Before You Start
Step 1: Convert the Type
Larson used the Type tool to add an ampersand (using the Blenny Black font with anti-aliasing set to Smooth). Then she right-clicked the type layer and converted it to a Smart Object so she could add special effects.
Step 2: Dissolve the Layer
To create the scattered-paint look, Larson set the blend mode for the type layer to Dissolve. (The change is not noticeable yet.)
Step 3: Set the Blur Points
Larson used the Field Blur tool (Filter > Blur Gallery > Field Blur) to selectively apply different spatter effects. When she used the tool, Photoshop placed the first pin automatically. Larson moved the pin, and then she added a second pin to the upper right and increased the blur amount.
Step 4: Make It Blurrier
By the time she’d finished, Larson had added multiple pins, each with different blur amounts, to emphasize the effect on the outer edges of the ampersand.
Step 5: Choose a Soft Brush
Next, Larson selected the Brush tool to add a bit more detail. She chose a Soft Round brush and reduced its opacity.
Step 6: Add Grit
Larson wanted to create a distressed look, so she added a layer mask to the type layer. Then she painted with a black brush on the mask to reveal the dissolved pattern on parts of the ampersand.
Step 7: Soften the Edges
As a final touch, Larson right-clicked to convert the layer to a Smart Object and set the blend mode to Normal. Then, she used a Gaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) to soften the edges.
Disintegrate Your Designs
Save the paint cans and create your own spray-painted designs in Photoshop.