There are 3 overlay effects available in Photoshop as layer styles: Color, Gradient and Pattern. The problem: these effects come in a strictly fixed order!

Is it possible to make a translucent Gradient Overlay over a Color Overlay using only layer styles? Or a Multiply Pattern and Color Overlays?


3 Answers 3


You can use them at the same time by using different Blend modes and opacity levels.

Good thing to remember is that they stack up in order kinda like if you had layers:

  • Color Overlay - ( Above Gradient Overlay. )
  • Gradient Overlay ( Above Pattern Overlay. )
  • Pattern Overlay ( Below both. )

..and no, you cant change the order. What you can do is use different blend modes and opacity levels as mentioned and you will pretty much be able to do the same thing no matter what order they would be in.

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Also, in the layers panel if you open up the Effects ( or FX ) and right click one of them and select Create Layers, you can then control the position of those former layer styles, difference being that you cant control them like you could from blending options because they are layers. You can however put Layer styles in them if you want to.

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Multiple layers, with layers masks as needed.


Another option would be Grouping the Layer, applying one Style to the Group, grouping that Group, applying the next Style to that Group, etc.


All three of those fx each have their own blending mode and opacity settings.

You can also change the opacity of a gradient as well when you define the colours.

Both the blending modes and opacity sliders are on the layer style window for each fx.


Duplicate your layer as many times as necessary, one for each overlay effect you'd like to use. For example, if you'd like a color overlay with a pattern overlay on top of that, your bottom layer would be normal with only the color overlay. Duplicate the layer, turn off color overlay on this new layer and select pattern overlay. Then just turn the "Fill" slider in the layers panel (below the opacity slider) all the way down to 0%. This will leave all the blending effects visible while making the actual layer content invisible. This is similar to the "Create Layers" option in the first post, but as with anything in Photoshop, there are always many ways to do things.

  • The benefit of this method over the "Create Layers" method, as I've just found out, is that when scaling these things, the bounding box will appear as the size of the object, while the "Create Layers" method will create a bounding box as big as the document size. This can also increase file size.
    – Dan
    Nov 15, 2018 at 16:56

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