Deke's Techniques 578: Spray-painted Stencil Type in Photoshop

In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, (a mildly over-caffienated?) Deke shows you how to duplicate the effect of spray painting through a stencil inside Photoshop. This technique will allow you to express your messages of peace, politics, or protest without actually defacing any property.

In the tutorial, you'll see how to:

  • Load your text as a selection outline.
  • Have a cool background (like ours from Dreamstime):

  • Tweak your brush settings accordingly, including pressure settings that help you get the most of your tablet (if you have one).
  • Filter for softness and the inherent imprecision that would come from  stenciling with spray paint in the non-Photoshop (aka "real") world.
  • Use the Underlying Layer controls in the Layer Style dialog box to fine tune the texture of the "paint."

If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how he added some additional features (paint drips and an offset to account for the uneven background material).

A spray-painted stencil effect in Photoshop

If you're not a member, you can get a 10-day free trial at

Deke's Techniques, allowing you to express yourself non-destructively.


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