How to Make Rubber Stamp Effects in Paint.NET

Add a grunge or distressed look to text and images with Paint.NET

You'll be left with the rubber stamp text.

Rubber stamp effects are often used to create the "distressed" text and images that are popular on album covers, modern art, and magazine layouts. It's possible to make a rubber stamp effect in Paint.NET using texture images.

Instructions in this article apply to version 4.2 of the Paint.NET image editing software, not to be confused with the website of the same name.

What You Need to Make a Rubber Stamp in Paint.NET

Find a photo of a rough textured surface, such as stone or concrete, to produce the distressed effect of the final graphic. You could use a digital camera to take a picture specifically for this purpose, or use a free texture from an online source such as MorgueFile or FreeImages. Make sure the image is larger than the graphic that you are producing. Whatever the surface, it'll be the "imprint" for distressing, so a brick wall will end up making your final text look vaguely brick-like.

Whenever you use images or fonts from online sources, always check the license terms to ensure that you are free to use them in your intended way.

How to Add a Rubber Stamp Effect in Paint.NET

To add a rubber stamp effect to text in Paint.NET:

  1. Go to File > Open to open the texture image you chose.

    Go to File > Open to open the texture image you chose.
  2. Go to Adjustments > Posterize.

    Go to Adjustments > Posterize.
  3. Make sure Linked is checked in the Posterize dialog box, and then drag one of the sliders to the left. If you prefer an irregular speckled effect, turn off the Linked setting and adjust the colors individually. When you're satisfied, select ​OK.

    Make sure Linked is checked in the Posterize dialog box, and then drag one of the sliders to the left.
  4. Select Layers > Add new layer.

    Select Layer > Add new layer.
  5. If the Layers palette isn't open, select the Layers icon in the top-right corner (next to the clock icon) and check that only the new layer is selected.

    To select a layer, you must click on it. Checking the box beside the layer simply shows or hides the layer.

    If the Layers palette isn't open, select the Layers icon in the top-right corner (next to the clock icon) and check that only the new layer is selected.
  6. Select the Text tool, or press the T key and type some text.

    Download the editable text plugin for Paint.NET to go back and change text later on.

    Select the Text tool, or press the T key and type some text.
  7. Select the Shapes tool or press the O key, then click and drag on the image to draw a rectangular border around the text.

    Change the Brush width settings in the top toolbar to adjust the thickness of the borderline. If you're not happy with the position of the box, go to Edit > Undo and try drawing it again.

    Select the Shapes tool or press the O key, then click and drag on the image to draw a rectangular border around the text.
  8. Make the background visible by clicking the box beside Background in the layers palette, then go to Tools > Magic Wand to select the Magic Wand.

    Make the background visible by clicking the box beside Background in the layers palette, then go to Tools > Magic Wand to select the Magic Wand.
  9. Select the icon beside Flood Mode and select Global from the drop-down box.

    Select the icon beside Flood Mode and select Global from the drop-down box.
  10. Click anywhere on the texture image, then go to Layer > Delete layer.

    Click anywhere on the texture image, then go to Layer > Delete layer.
  11. Select Edit > Erase Selection.

    Select Edit > Erase Selection.
  12. You'll be left with the rubber stamp text.

    You'll be left with the rubber stamp text.

It is also possible to make a rubber stamp effect with GIMP, Photoshop, and Photoshop Elements.