Photoshop Guide: Simulate Polished Wood in your Text Title Styles

Photoshop Guide: Simulate Polished Wood in your Text Title Styles

In this tutorial, I will show you how to simulate the polished wood texture and apply it to your text. Perfect for adding a little elegance to your catalogs or a touch of polish to your business cards, you will find these tricks very useful and easily customizable to your needs and preferences. Just carefully read through the steps and try to learn what you can do to get this amazing and interesting text design style.

Step 1

Let us start by setting up our document. While the dimensions (width and height) are essentially your choice, for the resolution you need to be a bit more precise. Printed designs need a high resolution for better quality and detail, so a resolution of AT LEAST 300dpi is needed. Only in web graphics can you safely go down to 72dpi. With this in mind, setup your new document as needed.

start by setting up our document

 Step 2

Next, it is time to setup your background. This can of course be any background that you like or setup. For our example, we have “pasted” in an old paper texture taken from stock photographs to get a slight grunge appearance. For you however, just choose the best background that is appropriate for your purposes.

old paper texture

Step 3

Next, let us write out the title. If you want to make a very convincing polished wood effect for your text, it would be crucial that you use a fairly thick type font style. Sans serif type fonts, would be a great choice for this. Once you have a good font ready, just use the type tool and type out your text. In our example, we used Helvetica.

polished wood effect for your text

Step 4

Next, we will be adding a couple of layer styles to the text. Do this by simply double clicking on the text layer to get to its layer options window. Once it is open, click on the checkbox for Drop Shadow and then add the following settings.

  1. Blend Mode:  Multiply, Color: Brown #5c4520
  2. Opacity: 75%
  3. Angle: 7 degrees
  4. Distance: 7
  5. Spread: 0
  6. Size: 10

layer options window

Step 5

Afterward, click on the checkbox for Inner shadow. Use these settings for this option.

  1. Blend Mode: Multiply, Color: #433323
  2. Size: 18
  3. Rest should just have the default values.

checkbox for Inner shadow

Step 6

Also, check on the option for Bevel and Emboss. This will turn our text into a more 3D type style. Just set the following items in the options panel precisely.

  1. Style: Inner Bevel
  2. Technique: Chisel Hard
  3. Depth: 320
  4. Direction: Down
  5. Size: 20
  6. Anti-Aliasing: Checked
  7. Highlight Mode: Multiply, Color: #c8b18c
  8. Shadow Mode: Multiply, Color: #d5b295
  9. Rest is default

Bevel and Emboss

Step 7

Also, click on the Contour checkbox and choose the Gaussian option.  Check the Anti-Aliased option here as well.

Gaussian option

Step 8

That should give us all the specific layer styles that we need to make our text layer look more solid and three dimensional.

make our text layer

Step 9

Next, create a new layer. Press CTRL+SHIFT+N to do this. Name this layer any name you like of course.

create a new layer

Step 10

After getting the new layer, go back and select our original text layer. HOLD DOWN the CTRL key and then click on the image thumbnail to select it.

After getting the new layer

Step 11

Next, set your foreground color to a light brown (#a4794f), and your  background color to grey (#483b34). Then use the foreground color to fill in your selected areas in the new layer.

foreground color to a light brown

Step 12

Next, go to Filters -> Render -> Fibers. On the window that opens set the variance to 16, and the strength to 4.

go to Filters-Render-Fibers

Step 13

Then, go to Filter -> Sketch -> Chalk and Charcoal. Use 6 for the charcoal area, 6 for the chalk area and 1 for the stroke pressure.

go to Filter-Sketch-Chalk and Charcoal

Step 14

Afterward, go to Filter -> Sketch -> Chrome. Use 0 for detail, and 10 for smoothness.

go to Filter-Sketch-Chrome

Step 15

Once all done, go to the layers panel and select “soft light” as the blend mode for this layer.

soft light

Step 16

Finally, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Curves, and then set the curve to look something like this by dragging the line.

go to Image-Adjustments-Curves


The end result is distinctive wooden and glossy of course. Now you know how to create polished wooden text effects in Adobe Photoshop.

distinctive wooden and glossy of course

Author’s Bio:  Hi I’m Irene Thompson, a professional writer and a graphic designer. I work at, a trusted online printing company that offers business card printing, catalog printing, and other powerful printed marketing materials. You can find me on twitter and facebook.


  1. Posted by Elliptical Machine

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