Font is ChunkFive and Picture Perfect paper is by Micheline Martin.

There are times when you need a messy, grungy font. Here’s a simple trick to take any font and distress it in Photoshop.

Step 1: Write words and rasterize

In Photoshop, use the text tool to write any word on a new layer. I prefer a wider font, so I’m using the font Chunk Five.


Rasterize the word by selecting Layer > Rasterize > Text.

Step 2: Create an inverted mask and add/subtract distressing

With the rasterized text layer selected, hold down the ALT key and select the mask icon in the layer palette. (A little square with a circle in the middle.) The text layer will become invisible, but don’t worry – just use a white grungy brush to “paint” the word back.

Just remember: white reveals and black conceals. Set the brush opacity to around 65% to start. You can toggle between black and white to distress the text to your liking, adjusting the opacity to achieve the amount of distressing you want.


You can also, very carefully, use the grungy brush on the text layer itself to add some messiness to outside the text boundaries.

Step 3 – Paper Option: Clip any paper to the layer

I chose a navy blue polka-dot paper by Micheline Martin and clipped it to the word by placing it over the word and hitting CTRL+ALT+G.


I could now merge the layers together and drag the word onto a layout.

Step 3 – Blending Option: Blend to a paper

Using the Fonts Don’t Float tutorial (my personal favourite at The Daily Digi!), blend the text onto a paper, further distressing it.


I could see this being using on art journaling pages, especially being combined with other distressing and grungy techniques like over-painting and paint sprays.

If you’re interested in working more with brushes, check out: