete, try to pick images that are different in texture and brightness for the most dramatic look.
Start the process with your darkest concrete photo and work your way up to the lightest.
After studying veterinary science at the University of Illinois, Amelie Mueller worked in vet clinic for several years. Mueller later pursued a career in the arts, acquiring a journalism degree from Valencia College. Mueller now operates an art studio where she crafts furniture and home wares from recycled goods.