Create realistic type on wood

In this tutorial we are going to take some regular text and add some effects to make it look like it has been painted or printed on wood. This is a great way to give your text that natural look. This can be applied to any solid shape, text, images, logos, etc.

What we are going to need

Adobe Photoshop

Wood Texture

Step 1

Open up the wood texture from Zen Textures in Photoshop.

Go to Image>Image Size and change the width to 1200px and make sure the resolution is at 72 pixels/inch. This will give us the width that we want for our document.

Step 2

Using the Type Tool (T), create some white text that will roughly fit the width of the document (leaving some space on the edges). I am using ITC Franklin Gothic Heavy for my font, but anything bold should work.

Using the Crop Tool (C) crop the top and bottom edges so they have a small margin around the text, about the same amount as the sides or a little more.

Step 3

Click on the eye icon to the left of the text layer to make the text disappear.

Go to File>Save, and save it as a Photoshop file. We are going to be using this file later on in the tutorial.

Step 4

Make sure you have the background layer selected. We are going to duplicate the layer with Ctrl+J.

Now go to Image>Adjustments>Threshold. Make your threshold level around 70.

Step 5

Go into Select>Color Range, and make sure your fuzziness is at 200. Now with the eyedropper click on a black part of the document and hit OK. A marquee around all the black areas should come up.

Step 6

We want to get the inverse of our selection, so to do that we are going to do Ctrl+Shift+I Now we can click on the text layer and click on Add Vector Mask.

Click on the eye icon next to the text layer to bring it back (if it isn’t already), and click on the eye icon next to the black and white wood layer to make it go away.

Step 7

If we zoom in we will notice that the masked out parts are too sharp to be believable, compared to the sharpness of the wood. To fix this we are going to go into Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Change the blur to about 0.4px.

Step 8

Now we want to make the edges look a little more believable. First we need to make the mask and the layer just one regular layer, so right-click on the layer and click on Rasterize Layer. Now Right-click on the mask and click on Apply Layer Mask.

Now go to Filter>Distort>Displace and change the horizontal and vertical scales both to 2, click OK. A file browser should come up. Open up the file we saved in the beginning of the tutorial.

If you zoom in you’ll notice the edges follow the lines on the wood background.

Step 9

Drop the opacity of the text down to 80% to give the white part a subtle groove that the wood has.

Step 10

Now we are going to add some lighting effects to our document to make it look a little more interesting.

First off, lets create a new layer (Ctrl+Shift+N) and move it above the text layer. Click on the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and change the feather to 75px. Now click and drag a circle around the text.

Step 11

We are going to get the inverse selection (Ctrl+Shift+I) of
the circle and fill it with black. Change the blend mode to Soft Light.

Step 12

Create another new layer (Ctrl+Shift+N), above the text
layer and the shadow one we just created. Create a circle around the text like
we did in step 10 and fill it with an orange color (something like #FF9B0B).

Change the blend mode to Soft Light and the opacity to 50%.

Step 13

Finally we are going to give our document an overall orange glow. Make sure your foreground is the orange that we used in the previous step and the background is black. Now go into “Create new or fill adjustment layer” (this middle icon at the bottom of the layers palette) and click on Gradient Map. The foreground and background colors should make a black to orange gradient for us. Make sure you click on reverse and click ok.

Drop the opacity down to 20% and change the blend mode to Overlay.


Click for the full image

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Only comments in English will be approved!


  1. Oliver

    Love it! :-)

  2. PhilGDUK

    nice tutorial. thanks.

  3. Deepesh Divakaran

    Wow… its wonderful.. I was thinking how to do such images. This is absolutely well written Tutorial.

  4. tutorial blog

    thank for tutorial

  5. mike

    awesome tutorial. nice idea too. might work on roofing material background too?

  6. Cindi

    Nice job with this tutorial! Simple, but a nice effect with depth.

  7. Jaime

    Thank for the tutorial.

  8. m

    teşekkür ederim, büyük!

  9. Duarte

    Great tut :D

    ive done cool stuff with your tips :)

  10. West Midlands Wedding Photography

    Very interesting way of making great looking text. You make it look so easy. Thank you for sharing I will have to experiment and try to follow your tutorial.

  11. Sam

    Cool! Exactly what I was looking for - thank you.

  12. Jak

    Could anybody help me I can´t find the file
    we need in step 8 (the matrix)

    But up to now a realy great tutorial

  13. 17/03/2021

    Jak: you open up the file we saved in step 3

  14. x_shot

    wonderful!! Unbelievable, I can


  15. Neysha

    Interesting tutorial. The text is perfectly incorporated into the wood grain making it look highly realistic! It served as an inspiration for my logo design. I got my designer from to design it based on some of the elements I liked and it turned out great. Many people were quite amazed at how good it looked. Thanks for posting this! :D

  16. Chuba

    awesome tutorial!

  17. AbuAlez

    thankyou very much for this site about this articals an ideas
    Thankyou again

  18. Agrostrife

    won’t parce when opening??

  19. Gex

    Looks cheap, sorry

  20. Need A Gadget

    This is a nice post ! continue the good work! can i take this post for my site ?

  21. FLD


    - get wood
    - place text in gray
    - set text layer to multiply
    - done!

  22. PRAsad


  23. Curious17

    hi, thanks for the tutorials. please anyone tell me where i can get the wood texture background like in this tutorials in high resolution?
    or tyler will you upload the psd file again, please.

  24. Paul

    I can always appreciate a good tutorial when I see one. They’re so few and far between, thank you.

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