Solution

Create a new layer and fill it with a gray color. Select Filter > Noise > Add Noise In the dialog box that appears, choose Uniform distribution with the Monochromatic option checked, as shown here. Vary the Amount based on how much contrast you want your brushed metal effect to have.

Adding the Motion Blur filter

Adding noise

Next, select Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.. Set the

Angle to 0 and adjust the Distance until you're happy with the effect. Mine's set to 113 pixels in this example.

Adding the Motion Blur filter

You'll notice some discrepancy between the center of your document, which has blurred as you expected it to, and its outer edges, which have not. Crop your document to get rid of the outer edges.

Applying the offset filter

Cropping badly blurred edges

Applying the offset filter

Cropping badly blurred edges

Duplicate the layer in the Layers palette using Ctrl-J (Command-J on a Mac) and apply the Offset filter (as described in the solution for "Making a Seamless Tiling Background") to the duplicated layer. Let's call this the offset layer.

Click on the Add layer mask button at the bottom of the Layers palette to add a layer mask to the offset layer. Remove the visible edge by selecting the Brush Tool (b), setting the foreground color to black, and painting around the center of the image (make sure that you're painting on the mask and not the image itself). The layer beneath will show through. Continue to blend the offset layer with the original layer by painting on the mask with shades of gray.

The example at right shows the results of my layer mask (shaded in pink so you can see it more easily).

Adding a layer mask

Creating a Levels adjustment layer

Adding a layer mask

To adjust the contrast of your background, add an adjustment layer by clicking on the Create new fill or adjustment layer button at the bottom of the Layers palette and selecting Levels. from the menu that appears.

Creating a Levels adjustment layer

To lighten your background, click on the white slider and drag it to the left in the Levels dialog, shown below. Conversely, you can make your background darker by clicking on the black slider and dragging it towards the right.

Using the Levels adjustment layer to lighten or darken the background

Your brushed metal background is complete! In the example shown here, I've used my background on a button and added some layer styles and other effects.

My metallic button
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