Tutorial: How to Add Textures in Photoshop

by Maddie Stearn on January 27, 2016 10 comments

Looking for ways to add depth to your photos? Textures are an invaluable resource for creating more dynamic images, and they’re pretty easy to use.

The following tutorial will show you how to create a compelling image by adding several textures to a photo’s background.

Step One: Open Your Images in Photoshop

First you’ll want to open your photo and textures in Photoshop. For this tutorial, we’re using a stock photo of blueberries, a photo of wooden floorboards, a cement texture, and an image of parchment paper.

How to Add Textures in Photoshop

Step Two: Combine the Images into One Photoshop Document

The blueberry photo and three textures should all be open in their own tabs in Photoshop. For each texture, click Ctrl+A (Command+A on Macs) and Ctrl+C (Command+C) to select and copy the texture. Then paste the texture into the blueberry tab. The texture will show up as a new layer, and you can resize the image by clicking Ctrl+T (Command+T).

How to Add Textures in Photoshop

Step Three: Group the Texture Layers

Select all of the texture layers at once, then right click on the layers and select “Group from Layers…”

How to Add Textures in Photoshop

How to Add Textures in Photoshop

Step Four: Add a Vector Mask

With “Group 1” selected, hold down the Option key and click “Add vector mask.”

How to Add Textures in Photoshop

Step Five: Paint Over the Layer Mask

Select the paintbrush tool and begin painting the background of the image. Make sure that the layer mask is selected as well; otherwise the paintbrush tool won’t work. Try to get as close to the central object as possible without painting over it. This will ensure that the background blends seamlessly into the image.

How to Add Textures in Photoshop

Step Six: Blend the Textures

Select the three textures at once and click on the blending mode button. For this tutorial we picked the “Color Burn” option.

How to Add Textures in Photoshop

How to Add Textures in Photoshop

Step Seven: Adjust the Levels

Adjust the levels of each texture by selecting the texture layers individually and clicking Ctrl+L (Command+L). You can also adjust the opacity on each layer to get a desired texture blend.

How to Add Textures in Photoshop

Once you finish adjusting, your image is complete!

How to Add Textures in Photoshop


Try with these textures

sand-texture4-min texture2-min
texture3-min texture1-min


Explore our textures!►
Maddie StearnTutorial: How to Add Textures in Photoshop

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  • Karen Roman - January 24, 2016 reply

    Thanks. This was really useful

  • Laura - January 27, 2016 reply

    Would this work with a child- let’s say you didn’t have a certain color backdrop and applied this to an indoor studio portrait photo- would this work?

    Brian Platt - February 1, 2016 reply

    It sure would, the concept would be the exact same but it might be a little more difficult depending on the photos. Good luck!

  • SAMDOHA - March 5, 2016 reply

    I think I am missing a step… I have made a new group from layers and added a vector mask to the group, but I cannot use the paintbrush because there are multiple layers… Any idea where I am going wrong?..

    Maddie Stearn - March 7, 2016 reply

    Hi there– After you add the vector mask, just make sure that the mask is selected. Try clicking on the mask again and see if that does anything. Hope this helps!

    SAMDOHA - March 9, 2016 reply

    Thank you, Maddie – I will try again. To be honest, I was trying it with my own images, so I think I will try again but use the same as you to see if that helps. 🙂

  • Annor - March 17, 2016 reply

    How did you add the shadow?

    Maddie Stearn - March 18, 2016 reply

    Hi Annor- The shadow was actually part of the original blueberry picture. It just happened to become much more pronounced when I set the blending mode to “color burn.”

  • Laura - May 9, 2016 reply

    Is it possible to do this in the Photoshop app on my phone?

  • Beverly Williams - January 15, 2017 reply

    Maddie Stearn, after reading your post I tried to do it by myself & I did it like as you! I always follows the tutorials of graphicstock and love to work with Photoshop. Now I am looking for advanced video tutorials for photoshop. Have you any suggestion for me? If you have then just name it for me please…

    I was trying to find out some best tutorials by googling but I didn’t find anything. But I find a website (www.advancedphotoshoptutorial.com) from a Facebook group which refers Patrick’s Photoshop video tutorials. Stearn, what do you think about Patrick’s tutorials? Is it worthy? Please let me know about it via replying this comments.

    I am waiting for your reply. And I almost forget to thank you for shearing this post! So, thank you and keep sharing your knowledge with us. Good luck.

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