I decided to recreate the distressed text I did in Photoshop but using Krita. At first, I thought the text tool was a bit limited and hard to use but since getting my head around it I can see it is very versatile. Sometimes it’s harder if to navigate a new program if you are experienced with another program already.

This is a modified version of this Photoshop Tutorial

This tutorial could also be considered an introduction to Transparency Masks too. If you follow this tutorial you will learn how to create and apply a custom transparency mask, which could work with any image.

The Tutorial

So in this tutorial, I am going to show how you can create your own fully customisable grunge text like the image above, in only a few minutes. This is fairly easy to do in Krita and all it takes is a layer mask and a brush to add the distressed grunge effect.

This technique will work with any font and because we are not going to directly affect the text we keep the ability to change the words or the typeface at any time.

A graphics tablet is not essential to complete this tutorial.

My File is 1600 x 1000 pixels.

Create the Text

So to begin look for the SVG text tool, SVG is a vector format but you can use the standard Rich Text it’s all under the same tool. – You don’t really need to worry about it for this tutorial just think of it as any other Text tool.

To get the text tool to work you need to begin by drawing a box with the text tool. The box can be any size, the text will determine the final boundary size.

You will be presented with a new window – this is the text editor. This works like any other text editor you may have used, It works more like a traditional word processing program in my opinion. When you make any changes you need to hit Save, this will not Save anything but it actually updates the text.

The Text needs to be highlighted to change the settings.

Use whatever font and text you like, this is mine.

  • Text: “Rough Text”
  • Font: Impact
  • Size: 36
  • All Caps
  • Everything else is default

My File is 1600 x 1000 px so adjust the text sizing to fit your own file.

When you are done hit close to hide the text editor. If you would like to bring it back up at any time you will need to select it with the Text Tool and then either hit ENTER or Double Click (a bit buggy) or go to tool options on the top right and then find Edit Text.

The Text we created should be on a new layer called Vector Layer 1 or something similar.

Create a Transparency Mask

To create the grunge effect we are going to give our text layer a transparency mask. So with the text layer “vector layer 1” selected, hit the new layer drop-down button and select transparency mask. (It doesn’t appear on the left I moved it to make the screenshot better)

This new transparency mask layer is where all of our grunge distressed looks will be created. At the moment nothing is affected because the entire mask is white. Therefore we see 100% of the text if it was a solid black layer we would not see any of the text.

Creating the Grunge Look

Next, select one of the Krita brushes which has a slightly rough look to it. You can, of course, customise the brush but to keep the tutorial short I left the brush on the default settings. This alone is already enough to create a decent rough grunge text effect.

With the brush set to black, anywhere you paint on the layer mask with black will be erased from the text layer. I did this by using a mouse and by clicking and dragging near the edges of the text.

As you can see in the image above all the brush strokes are on the transparency mask layer and the text is still fully editable. This is the main purpose of this exercise. If you have ever done any work for a client you will know how often they want changes. With this technique, you can change the words or the font etc at any time. And best of all you don’t need to recreate the grunge effect every time.

Because the text has been masked and not directly affected you can change the background and place the text over any image.

Extra Tip

If you wish to move both the text and the mask together select the transform layer tool and move it this way otherwise you will move the mask and the text independently from each other.

Layer Styles

If you want to add a bit more style to the text right click on the layer with the text and select the layer styles. In this window, you can play around with the settings and add all kinds of cool effects. In my example above I have turned the text blue and added a drop shadow.

Thanks for reading, I hope this helps you out.


Graphic Designer and Website Designer. Studied Animation and has been using and learning design software for over 15 years.