Rusty Text Effect: Photoshop Tutorial

This is an easy tutorial using a free font, gradient set, brush set and Photoshop’s built-in tools to get a real-looking rusty text effect. There are quite a few steps to this tutorial, but I think the end result justifies the time needed to complete it.

Rusty Text Effect: Photoshop Tutorial


Copperplate Gothic Bold Font

Patterned Spheres Brushes

Adoralyna’s Golden Metal Gradients

Step 1

Open a new file using the following settings:

New File Settings

Fill the background with black.

Step 2

Select the Type Tool, Copperplate Gothic Bold font, size 300pt, foreground colour White.

Type your text all on one layer

Rename the layer ‘Text bg’

Right click on the layer in the layers palette and click Rasterize Layer

Step 3

Select the Brush Tool, foreground colour Black, and the Patterned Spheres brushes. Select the brush before last – number 22, and set the size to 320px.

Create a new layer, this should be named Layer 1 by default. Leave the name as it is.

Center the brush over the first letter and click once

Make the Text bg layer active, select the Magic Wand Tool and click in the first letter to select it.


Now make the Layer 1 layer active and hit the delete button.

Step 4

Repeat Step 3 for each letter of your text.

When you have created the pattern for each letter, merge all the pattern layers together – click on the top layer, hold down the shift key and click on the last pattern layer – this should select them all, right click anywhere on the selected layers and click Merge Layers

Now duplicate the merged layer twice and again merge these 3 layers together. Rename the layer Pattern

Step 5

Double click on the Pattern layer in the layers palette to bring up the blending options and apply the following Gradient Overlay (using Adoralyna’s Golden Metal Gradients) and Bevel and Emboss settings:

Gradient Overlay Settings

Bevel and Emboss Settings 1

Note: You need to have all of Photoshop’s contours activated to find the Peaks contour. The image below shows you how to achieve this:

Activate Contours

Step 6

Duplicate the Pattern layer.

Duplicate the Text bg layer.

Drag the Text bg copy layer above the Pattern layer (it should now be directly below the Pattern copy layer.

Merge the Pattern copy layer and the Text bg copy layer together.

Rename this layer Rust

Your text should be looking something like this now:


Step 7

With the Rust layer active:

Filter>Distort>Ocean Ripple – apply the following settings:

Ocean Ripple Settings

Step 8

Double click the Rust layer in the layers palette to bring up the blending options and apply the following Bevel and Emboss and Color Overlay settings:

Bevel and Emboss Settings 2

Color Overlay Settings 1

Step 9

Duplicate the Rust layer and rename the copy Highlights

Double click on the Highlights layer in the layers palette to bring up the blending options and change the Color Overlay settings as follows:

Color Overlay Settings 2

Create a new layer and merge the new empty layer with the Highlights layer to rasterize the effects. (Make sure this layer is called Highlights)


Step 10

Double click on the Highlights layer in the layers palette to bring up the blending options and apply the following Color Overlay settings:

Color Overlay Settings 3

Reduce the layer opacity to 59%

Step 11

Finally, reduce the layer opacity of the Rust layer to 83%

Final Result:

Rusty Text Effect: Photoshop Tutorial

For the following image I changed the background colour and added a light brown drop shadow on the text.

Rusty Text Effect 2

Hopefully you were able to follow the steps easily, however, if you have hit any problems along the way, please either leave a comment below or contact me and I will try to help.


I love using and learning Photoshop, and I also enjoy creating resources to share with the world. I am at my happiest when I have free time to further explore all that Photoshop has to offer and learn more about its powerful built-in tools. I hope people enjoy either using or learning from my free resources, and welcome any hints and tips - and of course, if you would like to offer a free resource on this site, please don't hesitate to contact me (top right of the page).


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