10 Tips for Using Mod Podge
- I like to use a matte version of Mod Podge. It’s a personal decision, but I don’t like the shine. There are many other Mod Podge finish products available (see below)
- You can use a throw away foam brush (that’s what I prefer) or a normal paint brush. Foam brushes can also be washed, depending on how long they sit.
- Prep the surface you are covering. You will 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.
- You do not want to use photo paper. The Mod Podge is supposed to soak through the paper, so you’ll want to photocopy your image onto normal white computer paper. If the original paper is too thick it won’t adhere correctly.
- I like to put my Mod Podge onto a disposable paper plate for easy access and clean up.
- Paint your item first and your paper second. Put a thin layer of Mod Podge on the item. Then, 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.
- Once your paper is down, gently 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. You can also get a Mod Podge decoupage tool or squeegee (found in package with the rolling tool).
- Let the Mod Podge set and then you can sand the edges (if applicable) of your project. You can use sand paper or a nail file.
- Once the first layer is dried, 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.
- I like to do three layers of Mod Podge on my projects. It takes four weeks for Mod Podge to cure.
What is Mod Podge?
What are Mod Podge Uses?
Crafters use Mod Podge for a wide range of uses. This product can be used on wood, glass, plastic, canvas, ceramics, metal, terra cotta and cardboard.
Mod Podge even has a fabric version now so that you can do projects on shoes, pillows, napkins, bags or clothing. I have not yet used the fabric version, so I cannot give tips for this particular project. My plan is to change that soon.
Plaid, the creator of Mod Podge, has a great DIY Craft projects page that will give you all kind of inspiration.
Is Mod Podge Waterproof?
No, Mod Podge is not waterproof. A little bit of water will not destroy your project, but sitting water or excess exposure can ruin it.
There are some Mod Podge products that have higher resistance to water, but as far as I know there are no completely waterproof (completely submergible) versions of Mod Podge.
Here are some of the Mod Podge products that are more water resistant:
Mod Podge Outdoor
Although the product says it is for outdoor use, many of the Amazon users report a tacky feeling after it gets wet. One key to making it be more water resistant is to ensure proper drying time.
Mod Podge Hard Coat
Some reviewers on Amazon say that Mod Podge Hard Coat is the only one they will use these days. Other reviews report that it does not feel sticky. Many will use Hard Coat for furniture because of the wear it can take. It is durable, keeping your creations safe and protected.
Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe
This Mod Podge is top rack dishwasher safe. This product also says it is good for indoor or outdoor use.
More Mod Podge Products
Here is a simple list of a bunch of Mod Podge products. I have not used all of these. The purpose of this list is to simply show that there are many different uses and projects that can be created using Mod Podge.
- Mod Podge, Original Matte
- Mod Podge Mega Glitter in Clear, Silver and Gold
- Mod Podge, Pearl
- Mod Podge, Puzzle Saver
- Mod Podge, Photo Transfer
- Mod Podge, Antique
- Mod Podge, Super Gloss
- Mod Podge, Gloss
- Mod Podge, Satin
- Mod Podge, Paper
- Mod Podge, Fabric
- Mod Podge, Sparkle
For an even more comprehensive list, visit the Mod Podge product page.
Where do I Buy Mod Podge?
I have added many Amazon affiliate links here for your convenience. I have also found Mod Podge at Michael’s, Joanne Fabric, Hobby Lobby, Fred Meyer, Target and Walmart.
Your Mod Podge Questions Answered
I have received many questions both in the comment section and in email. Hopefully, other people’s questions will help you answer some of your own.
I have an old wood project that has scrap paper Mod Podge already. Can I put new paper over and Mod Podge or do I need to take the old off first and sand?
Applying Mod Podge right on top of the old should be fine unless you are really concerned about a super smooth texture. In my experience, there is no additional bubbling or problems that occur. The biggest concern would be the texture or added thickness. If smoothness is a concern, sanding would be appropriate.
I have just finished Mod Podging about 150 tiny pumpkins for a wedding. The Mod Podge has dried cloudy. Any ideas to help?
I have not experienced projects drying cloudy. I looked at a forum for help with this one. Here’s what I found:
“How thick did you put the Mod Podge on?? Because unless you are really glopping it on there, that shouldn’t happen! If the coats are too thick, it will get a cloudy-looking effect… It works best to do about 3 really thin coats than one or 2 thick coats.”
There is more in that forum discussion about whether to water down Mod Podge, so you might want to explore further if you are experiencing a cloudy result. It should dry clear.
I AM GOING TO MOD PODGE A LARGE CARDBOARD LETTER WITH MY PARENTS MARRIAGE CERT AND A PHOTOCOPY OF A WEDDING PIC FOR THEIR ANNIVERSARY… FOR MOD PODGING CARDBOARD DO I STILL NEED TO SAND IT LIGHTLY AFTER EACH COAT?
No, I do not believe there is a need to sand cardboard.
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!!!!!
Mod Podge originally looks white when put on the product but should dry clear. 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. After learning about other products in the Mod Podge family, I would try the hard coat version.
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.
One of my helpful readers chimed in, and I also found the answer on an eHow forum.
The solution reminds me of what I do to remove air bubbles from fondant, and it was my best guess as well. My reader said she heard you can poke the area with a pin and then smooth over with your finger or smoothing tool.
To prevent bubbling in the future, make sure you are using a smoothing tool when applying the product. Do not use too much product on the first coat.
i printed a picture out and used Mod Podge to put the picture and put onto a t shirt.
left it over night – damped with a sponge and when i removed it the colour run
I, personally, would have a t-shirt company print the photo onto a shirt. I have never used fabric Mod Podge, but that is the product I would try if you wanted to make this project work on your own.
When you say you like to use 3 layers to your project, the paper, over the finished project? I want to do a canvas. Where are the 3 layers?
The first step I do is to add a thin layer of Mod Podge to the product and then a layer to the image, paper, tissue paper or fabric. I carefully lay the paper down, working from one end to the other. Then, I smooth it out using a smoothing tool like described above, working from the center out to remove air pockets. On top of that, I do the 2-4 layers, allow 15-20 minutes drying time between coats of Mod Podge.
I plan to modge podge my dining room table with printed burlap. Will 3 coats be enough?
I would definitely experiment on a piece of wood using Hard Coat Mod Podge for Furniture Mod Podge. I would finish with 4 coats, making sure you brush in the same direction for a more smooth look. Another thought is that burlap might work better with the fabric Mod Podge. You could start with that and try the hard coat on top. I would definitely experiment before doing your entire dining room table.
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.
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.
Update from Reader on the eggs: 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.
I am trying to modge podge fabric leaves onto a mason jar. I removed spines and soaked the leaves in the modge podge. Is there something I can use to bend them to form? I was going to cover in saran wrap but not sure if that would stick.
I wasn’t sure, but a helpful reader chimed in: Use wax paper! The mod podge won’t stick to it. 🙂
Here is another reader’s response: I have modge podged a lamp shade.
Put a coat on the bit of the lamp shade that you are working on. I was using flowers from a tissue napkin single layer. Laid it onto the saran wrap face down and gave it the tissue a coat of modge podge. Carefully lifted the saran wrap and laid the flower onto the shade using the saran wrap. Works brilliantly, you can move the tissue about easily and gently smooth it. Gently peel off the wrap leaving the cut out. Sometimes the tissue wants to come away with the wrap but I just give it another minute for the tissue to start to stick to the shade and once again tease off the wrap. Occasionally a little corner gets turned over and these are easily sorted with a pair of tweezers and a little more modge podge.
When I Mod Podge glass plates with scrapbook paper I always get bubble like spots no matter how much I work on smoothing it out. What am I doing wrong?
Have you experimented with how much or what type of Mod Podge or you are using? I find that I put some Mod Podge on the underneath and then a couple thinner layers on top. I smooth it out after sticking the first layer on top of the Mod Podge and then smooth it after the mod podge is on top. I try and not use too much in those layers. If you are doing all of that, I’m not quite sure what else to advise. Sorry you are having troubles with it.
I am using Mod Podge to put paper doilies on empty wine bottles. How do I get the extra, dried-on Mod Podge off the bottle (in between my doily designs) so my bottle looks clear?
Ooo – I’ve never come across this situation. Have you tried using a toothpick with some nail polish remover on it. I read this post http://undercoverdiyer.com/2014/06/10/how-to-remove-mod-podge/ where they tried a number of things for removal, and the nail polish remove was the clear winner. It’s worth a shot.
Is there a reason when i wet the paper the ink is bleeding and black turns to green?
I haven’t seen it turn green. I have seen it bleed. I would definitely give the ink time to dry if you are printing it out of the printer. I would also limit the amount of Mod Podge used on the first coat. I would do a lite coat and then come back and do another coat later. I wonder if it has to do with the kind of ink in your printer too. That’s my best guess and advice.
Another helpful reader chimed in: if your mod podging your own printed images try spraying them after the ink is dry with a spray sealer, you can use the sealer that you use to finish your project like the Mod Podge spray. Works a treat.
Can i use Mod Podge on clear acrylic or will it streak? I am trying to use on plastic clipboard. Thanks.
Should work just fine. 🙂
Can I use mod podge on fondant? I want to preserve the top decoration of a specialty cake. If so, what type of mod podge will preserve fondant? I don’t want bugs eating the decoration. Also i want to adhere the fondant to fabric that has been mod podged. What will adhere the fabric and top the best? Thank you
I would not use Mod Podge on fondant. Are you making this out of actual cake or is it a foam top? If it is an actual cake, I would just freeze the entire top tier of the cake. I don’t think I quite understand the fabric component. That said, I would look for an edible/food friendly product that wouldn’t put anyone at risk. Here’s a link to my edible glue recipe that you might find helpful: https://meaningfulmama.com/day-112-polka-dot-sweet-16-cake-edible.html I hope that helps. Thanks!
I am trying to figure out what to use to wrap a modge podged gift in so it won’t stick to my project, maybe wax paper and then wrap it in regular wrapping paper?
Yes, I’d definitely say parchment paper or wax paper. Great solution.
Hi I have worked with Mod Podge before but the surface I was working with was glass. I am now trying to create a Photo collage on a big cardboard letter from Hobby Lobby. Will I be able to mod podge pictures to the cardboard? I’ve tried researching it but I’ve only found picture mod podge on wood or canvas and all the cardboard ones are just painted or with tissue paper or scrap book paper. Will the paper the pictures are printed out on be to thick? Will they stick?
I just did Mod Podge on some cardboard pyramids similar to what you are doing – see here: https://meaningfulmama.com/3-d-pyramid-christmas-tree-craft.html (these were done with tissue paper). I also did Mod Podge on cardboard hat boxes for my wedding – all with pictures. I would NOT use normal photo paper or heavier stock paper. The best way to do this is to print your pictures out onto normal printer paper. Cut them out. Add Mod Podge to the letter, stick on the paper picture and layer your pictures as you would like. Do a coat of Mode Podge over the entire product at the end. I hope that helps.
Was given a HUGE box of Whitman’s chocolates for Christmas by a client and would like to preserve the box once empty. Can Modge Podge be used to accomplish this?
I don’t know that I would use Mod Podge for preservation. I would use a sealant like the Krylon Preserve It Spray. Here’s an affiliate link: https://goo.gl/FKhfWi Hope that helps.
I want to Mod Podge cardboard cut outs of products to a wooden board… is the possible? If so what are the steps?
I have never tried it, but I don’t believe Mod Podge would be the best bet, unless you are just using it as a final top coat. I would use wood glue to actually adhere the cardboard cutouts. You could do a coat of Mod Podge on top to create a more finished look. I hope that helps.
More Mod Podge Tips
How long should you let Mod Podge dry?
Allow 15-20 minutes in between coats. If lightly sanding between coats, I would allow more drying time. Mod Podge will dry to the touch within a few hours. It will be cured in four weeks. For more special and involved projects, I would definitely take the time to cure before the project has heavy use.
Is there any way to further protect my Mod Podge project?
You can use a spray on acrylic sealer to further protect your creations.
How can I know if my surface with work with Mod Podge?
Always prep your surfaces well. This will mean some surfaced need to be washed and cleaned well. Some surfaces, like plastic and wood, will do well with a light sanding. Make sure to remove dust from product before proceeding.
It would be wise to test a small surface area for larger projects.
How do I keep bubbles out of Mod Podge?
Although this was addressed in my first ten tips and my reader questions, I want to address it really quick here too. Using a smoother tool will be helpful. Always smooth from the center out to push air pockets to the edge and out. If bubbles do occur, try using a pin to pop the bubble and then work down with your finger of gently with a smoothing tool.
How do I avoid the sticky feeling of Mod Podge?
Make sure to allow your Mod Podge to have at least 15-20 minutes drying time between coats. Allow projects to cure for 4 weeks. Be conservative with the thickness of your layers. Apply an acrylic sealer to further protect your project.