10 Tips for Using Mod Podge

Today I wanted to give you some tips for working with Mod Podge. I decided to come up with this post as I was creating interchangeable blocks with my kids’ pictures. I hope you’ll check out that post as well. It’s one of my favorite projects.
1. I like to use a matte version of Mod Podge. It’s a personal decision, but I don’t like the shine.
2. You can use a throw away foam brush (that’s what I prefer) or a normal paint brush.
3. Prep your surface. You’ll want to make sure it is clean. Then, you’ll want to lightly sand the surface. Make sure you then wipe it down to remove dust and then let it dry completely. 
4. You don’t want to use photo paper. The Mod Podge is suppose to soak through the paper, so you’ll want to photocopy your image onto normal paper. If the original paper is too thick it won’t adhere correctly. 
5. I like to put my Mod Podge onto a disposable paper plate for easy access and clean up.
6. I paint my item first and my paper second. I put a thin layer of Mod Podge on the item. Then, I add a thin layer to the paper, focusing on the edges last. During the time you are working on the paper, the Mod Podge on the item has dried a tad and is sticky. This is perfect. Stick down your paper.
7. Once your paper is down, you’ll want to smooth out the paper with your finger, a credit card, a plastic ruler or a pan scraper. This will help keep bubbles out of your project.
8. Let it set and then you can sand the edges (if applicable) of your project. You can use sand paper or a nail file.
9. Once the first layer is dried completely, you’re almost ready for the next coat. If you sanded, remove all layers of dust before you add another thin layer to the top. If you don’t let it dry completely between coats, your project can end up more sticky and may bubble a bit. Ideally, you’d wait an hour in between coats.
10. I like to do three layers of Mod Podge on my projects.



  1. JAQI says


  2. Mandi says

    I am a first time mod podger. I wanted to make coasters for my house. I got.a small kit with foam brush at Michaels and some scrapbook paper. I got the photo transfer mod podge. It keeps drying white. I’ve tried and researched what’s going on with not much luck. Any ideas? If I do sealant spray will it appear less white? Help!!!!!

    • says

      You’ve let it dry completely? I find it first appears white but dries clear. That said, I’ve never used photo transfer mod Podge. I have had some clumpier white outcome when my Mod Podge is old and needs replacing, but that doesn’t sound like the case here. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to help. I’m really just surprised it isn’t drying clear, unless you haven’t given it time to set more. Sorry I’m not more help. Good luck!

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  4. dulce says

    I decided to make a photo collage onto canvas. I applied one layer of modge podge over the photos once I had them glued down. When. I went to.check on the dried product this morning I found several small bubbles/pits had formed in the dry modge podge. Is there any way to fix this. They will drive me crazy every time I look

    • says

      Ugh – So sorry. I don’t know how to deal with the bubbles you see once it has set in. I have only had success trying the techniques I talked about prior to it drying. I wish I were more help.

      • dnice says

        I read somewhere you can poke the bubble with a pin and then do another layer of modpodge. DISCLAIMER: I have no idea if it works, just passing along info. :)

        • says

          Thank you so much for adding to the conversation. I’ll definitely try this technique in the future if I get bubbles. I do it for my fondant cakes, so it makes sense if it is a gentle poke.

  5. vicki says

    first timer
    i printed a picture out.
    mod podge the picture and put onto a t shirt
    left it over night
    damped with a sponge and when i removed it the colour run

    • says

      I’ve never put Mod Podge on a t-shirt, and I wouldn’t recommend it. You’d need to take a picture like that to a company that prints onto fabric. Sorry for your experience.

  6. Breanna says

    Hi! I have created some countdown blocks and mod podged them. Now they are extremely sticky and get stuck together. Any advice to make them less sticky? I tried spraying them with a clear acrylic sealer, also made by ModPodge but they are still sticky. These are a gift and I don’t them to end up ruining the blocks trying to peel them off the rest of the project! Thanks!

    • says

      Extremely sticky? Hmmm. I haven’t had that problem. Was it a new container of Mod Podge? How many coats did you do? I would have tried to sealer like you. I’m sorry that didn’t work. I wish I had more answers and advice. I haven’t had that occur before. I’m sorry I’m not more help.

      • Breanna says

        I used 2 coats I think. I bought it within the last 2 months and opened it at the beginning of June. Do you think it has something to do with the fact that it is the gloss? Should I try a different brand of acrylic sealer? I used the Mod Podge gloss sealer too.

  7. Lorette says

    I made a beautiful collage of black and white photos on a wooden letter of my grandson’s first year. Even though it had dried for several days, when it was opened on his birthday some of the wrapping paper stuck to it. Some came off with a damp cloth, but there are still green stains from the green paper. I had put 3 coats of mod podge – HELP!!

    • says

      Uggg – I wish I could be of help. I’m so sorry this happened to you, but I’m not quite sure how to fix it. I just feel so bad for your experience. I guess when I would try to do is mod podge the same pictures on top of the ones that have the green stains and paper. I would then use a sealant. What a wonderful present! I’m sorry it didn’t work out the way you wanted.

    • says

      To be honest, I’m not quite sure I’d do that. I don’t think it would have the durability you would be looking for. Mod Podge doesn’t perform well when exposed to water. If you spilled food on it, I think it would be a nightmare. I wouldn’t do it, but I wouldn’t do more than 3 coats for sure. I like the idea of a burlap table, but this is what I would suggest. I would cut the burlap to size and then put a glass piece (cut to the size of your table) over it. If that is too expensive, and you are set on the idea of burlap, my second approach would be to wrap the table in burlap and then staple gun the edges along the bottom (under side) of the table where the edges wouldn’t be seen. The corners would be the biggest challenge in that. Let me know what you decide.

      • buffy says

        I’m thinking kinda like my penny top tables you should use a two part epoxy to make the burlap set and stay and it will harden and be more of a smooth table top look works great for pennys. I myself am having trouble getting a smooth coat for mod podge pictures on wood should I sand it? And if so how?

        • says

          I haven’t had a hard time getting Mod Podge pictures on wood, but my wood was smooth and sanded to start with. I have never done it on a rougher piece of wood, so for that I’m not sure. I am interested in that epoxy mix. Sounds like something to try.

  8. amy says

    I modge podged burlap then I cut a vinyl birdgage and I think I put my podge on to thick or something…..it is somewhat clumpy and white. It’s seems dry?

  9. Beth says

    Help! Last spring I mod podged some blown-out and decorated eggs, as a final coat to add shine and possibly strength. I carefully put them away several weeks later in cardboard egg cartons. I have just opened them up and they are stuck to the carton! They are VERY fragile and I can’t figure out how to get them out? Steam until the cardboard softens? Soak in warm water until the cardboard comes off? Any suggestions are welcome.

    • says

      Hello! I have never come across this dilemma, so I’m not quite sure. I did, however, read this post: http://undercoverdiyer.com/2014/06/10/how-to-remove-mod-podge/ to try and help you out. She said the overall winner was dish soap and water, so I’m wondering if you soaked it in that it might work. The cardboard would pretty much get super soggy and peel off, I imagine. That’s my best guess. Let me know if you figure it out. Sorry I’m not more help.

      • Beth says

        Thanks for thinking about this. Due to the extremely fragile nature of the eggs and their surface decorations, soaking would not have been an option. But good news: I left them out in their cartons on the table for a week and tried again. With a tiny bit of coaxing they came out with just a touch of cardboard stuck to them. I think perhaps they grew slightly damp in storage, and sitting out in the dry winter air did the trick.

  10. allana hall says

    How do I get the mod podge thick enough to cover a sheet of paper that has another sheet of paper on it? So you don’t feel the edge on it.

    • says

      I am not quite sure. I haven’t had a huge issue with this as I try to use lighter weight paper. My experience is that there is always a slight texture. Sorry I’m not more help.

  11. Lori says

    Hi. I’m new to this. I used the Mod Podge transfer medium to transfer a picture onto a tile. It worked great except in one spot where it’s like a thick spot and the paper won’t rub off. Is there any way to fix it?


  1. […] Add layer after layer of mod podge, allowing layers to dry sufficiently between each coating. Each layer takes about 15 minutes to dry. Many people do about 3 layers, but you can decide for yourself. I did 5 because I liked the thick gloss & I assumed that the coats will be getting a lot of interaction with the paper, so didn’t want it to wear too quickly. But this may be overkill. Check out mod podge tutorials if you like, here and here. […]

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