What is the difference between Mod Podge and Acrylic Medium?

Recently I needed to seal a print that I had made. I’d previously used Liquitex Gloss Acrylic Medium and Varnish to great success. Used as a sealer, acrylic medium is a permanent finish, similar to artist’s acrylic paint. In fact, that’s what it’s primarily designed for, to seal artwork. It’s durable, clear when dry, resistant to chemicals, water, abrasion, and UV radiation. The only problem was that the sealer I had on hand was glossy and I wanted a matte coating for this particular piece of art.

Liquitex gloss medium and sealer is used for thinning artist's acrylic paint and sealing paintings.
Liquitex gloss medium is an artist’s quality acrylic medium and sealer.

Being a bit tight on funds at the time, I winced a bit at the price of a bottle of acrylic sealer and started to think of less expensive alternatives. Well, the product that always comes to mind when thinking of sealing paper based art work is Mod Podge. So I looked into it a bit.

I first became aware of Mod Podge when I was a child, doing my first decoupage project for a Girl Scout activity. Of course we called it Modge Podge then. Apparently the ability to read wasn’t my strong suit at age 8. I’ve used it over the years a bit for different crafts and in my memory it seemed to act a lot like acrylic sealer. It’s milky white. You paint it on. It dries clear. Voila.

I did a search to find out what it is made of. Is it acrylic? How durable is it? Everything I read online raved about the stuff like it’s magic or something. It was mentioned many times on craft forums and blog posts as being a fantastic sealer and varnish for paper arts. Scrapbookers seemed to love it. I even saw one post talking about how it’s exactly the same thing as acrylic sealer. Well then. Problem solved. I would go buy some matte Mod Podge.

Mod Podge comes in glossy and matte finishes but it still just cheap glue.
Mod Podge is a craft medium that is basically thinned white glue.

At Hobby Lobby I found, sure enough, that the acrylic sealer was twice the price of Mod Podge. So, confident in my research and happy with my decision, (and feeling a bit proud of myself for being such an informed consumer) I bought the Mod Podge.

I went home, laid out my print on some backing card stock, picked up a big flat paint brush, and opened the jar of Mod Podge. Right away the smell hit me. It’s glue. It’s freaking glue. It’s not acrylic sealer. It’s a $6 bottle of white PVA glue. But you know how when you get started with something you go ahead anyway? Yeah, well, I shouldn’t have. But I did. I covered my print with the Mod Podge. And just like you would expect GLUE to act, it was bubbly, it streaked, and it dried tacky to the touch. My print was ruined. And I got to spend $6 for the privilege. That’ll teach me to be cheap. Sigh. When will I learn?

So in summary, the difference between Mod Podge and Acrylic Sealer is that Mod Podge is thinned white glue. And acrylic sealer is a durable acrylic finish. Don’t fall for their marketing. Buy the artist’s acrylic sealer. It’s in the art section, not the craft section of the store. Lesson learned.

If you’re looking to seal an acrylic painting, then acrylic varnish is the stuff you want to use. But read this article about using an isolation coat first. The comments have some interesting information as well.

And here’s some information on Golden Polymer Varnish. This technical info does give more info about varnish and what it does, including how to remove it.

NOTE: Mod Podge does not make a suitable varnish for polymer clay techniques. It will absorb humidity and become tacky. Also, contact with water causes dried Mod Podge to turn white and soften. If you’re looking for a polymer clay sealer, have a look at my article here. And if you have already used Mod Podge on a polymer clay project and it’s sticky, DO NOT use the Mod Podge brand spray varnish as is recommended by the company for this use on paper. Read more about using spray varnish on polymer clay here.

Did you know…

…That polymer clay is not just for kids anymore? Learn how to make beautiful beads for your jewelry projects with these comprehensive and professionally formatted tutorials and eBooks!

Great polymer clay information, tips, and tutorials at The Blue Bottle Tree!

Faux Czech glass beads made from polymer clay with the tutorial from The Blue Bottle Tree.
Yes, this is polymer clay! These are Faux Czech glass beads and are one of five projects in the Faux Glass Effects Tutorial.

142 thoughts on “What is the difference between Mod Podge and Acrylic Medium?”

  1. I actually just read something about that stuff on one of the postcard swaps I was looking into. It said in no uncertain terms, do not use modge podge on any postcards you mail out because they will get sticky. Every. Single. TIme. Live and learn I guess.

    1. I was most upset. It was particularly frustrating because I had done my research. The information out there is so laudatory that it almost glorifies the stuff as the best thing since sliced bread. And then when I found out that it’s just GLUE, I was not very pleased. I have my print on the wall in my studio, so it’s not like I can’t enjoy looking at it. But it’s tacky to the touch. If I laid it down in a stack of papers, other things would stick to it. How can something so utterly unsuitable for artwork be so universally recommended? I guess that’s the power of marketing. Like you said, live and learn.

        1. Are you sure? Have you done that before? I have books I’ve covered with the damned Mod Podge that have countless hours of work on their covers. I’m considering an acrylic sealer but worry about dissolving the glue enough to create sticky a mess.

          1. So many threads going on here, I’m not sure which you’re referring to here. I’ve not tried anything except using ModPodge, hating it, and looking for answers. The rest is speculation on my part or suggestions by others. I would think that Acrylic varnish or maybe water based polyurethane would be a good thing to try, but don’t do anything unless you do some testing first. Don’t risk causing further damage to your work! I’ve discussed ModPodge recently with others who love the stuff, so I think maybe our experience with it isn’t universal. And I do think humidity is a factor, and what’s humid for one place isn’t humid for another. For example, while we’re normally a humid place, we’ve had nothing but cold rain for two weeks and the humidity is so high at the moment that there is condensation on the (modern, efficient) fridge which is running down and forming a puddle on the floor. The doors are now all sticking and anything painted with semi-gloss acrylic paint (furniture, etc), even if it was done 15 years ago and is fully cured, is now sticking. I’m running the AC in my studio, even if it means I’m freezing, because otherwise nothing dries. Fun times! I wouldn’t even use acrylic varnish for these conditions, LOL.

          2. I too used Mod Podge as a sealer and got the same tackiness thing going on so I carefully read the back (all the small print) and low and behold it said right there to use a spray acrylic sealant to get rid of the tackiness! I should’ve just used that in the first place! Live and learn… and make sure I have my reading glasses with me in the store Haha

              1. Several acrylic varnishes, when you look up yhe ingredients, or ask, are PVA, or PVA- is at least one of tte major ingredients.
                Mod Podge also has about 15-20 different formulas for different purposes. I also wonder if they sell different formulas in different areas (& perhaps formulas change by season, like gasoline???) I doubt it, but we used to mix PVA & water as kids & still it’s OK.
                I wonder too about temperatures, humidity & curing.
                When you pain a car, you absolutely pay attention to those things! Why don’t artists pay as close as we should!

                Application methodologies may & often DO affect how materials work… Both on the short-term, as well as the long-term… Especially the long-term.

                1. Nearly all brands of acrylic paint and varnish include PVA as a component resin because it’s cheaper than acrylic. It’s a filler that they use to keep costs down. It’s one of the reasons why some paints/varnishes work better than others.

            1. Bonnie Robinson-Berger

              I had been decoupaging wooden trays and boxes for about 5 years. Before them, I would just decoupage flat surfaces and ModPodge ws OK. Tacky. But…didn’t have to open and close boxes or put plates on trays. So, I found this NON -Sticky varnish called “J.W. etc.’s Right step Water Based clear brush on Varnish.
              It was the best thing I had ever found. I was using Acrylic Polymer (Liquitex) but it was still a bit sticky…no matter how long I let it set. That was in S. CA. Dry. Not too dry. Not too hot. Ideal conditions.
              So, I am now in Knoxville, TN and I am running out of J.W.’s and go to order more and of course it is no longer made. It’s like the lipstick you adore; the perfume you can’t go without;; the tennis racquet you MUST use and is no longer made, etc.
              So, I researched and came up with the closest (according to a site) to it is something called “Gloss Liberty Acrylic Varnish”.
              I do prefer glossy on my boxes and trays, etc, but perhaps they make it in Matte.
              I have yet to order it as I have so much acrylic Polymer and use that under the final coat of J.W.’s.
              It’s time for me to order.
              If anyone knows anything about this product, please contact me T bonbonrob@aol.com.
              Peace and great gratitude,
              BonBon Robinson-Berger

              1. Bonnie, have you tried Varathane? It’s a brand of polyurethane that is clear, doesn’t yellow, and dries nicely without being sticky. It is a wood varnish, but we use it with polymer clay all the time. I’ve used it with paper, too.

          3. Noelle Addlesberger

            They do have an acrylic spray sealer made by Mod-Podge…Matte and Gloss finishes…I use it constantly on my crepe paper flowers. Works fabulously and you will love it! Again, it is a SPRAY not the jars of glue

      1. I’ve heard that you can rub floor wax over the tacky surface to get rid of stickiness. Buff after applying.

      2. I’m sorry it cost you a work of art/time/expense, but your experience has saved me from using modge podge as a sub for a medium when another website suggested I could use it for painting fabric.

        I know PLAID makes a good medium (for increased drying time to be soft & bond to fabric or to refresh & extend paints) that’s inexpensive, and a perfect substitute would be glycerin diluted with water (JIC anyone wants to know) – but, I’ve lost my bottle and my son is itching to do a T.shirt (we live in a rural area far from any craft store – and our WalMart is sadly lacking fabric crafts OR glycerin ::sigh::).

        If you (or any reader) know of any other acceptable alternatives to keep the paint soft,to bond and still be flexible enough for wearable fabrics, (pref. cotton – but any will do – we could do a pair of his canvas kicks), I’d love to hear any suggestions!

        You’ve saved me from any future impulsivity with the over-priced Elmer’s. Thanks so much for telling us 😀

        1. Even though it might be the same thing as Elmer’s, it still does have its purpose and its place. I think it would actually work rather well as a fabric paint extender. Many inexpensive acrylic paints do have PVA glue as an ingredient. But I wouldn’t use Mod Podge as a SEALER. It’s just not very good for creating an impenetrable, water resistant barrier to protect paper arts. But no, it’s not really as magical as they make it sound in all the marketing, for sure.

      3. After using Mod Podge on any of my projects ( I do a lot of Mod Podge type projects) I always seal them with a couple coats of polyacrylic spray or I brush it on. If it was still tacky, the polyacrylic takes it away.

      4. Gregg C Hardin

        i found modpodge to be great for solidifying jigsaw puzzles and it is the only thing Iwould use if for. I agree it is an overhyped product but good for that purpose.
        sunsout is also good for puzzles. I have a modpodged puzzle that needs sealng. I have used polycrylic minwax before but am worndering if that is the corret sealer for this project.

  2. Poor Ginger 🙁

    I have avoided using Modge Podge for that very reason. If I wanted glue, I could buy a bottle of Elmers. To me Modge Podge is one of the most over-rated craft products out there.

    1. Yup. That’s why I wrote the post. Because if anyone out there googles the same thing, I want them to know the truth. And Elmer’s is cheaper, too.

      1. Thanks for posting this. I’m about to go to the store to get a different type of Mod Podge for an iphone case. I thought I just got the wrong kind (gloss sealer type in the picture above) because it looks awful. And, the instructions for the craft said to use that stuff. This is the only site where I found info from people saying not to use it. I will hit the paint section of the store this time. Regards, CrazyDiamond

  3. But. but, but..was it sticky when you used it just a few years ago when you were a Girl Scout? Maybe it depends on what is under it? How could millions of Girl Scouts be wrong?

    1. Not a bad question. It’s not always sticky. Depends on the humidity. And when you are a Girl Scout you tend to make one of an item and let it sit around on your dresser until it gets knocked off and breaks. You don’t stack a bunch of prints together. It’s a craft glue used as a finish. It’s not a serious artist’s material to be used for for items that you want to last a long time.

  4. Thanks for this information. I have a fresh bottle of matte Mod Podge on my desk right now. I haven’t used it since I was young too. I do not remember the stickiness either, but then I used it to make wall plaques which weren’t stacked on top of each other. I know also that some mixed media journalists have used this product and now put pieces of waxed paper in their journals to keep their pages from sticking to each other. Ah, another childhood memory bites the dust!

    1. Well I think it does have its use. It does come in different finishes which glue doesn’t do. And while it’s expensive for glue, it’s a lot cheaper than acrylic medium. I think it all boils down to your use. If it’s a craft or you’re working with kids then Mod Podge is fine. But it’s not artist’s quality materials and if you’re creating art then you need to be using the good stuff. The key is being aware of the difference. They’re just not the same!

      1. Even in high humidity it will lose the stickiness in a month. A long time, yeah.

        You can definitely use mod podge to make lots of great crafts that WILL last a very long time, and it is fantastic for crafts (I made a decorative little box recently with paper mache and scrap booking paper) but it’s definitely not for serious artists. I feel sorry for you lol

        I can see why you would have thought it would be acceptable, though, because people who like mod podge REALLY LIKE MOD PODGE, and I imagine very few of them have tested it quite like you did.

        1. I have to completely dissagree with Alicia about the tackiness going away in a month. I did the tops of some cubes last year and they are still tacky and I only live in Portland, OR, not really the highest in humidity, but definetly not a dry place.

          1. I recently tried Mod Podge Outdoor and found it was tacky for about a week to 2 weeks but now it’s not. I compared that with Mod Podge Dishwasher (MPD). MPD was thinner to begin with and dries hard sooner. I’ve not noticed tackiness.

              1. Wow! Great experiments. Very informative as to the limitations of these finishes in the dishwasher. If I ever use MP Dishwasher I’d plan to hand wash, and advise others same.
                I’m about to finish a decoupage project (clay pot). I used MPdishwasher as the decoupage medium, and it’s not tacky. It worked well for that but I didn’t have 28 days to wait for curing, so I researched oven methods. The MPD came through fine, although I have several large bubbles I will have to fix. I’m planning to seal with Helmsman water-based spar urethane… hoping for the best.
                FYI on oven method I found: put cold pot in oven on top of a metal slotted tray and parchment paper, heated oven to between warm and 200 degrees F. Thermometer read 150 at peak but might not be accurate. Turned off heat as soon as oven got to set temp, or when light went out. Allowed to cool overnight without opening oven door. Not sure I’m glad I did it because of the bubbles. But that wasn’t the fault of the medium, probably my application. Sorry if TMI

  5. Rita O'Gorman

    Thanks so much for this. It is what my mother always said, “Learn from the mistakes of others”. Of course I had to get a lot older before I took it to heart.

    1. Yes, it’s funny how much of what our mothers said now makes total sense. When I was young I was so eager to jump in and DO. Now I’m learning the value of standing back and watching. Giving a considered approach to whatever I’m doing. It’s fascinating.

  6. So glad to know there is a difference. Was afraid to go invest in the varnish for an important project but now I will!

  7. I have used Mod Podge for several projects. The projects being crafts: a puzzle saver, decorating frames, making ornaments, stained glass, etc. The key word here is “crafts”. I’ve watched many videos on their website regarding how to do different craft projects. I can not recall ever watching a demonstration regarding high quality art. Like someone said, Mod Podge has many uses, many finishes and works on many types of surfaces. With all of the projects I have done so far, I haven’t had a problem with tackiness.

    I’m sorry that your project didn’t turn out like you had hoped. On their website, it does say, “To reduce tackiness, spray project with a clear acrylic sealer when complete.”

    1. I think the problem isn’t so much that Mod Podge is a bad product. It does what it does very well, in fact. But when I tried to find more information about it…all I could find were people lauding its merits, none explaining what it was. Judging by the number of hit I get on this article, and judging by the search terms they use, I’m not the only one with that question. You bring up a good point, though, and that’s the difference between craft products and fine art products. Thing is, as more craft oriented people expand into the arts, the lines get blurred. When I asked the question about the difference between acrylic sealer and Mod Podge, Plaid’s website and the internet didn’t give me the answer. I was frustrated that I had to find out the answer by buying the product and wasting my time with it. On the other hand, now I know the difference and so do the people who visit this website. More information is always a good thing. 🙂

      1. This is the only thing I found on the website describing Mod Podge:
        “Since 1967, crafters have entrusted their most treasured decoupage creations to Mod Podge®, the number one, all-in-one glue, sealer and finish! The ultimate in convenience, Mod Podge is loved by crafters young and old for its flexibility, versatility and supreme ease of use. Best of all, it’s waterbase for easy clean-up, and non-toxic, too–perfect for young crafters.”

        In looking over projects on the website, there are times when they use an acrylic sealer and mod podge together.

        I would probably let them know of my disappointment and the end result of using their product.

  8. I use Mod Podge on collaged journal covers and paper-based jewelry. I always end with a coat of solid floor wax. This prevents the tackiness, and also makes the final project water repellant.

    1. Now that’s a really good idea. I think I just might have to try that. I used wax on other things, why not paper? Thanks for commenting!

  9. I am an arts and crafts professional, and I do a lot of work with paper. I have tried many combinations of adhesives and sealants. Mod Podge is a very good craft glue. Although it claims to be a sealant and finish, it absorbs moisture from humid air and environments. Someone in a hot/dry climate may never have a problem. Mod Podge also makes a clear acrylic sealer that is an aerosol sealant. It’s clear, doesn’t yellow, and is meant to seal over acrylic or oil surfaces. You definitely need an isolation coat before sealing (Mod Podge works well for crafts and art projects – good flow, water content, and drying time.) If you are a fine artist and seek archival qualities, stick with acrylic mediums and varnishes. I use all Golden products with great success. Similarly, gel mediums and the like are unsuitable as a final finish due to tackiness. (Wow…I am such a nerd.) Hope this helps somebody!

    1. You said in one paragraph what I was trying to say in quite a few more. 🙂 Exactly. And the tackiness of Mod Podge is a factor for me as I live in a very humid area where paper is downright limp this time of year. The little bit about medium being tacky…I didn’t differentiate between medium and varnish because the bottle I have says it’s good for both. But in general, a medium is mixed with paint to change its texture and a varnish is used as a protective final coat over a painting. I still say the thing that upsets me about Mod Podge is that there are only accolades out there, and nothing that truly describes what it is…and what it’s not. For those of us who are not fine artists, we don’t always think of using archival quality materials. But on the other hand we don’t want to have our hard work ruined by materials that aren’t suitable for the use, either. Yesterday my daughter and a friend used cheap craft paint and water balloons to make silly splash paintings. They were gorgeous. And they sealed them with Mod Podge. And they’re still sticky, but who cares? She’ll have it on her wall for a few months and then toss it. That’s what Mod Podge is for.

  10. Thanks for this post! Unfortunately i started modge podging a large project before i had read it so now i have to go through with it, dang! :/ do you know if clear spray paint will seal modge podge?

    Also wondering if the isolation layer is necessary? I paint wood cubes with acrylic and assemble them into pixel art, i’m on my second large project and still haven’t found the best way to seal it with the fewest steps. I think i might try liquitex as your post says that it works as a permanent finish. The post you linked to says varnish isn’t permanent though haha, so i’m kind of confused! For my first big project i sealed it with clear spray paint however, due to where i live and so forth it ends up going on dusty, if i spray it outside, or dust sticks to it while dying if i spray it in the garage, so the option to paint something on, however time consuming is quite appealing atm.

    Modge Podge, aka glue water, is great for bringing out the colours – that is one benefit, it’s too bad it doesn’t seal it itself.

    Thanks for any help, appreciate it!

    1. Somewhere on the Plaid website it says that you can use Acrylic Varnish to seal Mod Podge. I’m confused, too, I would think that varnish is permanent. But maybe varnish in the fine art sense is a different concept than varnish in the woodworking sense? Any sealer is great for bringing out the colors. Have you tried water based polyurethane, such as Varathane? It’s safe for ModPodge and I use it on polymer clay all the time. It’s a hard, permanent, well sealed finish. It stands up to water and isn’t tacky once it’s cured.

      1. Thanks for the reply! I haven’t tried polyurethane because I couldn’t find any that isn’t oil-based, I used modge podge on a small project and then cleared it with spray paint (krylon crystal clear), it didn’t have any weird reactions so I didn’t to clear the big project I podged.

        This time I wet the floor of the garage (since it’s so dusty) closed the door and sprayed it like that and since it dries really fast (3-10mins) I mostly avoided lint/dust. I think next I will try out that liquitex brand varnish, I read some more on it and it says its a permanent finish so we shall see!

        My projects are small (half inch) painted cubes glued together, so I’ve been treating it the same as painting a canvas, sealing mostly just for dust protection purposes (being able to blow or dust with a dry brush without worrying about wearing the paint off).

        Thanks again for your post, I am learning lots of new things! 🙂

        1. Adding something here because I’ve done a lot of searching very recently for how best to seal (waterproof) my decoupaged clay pot. The spray acrylic sealers should work, but I couldn’t be sure. They don’t say “waterproof.” After reading more things about outdoor projects that could be exposed to water, it seems that the best options are the products made for boats. If oil-based is OK, then use a spar varnish – Rustoleum has one but there are many. I don’t want to risk using oil-based just in case my Mod Podge isn’t 100% cured. So I found Helmsman’s water-based urethane. I’m going to try it. These spar products say “UV resistant” so not as yellowing… also that they can expand and contract (so good outside). And if it’s not waterproof, they couldn’t pass it off as spar…for boats.

  11. I seriously wished I had read your article BEFORE I spent easily 50+ hours on a project where now all of my prints stuck together. I read and reviewed Mod Podge and with the whole Pinterest craze, they sold me on it. Boy was I upset with my results. Luckily I own some of this acrylic medium so I am in luck! THANK YOU!

    1. With the incredible humidity of our record-breaking wet summer here, I’m finding that everything sticks together, even the acrylic medium to a certain extent (and fully cured acrylic paint, too). So make sure that you do a test first before you use anything on all your work. I’m a big believer in testing now. Good luck!

  12. As an art student from Ecuador, I was already familiar to acrylic sealers, medium and varnish, but I wasn’t sure how versatile it was and that’s why I ended up here. I’m glad the thing can be used for “high quality” crafting, because sometimes I just wanna play with paper after painting the next illustration for class and I didn’t want to buy separate supplies for that. Now that I know I can use my big bottles of gloss and matte varnish for paper projects, I feel soooo happy.

    I used to put up with how limited some craft stores in my country are, if you can avoid having to buy overpriced imported supplies then good, but since I’m living in the US for now, I’ve been confused because there are too many options and not enough honest and straightforward information. I always wondered if ModPodge was just regular glue with a fancy name or a special thing. Good thing I’ve been made aware it’s not archival, nor an actual sealer. So I’ll keep using Elmer’s and I’ll seal things with my varnishes and sprays.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and insight, Gia. I was raised with fine art and fine art materials around me so I have always just incorporated it into my crafts because it’s what I had available. But it mystifies me how the art and the craft worlds are so often different. The craft world seems to be all about marketing and the array of options is truly dizzying. I think my frustration with Mod Podge is an example of it. You’re not the only one overwhelmed by having too many options and not enough info. I’m also doubly frustrated by a movement in recent years for company websites to feature a fancy video in lieu of giving straight facts about a product. I was looking at a new brand of markers the other day and four minutes of video told me nothing about the materials, the type of tips, the colorfastness…but it sure had pretty pictures and music!!

      1. I should be thanking you! Really. You saved me money! By the way, often the stores and not the makers are the ones that have the best info. I’ve gotten the best advice form employees of stores, online third-party reviews (written or video ones) and online art stores. Blick has some of the best videos out there. Yeah, it’s still marketing but way more honest, you see the products in action. And if you have further questions, like about lightfastness and composition, those guys are willing to answer them truthfully and even give you tips. And that’s how I decide what supplies to buy. Also near campus there’s a tiny little store that even though it doesn’t have an amazing stock of things as the big places like Michael’s, all their employees are crafters of some kind and each one usually stays near the section they’re the most familiar with. They’ve been really helpful, and they’re nice to boot. Whenever they’re not too busy, I’d start chatting with them about techniques and things. Still, there’s a lot of options, and I end up getting lost once again between glues, glazes and clay. I should just stick to my fine art supplies, nice papers and homemade clay and stay put.

  13. Hi, I am making paper lanterns using white art paper and want a white matte finish. The glow of the candle through the paper is just right which is why I want to make them with paper instead of plastic or a more durable material. So I want to make them more permanent so they can be more of a permanent home decor product rather than a use-once and throw away kind of thing. I also want them to be able to be cleaned if they get dirty and not easily damaged. Im am laser cutting designs into the paper and dont want to fill the holes with a sealer so I guess I would apply the sealant before I laser cut? Can I laser cut through something like this? Though I want the paper a little more hardened, I will need to roll the paper into a cylinder of about 14cm in diameter and smaller.

    Any ideas as to what I can use? I read your review of Mod Podge and decided not to bother.


    1. Wow, sounds like a really great project. Unfortunately I don’t know very much about laser cutting or the variety of sealants that you could use. I’d just be guessing. A thought does come to mind, though. There is a plastic paper that draftsman and architects use for drawings, sort of a synthetic vellum. And it might be a good thing to use. It’s more durable than paper, waterproof, and I think you should be able to laser cut it. It would be worth a try anyway. You might want to go to a full service art store and ask the people there…they might have some better ideas for you. But no, I don’t think Mod Podge would be a good fit for this project, LOL!

      1. Thanks Ginger, Thats a great suggestion. I would never have thought of it. It wouldnt interfere with how the light comes through the paper either. Will give it a try.



  14. After reading your entry, I’m very glad to know the difference. Like one of your other commenters, I have a journal I’m using mod podge in, and found out a bit late that it will stick to itself, even when dry. After reading about the floor wax idea,I decided to rub a candle over all the mod podged areas. Should provide just enough non-stick! Thank you for your information!

  15. Hi Ginger,
    I actually don’t always work with PC (believe it or not). I have a rather large project in mind to decorate a tabletop with pictures from my favorite TV show (Dr Who). Anyway, it is still in the planning stage and I was thinking of what to cover it with. I ready your article a while back and thought that maybe Liquitex medium might work. So I used it on several small pieces (scrabble tiles actually). Put them away to wait the test of time. Looked at them this morning and they are tacky to the touch. This is definity not what I expected. Any idea why? It was a realtively dry summer here – just started raining seriously in last couple of weeks. I covered these tiles in early July.

    1. Oh heck I don’t know. I used Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish (the same bottle that’s in the picture) to varnish some beads a couple weeks ago, as a test. At the same time I also varnished some beads with Varathane. And the Varathane acted like it always does (heavenly) and the liquitex was tacky. They’re still tacky. But that’s on polymer, and the bottle is fairly old (maybe five years?) so who knows. I have some Liquitex Matte Varnish that dries very nicely without being tacky. So go figure. Dumb question…but why not use Varathane? Just a thought. I love varathane more and more by the day.

      1. Mostly the smell of varathane is a real turn off. Also, not sure how the pictures I want to put on the table would react to it. Guess I have to do some more experimenting … something to keep me occupied this winter.

        1. Interesting, I kind of like the smell. So much better than the smell of Mod Podge, or Kato. And don’t say winter. That’s a dirty word around here. As I sit here with my space heater going because it’s below 60 outside and I think ice is imminent. It must be true, though, because the cats keep huddling under the desk lamp. Hilarious.

  16. Hi. I just created a polymer clay mosaic that took me months to glue all the handmade tiles to the board. Like most, I am reading this too late and have already sealed with Mod Podge 🙁 I put the project in an unoccupied dark room and try not to think about it because the thought of it being ruined makes me sad. Tonight I tried to “reseal” with Krylon clear gloss and the piece is still tacky. Any idea’s?

    1. Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that. How frustrating. I really don’t know what to do at this point. Krylon clear gloss, as far as I know, is incompatible with polymer clay and will react chemically with the clay, making it sticky over time. I’ve never used it myself, but I’ve heard others complain about it. Whatever you choose to do with it next, or do with the next project, do a test on just a small portion of it to be sure. I always recommend water based polyurethane varnish (Varathane) for polymer clay. It’s tried and true. One possible idea for you is something called PYM II. It’s one of the very few polymer clay safe aerosol sealers on the market. I recently used it to seal some difficult pieces and was quite impressed with it. It’s pricey, though. Check out http://www.precision-blue.com Sorry, I wish I had better answers for you!

      1. I checked out the PYM II website, it looks like a good product though their website is scary. Thank you for the advice. I will try a tile at the bottom and see how the Mod Podge and sealant respond to polyurethane.

        1. Okay, as the wife of a web designer and business consultant, I had to really laugh out loud at that. Yes, it is a bit…interesting. Jam it all in there, LOL. Seriously good product, though.

          1. I just wanted to share a quick update on the project, not sure but somewhere along the way this may help someone else in a similar boat. I’ve decided to take both the sealant and Mod Podge off using alcohol and a q-tip (going to have to figure out a more time efficient method). And then I’m going to go with the polyurethane. I’m afraid that over time the sealant may weaken the clay… I’m so glad I came across this thread! Now I know what TO use. Thanks again!

            1. Hi Court, I think it sounds like a good plan. I was going to recommend that you try taking the sealers off, but I wasn’t sure it would work. Just make sure that the polyurethane you get is soap and water cleanup, not oil based. And not the spray, either. Just the normal stuff in the can that’s for wood floors. Let me know how it goes.

  17. I just came across this post, and after reading it I felt I had to contribute. I am a professional artist for over 45 years and I have used just about every product intended for art that is out there! Acrylic is a plastic! and so is PVC glue! ..they may be different formulas but they are both basically plastics! MOD PODGE is advertised as a craft product ..and probably the majority of people who use it are glueing garish fake jewels to the sides of wood box’s ..but it is still a useful art product if used properly as an acrylic sealer, but you must thin the mod Podge with water for this purpose ..then it does not curl the print, it’s not tacky! and is isn’t ridiculously Glossy! …it almost resembles a spray coating if you use it properly. Try it again someday!

  18. Great thread! As to Liquitex gloss gel (not with varnish), I found it was very sticky, and would not dry to a non sticky surface. I Live in an area of high humidity. Polyurethane spray over it helped alot, but not completely. I will try a polyurethane varnish next. Thanks for the info!

  19. I’m sorry I haven’t read all of the posts.

    I am trying to make my own tile coasters for Christmas. I have used a craft glue on my paper which it is stuck to the tile. But I need to seal the tile and paper to make them waterproof. I have the spray version of the Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer. Will this work? Everything online is saying to rub the Mod Podge glue over the paper after you have attached it to the tile, leaving behind a film. I don’t want the film! Do I need to treat the tiles with something else? Please help!

    1. Well there’s no way you’re going to be able to seal the paper and make it waterproof without having a film over it. I assume that you mean you don’t also want the sealer leaving a film over the tile that remains around the paper, correct?

      The only way to make them waterproof is to make a fairly thick layer of some sealant over the paper and have that extend past the edges of the paper onto the tile. To make them look a bit better, perhaps you can take the sealer all the way to the edges of the tile? I would certainly not use Mod Podge for this as it’s not waterproof. I’ve never used the clear acrylic spray so I can’t comment on that. Except that it might to be very durable if your coasters are going to have wet drinks sitting on them for hours.

      Have you thought about using epoxy resin, such as ICE resin? It comes in a two part dual plunger syringe and you can get it in Hobby Lobby. It might take several coats or tries, but it would form a durable coating over the paper and tile. Like this: http://www.oopseydaisyblog.com/2011/08/photo-tile-coasters-using-resin.html

      Good luck!

  20. There are many formulations of Mod Podge and lots of ways to work with it. Some people have even used the water-resistant formula to make kitchen backsplashes! I’m pretty sure I’m not that brave…

    For those who are afraid you’ve ruined a piece, I highly recommend the very popular blog “Mod Podge Rocks”. Amy has suggestions for dozens of projects and how to work with issues that can arise, like tackiness. Don’t give up hope! See if you can find suggestions on her site.

    She also explains how it differs from “watered down Elmer’s glue”, but that’s not a position everyone agrees with. Crafting controversy : ) Good luck!

  21. THANK YOU. So much misinformation out there. All the blog posts do make it come across as “it’s magic”, which had me wondering as well. I appreciate your very fun and readable writing style. Keep up the good work.

  22. I made a huge wall decor to hang over our bed bc I needed something big w the vaulted ceilings and could never find anything I really liked that was big enough. I took 9 12’x12′ canvases and some beautiful scrapbook paper and mod podge paper to the canvas front and sides. I used my paint brush to make nice big swirls all across the front of it so it dried clear and swirly. They look professional, anyone who has ever seen it thinks I bought them. I never had any kind of problem w sticky or tacky from it. Stinks so many people have. Now I’m trying to make some wooden plaques w construction equipment pictures for my sons new big boy room. I painted the plaques different colors now to affix the pictures and I’m scared since its wood and so many are saying sticky. Guess it may be different for different materials. I have gel medium, maybe I’ll use that on the wood project…

    1. Sounds wonderful, Ashley. I’d say that your best bet is to try it on a small area first. Do a test before you commit to the whole area. For wood, I’d use a water based polyurethane varnish called Varathane. I use it to seal just about everything.

  23. Pingback: Mod Podge Everything | reclaimedhome.com

  24. Seems like there might be a confusion here between different products. Shouldn’t the Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer work for this purpose? Is that product being confused with the regular Mod Podge glue product? I don’t think the sealer is a glue, and it shouldn’t be sticky.

  25. I hope someone here can help – I have a paper collage on a watercolor paper base that I want to adhere to a plain, unfinished canvas surface – what should I use to make it stick (including all the edges) without “warping” the paper? Someone suggested spray adhesive but it didn’t work. I’m open to suggestions! Thanks

    1. I don’t know if this in time to help, But I use Golden Matte heavy gel medium and a credit card. put a layer of medium down, place your collage and use the card to sort of squeegee the medium over the top. Matte Medium is less sticky than glossy, and can be used as a barrier coat before varnish. I work almost entirely with acrylics, and the glossy stuff always is sticky until varnished for me. Ruined several paintings before I figured it out.

  26. Advice anyone? I am completing a coach’s gift and am gluing a picture on the back of a clear clipboard (so you can see the picture when looking at the front) …. But I don’t want the end result to be sticky! Any ideas on a good product to use to adhere the product? Thanks!

  27. You are a blessing … so blessed to discover your site and the wealth of information you so graciously share
    Thank you so much… you answered an important question here for me… appreciate

  28. I’m new to all of this. I recently purchase some items to make Christmas ornaments. I found some Mod Podge in a spray that was almost 10 bucks. I got it. But is it a glue or sealer? Do I need a different product? I’m going to glue sheet music to clear balls for ornaments. Any help is appreciated.

    1. I’m sorry, I don’t really know the details of all of Mod Podge’s products. Your best bet is to read the instructions on your can and use it the way they suggest. It does sound like more of a sealer than a glue. Original Mod Podge (as seen in the pictures here in this post) is both a sealer and a glue, but it’s a craft product and not suitable as a fine arts or polymer clay sealer.

  29. Mellonee Mayhill

    My daughter put Mod Podge on jars and then stuck fake silky leaves to the jars. She isn’t happy with the way they dried because it isnty shines! What do you suggest she put over it to make it shine your glossy? She is going to be putting a one of them battery operated small candles inside the jars to flicker.

  30. 🙁 After numerous pinterest articles about wonderous ModPodge, I put many hours in making the coasters. Now all of them are sticky (to each other, to the table I keep it on, to the glass or cup I keep on it), and now I am seeing your article… I should have researched more before I started.

    In our country, we don’t get much art supplies.One store that kept few imported stuff gave me highly over priced ModPodge, and now I am repenting spending that much money on the glue…Also, all those acrylic sealers, yeah we don’t get those here too..Nor in stores, neither online (on ebay international we get the product, but the price is $12 and shipping is $21). Sad to see so much effort (sawed and polished around 10 wooden coasters) and money go to waste 🙁

    1. Well that’s so frustrating! I’m sorry. If you’re in the mood to try making them again, polyurethane would be a really great option. It’s a water-proof plastic varnish for wood. I use it with polymer clay and you can read about the North American version (Varathane) here. But you might be able to find a similar product if you go to a hardware or furniture making type shop.

      1. Thanks a lot for your reply. Really appreciate it.. I actually tried asking for Polyutherane in a hardware store, and the guy stared at me like I have asked for a road map to Atlantis. (I am from India by the way). I haven’t tried any furniture making shops yet, but I am not too optimistic. Things which are a little unusual are really hard to get here…
        I guess on one piece I’ll try whatever is available here, including wax (tried it, didn’t work, except for making the earlier glossy finish as smudgy and yellowish), acrylic gloss medium, regular or acrylic varnish etc. Will let it know here if anything works out…

  31. Hey, How are you doing?
    Like your page,
    Thought you may be the person to ask..

    I am looking for a sealant that drys to a completely non sticky finish.
    I am making a large acrylic painting in public, and it newly painted parts
    are collecting so much dust and grime from the wind, eve after it has dried –
    as the acrylic finish is naturally sticky.

    Do you know how if there is the type of sealant on the market that would seal
    the dried acrylic color so as to have a kind of a clear skin over it, preventing dust and
    hair from tacking to it?

    I cant seem to find anything on the internet.

    Please if you could email me advice
    here is my mail nialldooley@hushmail.com

    Much appreciated,


    1. Hi Niall, I would contact the manufacturer of the acrylic paint that you are using. They will best be able to direct you to a varnish that’s suited for your use. For sure don’t use Mod Podge, though!

  32. Hi I’m hoping you can give me some advice. I am making glitter phone cases by putting Mod Podge on the clear plastic cases, then covering with glitter, then sealing withod Mod Podge. Problem is it makes the glitter look sort of cloudy when dry, and I’m looking for more of a shine. By the way I’m using Glossy Mod Podge. What can I use to seal the glitter so that it doesn’t fall off, it will be smooth to the touch and that will be clear and not sticky?

    1. Then you’ll need to use a true clear sealer or varnish, not a craft glue designed for papercrafts (which is what mod podge is). Head over to the art section of your craft store and get a crystal clear varnish of some sort.

  33. Hmmmm…I use Mod Podge exclusively as a sealer for my acrylic on canvas art and I’ve never had a problem with stickiness. They look great and are holding up over the years.

    1. Tissue paper is hard because by its nature it has a lot of air trapped in the fibers of the paper. I don’t work with papercrafts much, though, so haven’t run into this issue. Sorry!

      1. I’m not sure if it is dick blick store on internet that has artist tissue paper. It is different from regular tissue paper. Using gel medium or mod podge the edges don’t even show. Not sure if this helps. I have not tried it but saw video..

    2. A gentle misting of water on the tissue before you put it down in the medium will help displace trapped air. Too much and you get a soggy mess. I have also heard, but not tried, spraying the tissue with a light coat or two of acrylic sealer prior to putting it down in the gel.

  34. Hi, I am trying to stick a picture to the back of a glass nugget and then attach to a ring.
    Not sure what to attach the picture with so that it gives a clear ( not cloudy) image through the glass.
    Was going to use mod podge but not sure now !!
    Hope you can help :0) thank you!

    1. Mod Podge is what people typically suggest for that. I would, instead, use one of the acrylic varnishes that artists use. They’re not waterproof on glass, though. But then few things are. Sorry, I’ve not done this exact thing, so I don’t have more specific suggestions.

  35. I am making coasters with tiles and am using Liquitex gel medium both as an adhesive and as a sealer. It’s waterproof and handles cold drinks very well. However, a mug of hot coffee sticks to coaster very badly. I have waited a couple of days before using the coasters after a couple of coats of gel. Any tips of how to use the coasters with hot drinks with sticking?

  36. The Artist Assena V

    According to the manufacturer, Mod Podge is just very similar to white glue.The exception is that it’s not supposed to yellow and crack with age the way regular white glue does, so at least there’s that.

    After spending money on the stuff, I also found out that it is not waterproof. What the whaat? A sealer is supposed to seal work against the elements, so I was like :Mod Podge=Fail.

    They just came out with a more expensive version (indoor+outdoor) which does which the original really should have done in the first place.No thanks– I’ll stick with my gel medium, now that I’ve found it.

    1. Even if you are worried about yellowing. You can find archival quality non-yellowing glues. They are typically acid-free and designed to protect paperwork that needs to last for years.

      Either use the glue straight or mix with water to create mod podge (thinned glue).

      It’s generally a two to one (2 parts glue to 1 part water) mixture. Distilled water tends to be the best option (no worries about mineral levels changing color over time)

      Mod Podge is archival glue + water; the varients (like glossy) can be achieved by adding a couple spoonfulls of gloss varnish (like polychrilic) to the mix.

      My mother used to make the stuff in mason jars for girl scouts and than sometimes pour it into old mod podge bottles. It cost her less than half the price of mod podge and no one ever knew the difference.

  37. Pingback: How to transfer laser printer image onto almost anything - Friendly Nettle

    1. I wouldn’t use Mod Podge, again, because it’s merely white glue. And what kind of varnish/sealer/finish you use would depend entirely on the type of shoe and what you’re planning on doing to them. Anyone would need a lot more information before they could offer any suggestions.

    2. Purchase a waterproofing spray and seam sealer. You can find them at an outdoor or camping supply store. If the fabric you will be waterproofing will be outside and in the sun a lot, then consider getting a spray that has UV protection as well. This will keep your fabric from fading.

      Waterproofing sprays and sealers will work great on nylons, canvas and leather.

      You can find tutorials for water proofing outdoor clothing; it’s the same process for shoes and just depends on the material. Shoes tend to be made of the same things jackets are made from: nylon, canvas, leather, etc, just cut much thicker.

  38. Can anyone tell me what stuff is best to use on canvas as a finishing touch and also to protect it from dust,color fading due to sunlight exposure,etc ?
    I googled and got many websites which claimed mod podge is the best and cheapest method.
    I was about to order it online too when i came across this site.
    I dont want my paintings to be ruined 🙁

    1. If you want maximum longevity for your paintings, it’s best to use artist quality paints and varnishes. Mod Podge is a craft material, and is not suitable for sealing paintings. It’s a decoupage medium that is essentially white glue and therefore works best for simple crafts meant for seasonal use or short term enjoyment.

  39. According to the Plaid website ( the folks who make ModPodge)… Yes it’s a glue, but is also contains varnishes and other compounds to keep it stable on your project. PVA glue will likely disintegrate over time. There are several different fomulas of the stuff, each for specific purposes. There is an outdoor and a water proof version for coasters. Super gloss as a pourable resin substitute, fabric specific formulae, archival paper specific, etc. In a nutshell, ModPodge is a LINE of products, not just one product. Using the right formula for the task at hand will save a ton of grief, as with any product, reading the manufacturer’s instructions ( don’t just trust the blogs) will go a long way towards getting your desired outcome. Please don’t blame a failure on a product when it’s used outside of manufacturer specifications, recommendations and guidelines. This includes any product – not just Plaid’s products.

  40. Years ago, I bought Mod Podge gloss and it was super tacky. I stay in the tropics and the weather is humid. I bought the matte version and it was slightly better, but still tacky. I’ve since thrown both bottles away as they cause more grief than is worth it, and you’re right, they are just glorified PVA glue. They’re ridiculously popular at the art & craft shops in my country, and often sold out! I have Pebeo Studio acrylic gel matte that is cheap and works like a charm, minus the tackiness, and also a Decopatch brand decoupage glue that’s glossy but not too tacky. I’ve read that it’s best to use matte gels/varnishes last–instead of in several coats–as they can make colours look dull.

    Thanks, Ginger, for creating this post. I love honest reviews and they’re just what consumers need. Like some of the rest, I was confused about mediums and glues, etc, but am a little bit clearer now. 🙂

  41. Monelle Richmond

    Thank you so much for this post! I recently went to Michael’s to purchase some matte Mod Podge, thinking to use it to seal some dollhouse furniture I had painted. However, as I was standing in line waiting to pay for it, I read on the back of the bottle that if I wanted to get rid of the tackiness, I should then use acrylic sealer. A red light went off. I am going to have to seal this sealer? So I put it back on the shelf and I emailed the company for clarification. This was their response: “Mod Podge is a paper sealer in a Decoupage application. Mod Podge Spray Acrylic Sealer is a hard drying protective sealer for sealing cured decoupage projects, painted surfaces, etc.” Huh? I wrote to them again for clarification of their response, and this time, they said I should call them. Why they coudn’t just give me a clear answer, I don’t know.

    1. This is why I wrote the article. The public has come to believe that Mod Podge is a sealer when it’s really just a glue-based decoupage medium designed for paper. The Plaid company has not done anything to dispell this myth because it gives them a huge market share. Their suggestion to use a spray sealer to solve tackiness issues is good for them, but bad for consumers who should have been given accurate product information in the first place. But as I mainly work with polymer clay, I find this situation to be even more tragic because unsuspecting crafters use Mod Podge on their clay first, find it’s a bit sticky, then use the spray sealer. But spray sealers are usually incompatible with polymer clay and in fact, the Mod Podge Acrylic Sealer never dries at all on polymer clay, completely ruining their projects.

  42. Thank you so much for this post. I draw with sharpie on plastic cups and was looking for a sealer. I found this guy on etsy who does what I do and seals his drawings with mod pudge, so I was set on buying it and seal mine with that until I came up with your article. Now I don’t really know what to do, my guess is an acrylic sealer or a clear gloss spray? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

      1. Because after a while the sharpie starts fading, especially if the cup is going to be washed. I’m considering buying the liquidex sealer and give it a try. Thaks for replying anyway 🙂

  43. Thanks for the article! I’m a craft newbie, but embarking a new YouTube DIY, basically, paper/book pages need sticking together and the page front needs to be sealed as it’s going in the bathroom and might disintegrate with the humidity. So if mod podge supposedly absorbs humidity and isn’t 100% sealing and also is tacky, I was thinking of just using slight watered down elmers glue or the Australian equivalent. PVC glue? As mod podge is $16 for a 250ml bottle from craft stores here. Or should I make my own mixture with PVC glue, clear nail varnish? Would that seal adequately, has anyone had experience with this? If this won’t work, I might make my own home made mod podge with elmers glue and buy this ” varathane” or “liquitex” polyurethane paint on sealant. Any thoughts or opinions on this?

  44. Pingback: Jewelry Resin (Magic-Glos, Ice Resin) Tiny Sculptures, and Bezels | KarenAScofield

  45. I’m so happy that I’ve started researching before I started to work on what I have on mind. I was positively sure that mod podge was the stuff I needed, I even went to the store and to bought myself another bottle (like that one wasn’t enough), I’m a crafty girl with not to much time to use my crafty abilities, so every time a have some extra time (no to often) I’m doing something crafty, and now I’m into painting (with acrylic paint) with no too much knowledge of what I’m doing, I paint almost everything that come to my imagination, from painting wood signs to beaches on canvas, I’m not an artists, I’m far from it, but i love to paint. I have been looking for a sealer for my next project and on my mind mod podge it was going do the trick. Thank you so much for this article, for some one that don’t have a clue of what is doing this is the best article and comments that I had read on my research. Now what do you recommend to use as a sealer for acrylic paint over a canvas ?

    1. Acrylic paint doesn’t NEED to be sealed. But if you do want to varnish it, you would need to use an acrylic varnish for artists paint. Check with an art supply store. Liquitex and Golder are good brands.

  46. I’m not sure when this was written but of course I typed in shellac vs ‘modge’ podge and here it is. I thank you so damn much lol. I plan on doing a craft with my daughter where mod podge is recommended and I’ve never used it. I’ve always used shellac. But as a side Story I recently put up the Christmas tree and my family started decorating when I came across an ornament that was stuck to another, and stuck to the soft material I use to wrap the glass ones. It was a salt dough (not sure) hand made ornament from my besties daughter. I was baffled, until I read this post! I can bet a million bucks she used mod podge (she’s a toddler teacher in a daycare) she is one of those swears about the miracle of it, but like so many have said here, she probably never has to stack projects plus, they get sent home.

    So now I will stick to the sealer I know works, even if it smells awful and I have to creep in my garage with it all while looking like a graffiti artist (bonus points).

    Thank you!

  47. Hi…I am making 5″ x 5″ x 1″ wood blocks and applying photo’s (developed at Walmart) to one side of the block. I am not doing photo transfer just glueing the photo directly to the wood. I have sanded and painted the wood. I am adhering the photo’s with mode podge but I don’t like the result I get with using modge podge as the sealer. You can see the streaks from the paint brush or foam brush or numerous other items I have used in order to get a streak free finish. Any suggestions on what to use as the finish? That you for your post.

    1. I’m sorry, I don’t have specific advice on this. I know there are products that are used for sealing photographs…perhaps someone at a local art shop can help you. Mod Podge always leaves such obvious brush strokes.

  48. I know I am four years late to this party, but may I say Mod Podge has several different flavors now, including outdoor and fabric. I agree that Mod Podge has its issue, but strangely enough I used it to decorate my phone case and it never chipped peeled or cracked. I used the gloss. I mixed glitter into the MP and painted it on. HOWEVER…it got dirty and I couldn’t clean it. I put windex on it, and the Mod Podge didn’t soften, but the dirt didn’t come off either. When I made the case I fully expected it to fall apart eventually. My case had a bunch of cracks in it (I drop my phone a lot), that the Mod Podge was holding together.

  49. Pingback: Trial Runs: Transparent Resin Faux Opal Using Magic-Glos UV Resin | KarenAScofield

  50. So, could I use Spar Urethane or Polyurethane? That`s all I have on hand and I`m wanting to modpodge a pic onto a glass container.

    1. You’d have to test it. Most of those are oil-based and would give the paper a yellow tint. Also, they would “wet” the paper, making it transparent. Mod Podge is a great decoupage medium, so I’d probably go with that. Or just plain white glue. I work with polymer clay, not decoupage, however, so you will likely find more complete info on other sites. Good luck!

  51. Just as a side note: that Liquitex product you named does NOT have UV stabilizers in it. The only Liquitex brand varnishes that have UV stabilizers in them are the smelly solvent based ones, labeled Soluvar. I checked their full catalog to determine this.

    Sigh, tired of Liquitex labeling, the company doesn’t make things clear until you read their catalog.

  52. I skimmed so maybe this question has been asked/answered; I didn’t see it. I’m giving a young teen g’daughter a nice wooden desk. For current use, I’ve bought lipped plexiglass counter protectors I’d like to decoupage on the bottom with cute gift wrap. Someone suggested Liqui-tex or Golden, then foam brush on polycrylic when dry. Haven’t done any decoupaging; don’t want to screw up as the protectors were expensive! Agree with this process or…… thx!

    1. It shouldn’t hurt the acrylic at all. But you might want to lay something down between the desk surface and the decoupaged acrylic. My concern is that the decoupage varnish and the varnish of the top of the desk might stick to each other similar to the way that doors of painted cabinets will stick.

  53. For decades I have been using Yes! Paste for fine-art paper collage. It is archival and unlike acrylic medium products and white glue, dries flat without curling or wrinkling. This is a huge plus. Here’s a description:

    Yes! Paste is the original, all-purpose stick-flat glue. Yes! paste is water-based, clear when dry, non-toxic, slow to set, recyclable, and acid free for archival work. A favorite among hobby enthusiasts, artists, and crafters everywhere, this adhesive is perfect for use with paper, leather, cloth, tin, wood, glass, metal, primed surfaces and more.

  54. It might not have worked for your project and it might not be the right product for every craft (I use other products for decoupage myself) but it is NOT just elmer’s glue.

    Not long ago, there was a bunch of buzz with DIY mod podge recipes and a lot of blogs said to simply use watered down glue because it was the same. It isn’t. In this post, she explains the difference.


    She also uses it successfully on all kinds of projects.

    I have used mod podge in the past successfully myself and I have never experienced the tackiness that some people here are commenting on but I wouldn’t be surprised if it just doesn’t work well on some mediums. If someone doesn’t like it, that’s ok, but it should be for accurate reasons.

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