How to Create Old, Stained Paper in Photoshop


Hey, everyone! Howard Pinsky here with a very
old Photoshop tutorial! No, it’s nothing that I’ve done in the past, but today, I’m going
to be showing you how to create an old, stained paper texture, which almost looks like a ancient
treasure map! All with just Layer Styles and a few Filters. Let me show you how this works! The size of the starting document isn’t too
important for this tutorial, but I’m going to be starting with a 1920 by 1080 pixel document,
filled with a very dark brown color, which will appear behind the paper. The first layer we’re going to create, will
be the base for the paper. So in your Layers Panel, create a new Layer, then we’re going
to fill it with a lighter brown: #e1cab0. Once the foreground color is set, you can
quickly fill your layer by holding down Option on the Mac, Alt on Windows, and pressing Delete
or Backspace. Now that the paper layer is in place, let’s
start applying a few Filters, but before you do, make sure to convert the layer into a
Smart Object, so you can easily edit those filters at a later point. Good, the first Filter will be Noise, just
to give a subtle hint of speckling. 3.5%, Uniform, and Monochromatic should give you
a nice amount of speckling. Now that the noise is in place, we’ll be able
to add our next filter, which can be found in the Filter Gallery. Once the Filter Gallery is up, expand the
Artistic section, and choose the Underpainting Filter. This will add some chipping and fraying
to the paper texture. The settings usually come down to personal preference, but I’m
going to max out the Brush Size and Texture Coverage, then set the Texture to Burlap with
a scaling of 200%, and a relief of 5. Press okay to apply the final filter. Next, we need to create an additional layer
to really give some age to this design. Once again, create a new layer, and this time,
clip it to the paper layer. This can be done by holding down Alt/Option, placing your cursor
right in-between those layers until you see the downwards arrow, and clicking. This may
seem pointless now, but it’ll make sense shortly. To start off this texture, we’re going to
fill it with a simple Clouds filter, but again, before that’s done, convert the layer into
a Smart Object. As the Clouds filter uses your foreground
and background colors, set them to black and white by pressing the “D” key on your keyboard. Now that the colors are set, Filter>Render
>Clouds to fill in your new layer. Obviously, we’re not going to be sticking
with our black and white clouds, but we’re going to be using them to interact with the
previous paper layer using our Blend Modes. Double-click on the Layer to bring up the
Layer Styles dialogue, and stay within the Blending Options section. We’re first going
to change the Blend Mode to Color Burn in order to, well, burn at the previous layer. Already that’s looking quite nice, but just
to pull out some of the harsher tones of this layer, we can use the Blend If option at the
bottom. With your Alt/Option key held down, drag the right side of the shadows slider
to the right, until you’re happy with the result. Of course, if you liked the way it looked
before this adjustment, you can certainly leave the Blend If option alone. Now you *could* stop here, but that would
be boring! To take this a step further, let’s add a nice border around the paper. Go ahead
and select the original paper layer, then with your Rectangular Marquee Tool, draw out
a selection around the paper, about an inch in from the edges of the document. When the selection has been made, add a Layer
Mask to hide what was outside of that selection, revealing the brown layer underneath. Now in order to create ripped edges, we’re
going to be applying Filters to the Layer Mask, rather than the layer, itself. The first Filter will be a Wave distortion
in order to get rid of the boring straight edges. The settings you use may differ from
mine, depending on the size of your document. For this size, the values you see here will
give me nice waves throughout the layer. If you want fewer or more waves, you can adjust
the Max Wavelength value. Once you apply the Wave filter, you’ll probably
notice that the edges are now way too smooth. In order to roughen them up, we’re going to
add one more filter to the Layer Mask. This time, back in the Filter Gallery, choose the
Spatter filter, which is in the Brush Strokes section. A Spray Radius of 13 and a Smoothness of 8
should give your edges a nice, rough, torn look to them. Finally, to finish off this design and to
add a bit of depth to the paper, let’s add a few Layer Styles, starting with an Inner
Shadow. Set the Blend Mode to Overlay, and Opacity
at 100%, the distance at 0, then crank up the Size to around 50 pixels in order to darken
up the edges a tough. And lastly, an Inner Glow to darken up the
edges even more. For this style, set the Blend Mode to Color Burn, then increase the Size
a touch, to around 12 pixels. Press okay to see your final result. Now at
any point in the future, if you want the texture to extend right to the edges of your document,
you can hold down your Shift key and click on the Layer Mask in order to disable it.

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