Adding textures to your photographs during edits is one of the most creative techniques you can use to add an extra dimension to your photos.  Textural overlaying is a fun and easy process that lets you have the creative freedom to improve your photo edits. But when done incorrectly, you can end up with undesirable effects and ruined images. We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to add textures in Photoshop.

This guide will give you step by step instructions that walk you through the process of adding textures to your images using Photoshop. Following these steps will help you get the desired photo edits.

Step 1: Open Image and Open the Texture Image

The first thing you need to do when you’re ready to add textures is to go into Photoshop and open up the original image you want to edit. 

Most experts recommend using images that have already been color corrected and have a final look you want. You don’t want to add textures to a photo you haven’t finished editing. Texturing should be your last step in the editing process.

Open the Image in Photoshop 

Once you’ve picked the image you want to work with, you will go into Photoshop. In Photoshop, there are two ways to open the photo for editing.

The first method to open your original image for editing is to navigate the “File” tab. Click “Open,” then select the picture you want to texture.

The other way you can open your image is to use drag and drop. Grab your photo from your desktop and drop it into your Photoshop panel.

Import Texture into Photoshop 

To import a texture, you can drag the textured image into your workspace. Or you can go to the File tab, select “Place,” and then “Choose Texture File.” 

Your textured image needs to match your image resolution. The textured print should span the workspace’s entire area, preferably without having to resize or stretch. 

Apply Texture to the Main Photo 

After you’ve opened the image to edit and your texture image in the Photoshop workspace, it’s time to texture your image. 

Navigate to the toolbar and select “Move,” which should be the first tab on the left side. Look for the icon that has four arrows in different directions. 

While holding Shift, click on the texture image and drag it to the image you’re editing. Your texture overlay should rest on top of your original photo. 

Step 2: Resize the Texture File

Many times, when you add textures to your base image, you’ll need to resize the texture layer so it fits your image correctly.

To resize the texture layer, you start with the main picture selected. Press the “F” key, which makes your images appear “Fullscreen.”

If your texture is larger than your main image, you will need to resize the texture. Click “Control + T (PCs) or “Command + T” (Mac) and hold “Shift” while you click and drag the mouse.

If you want to keep your aspect ratio in place, hold “Shift and Option” or the “Alt” key while clicking and dragging the mouse to resize the texture to the appropriate size.

Hit “Enter” when you have your texture image positioned. This will create a new layer file. 

Step 3: Name the Texture Layer 

Step three requires you to give your new texture layer a name. Naming each new layer makes it easier to keep your edits organized. 

It also makes it easier to go back and make changes to the right layer instead of editing all of the layers to get the desired changes. 

Step 4: Apply Screen Blending Mode 

In step four, you work on how to use blending modes. To apply Screen Blend mode, you will need to do the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the menu, go to “Layers” and then “Blending mode.” The program should have a “normal” preset. 

  2. Switch “Blending modes” from “Normal” to” Screen.” The dark background of the texture layer will disappear. If you’re working with a dark background and a light subject, use the “Screen Blend mode.”

  3. Press “Control + L” (PCs) or “Command + L” (Macs) to add levels. Levels are how many dark and light aspects in each image. Adjust the lightness or darkness of the texture layer by dragging the sliders left or right. 

Step 5: Create a “Layer Mask” 

After you’ve finished adjusting your texture layer, many people add a “Layer Mask,” which allows you to make changes to your layers without affecting the image information. 

To add a “Layer Mask,” do these steps:

  1. Navigate to the “Layers” panel and click on the “Layer Mask” tab. Doing so will create a “Layer Mask” for the layer you have selected.

  2. Use the “Foreground Color” or “Background Color” tabs to change the coloring. You may want a black foreground and white background or vice versa.

  3. Click “OK” once you’ve finished your changes.

  4. Click on “Brush” and choose the “Normal” mode. Adjust your “Flow” percentage to blend the layer. A lower Flow is easier to blend. 

Step 6: Add Any Specific Color to the Texture 

Adding color to your layer makes the texture blend more naturally into your image. There are a few steps to follow to achieve this technique.

  1. Choose your first texture layer. Do not select the second layer. 

  2. Click “Control and U” (PCs) or “Command and U” (Mac). This opens Hue/Saturation. Use this window to set your options for the texture layer colors.

  3. Click the “Colorized” option.

  4. Adjust the slider bar to change your image’s color.

paint brushes

Step 7: Erase Areas of Unwanted Texture 

There may be times during your adjustments that you end up with unwanted areas of texture. Instead of starting your image editing, you can remove texture from specific areas using two neat Photoshop tools.

Removing Unwanted Texture with the Smudge Tool 

The “Smudge” tool lets you control the amount of texture in a specific area of your picture. But be aware that it can be a slow process trying to edit pieces of your image using “Smudge,” and it can make your computer run slower. 

To open the Smudge tool, press the “R” key. This shortcut opens the tool. You could also access the tool using the icon on the Photoshop toolbar. Position your “Smudge” icon on the area of your image where you want to clear the texture. 

You can use the shortcuts “[“and “]” to adjust the brush size of the “Smudge” tool.

Removing Unwanted Texture by Averaging  

“Averaging” is another tool you can use to remove texture from your image. However, you don’t have much control over how much texture you can remove.

Using “Averaging” is faster and easier than “Smudge,” and it doesn’t slow down your computer. To access the “Averaging” tool, click “Quick Selection” and then connect your layer. 

Highlight the area where you don’t want texture. Now choose “Filter,” and then under the “Blur” tab, click “Average.” This process will remove the texture from the area. 

Step 8: Apply Any Finishing Touches 

Many people want to add extra touches to their images besides texture. Here are a few common finishing touches you can apply to your photos using Adobe Photoshop.

Adding a Vignette 

Vignettes add a vintage feel to your images. When you use vignettes, you are adding darkened corners to your photos. You can use a shortcut by going to “Filter” then “Distort.” 

Finally, choose “Lens Correction” and then “Vignette.” Adjust the amount and midpoint to change the shading of your corners.

You can also have more control of your vignette by following the steps outlined here.

Adding Warmth in Photoshop 

Adjust the warmth of your images by creating a Curves adjustment layer. Navigate to the Layers panel bar at the bottom of your workshop and click on the half white/half black circle.

To add more warmth to your images for a more vintage look, you need to lower the blues while increasing the reds. The green colors can stay the same. 

Desaturate the Image 

To reduce the image’s vibrancy, you’ll create a “Hue/Saturation” layer adjustment. Open the layers panel you used for adjusting the “Curve.” 

Adjust your saturation to -20 to -30 to reduce the brightness of the color of your images. If you want a brighter saturation, raise your levels higher.

How to Add Texture to a Selection in Photoshop

To add texture to a specific part of an image but not the whole piece, you’ll use a separate texture layer over the area where you want the texture. 

Under the Layer tab, select “Overlay”. Then right click on your texture layer and select “Create Clipping Mask.” 

FInally, click on the “Image” tab and then “Adjustments” and “Levels.” Adjust the sliders until the texture shows properly.

How to Add Texture in Photoshop Architecture

You can use Photoshop to add textures to your architecture images. Asphalt roads are a great way to illustrate roads, sidewalks and building rooftops.

You can also tweak the landscape and change the image colors or add overlays to give a more realistic look. Photoshop comes with a lot of installed textures to use, or you can incorporate your own.

How to Add Texture Layer to a Logo 

Many people like to use textures in their logos. You can easily learn how to add textures in Photoshop to give your logos unique textured characteristics.

Add Logo Texture

It only takes a few simple steps to texturize your logo. Open your logo image by clicking “File” and “Open” or dragging and dropping your image into your Photoshop workspace. 

Next, click “Textures” and “Open.” Drag the texture image while holding shift and clicking the layer. Position the texture overlay on your logo. 

Resize the layer using “Control and T” (PCs) or “Command and T” (Macs). While holding “Shift,” click and resize your layer to the appropriate size. 

Meta: Use our guide to discover how to add textures in Photoshop and upgrade your photographs after you’ve snapped them. 

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