Can You Paint Over Mod Podge? 

Image of mod podge but Can You Paint Over Mod Podge? Mod podge is an all-in-one product that most DIYer’s use to seal their projects or as glue to adhere to various porous materials. This medium holds tight once applied and dries very clear. Regardless, many DIYer’s are still divided about whether paint can go over mod podge. Therefore begging the question, can you paint over mod podge? 

Yes, you can paint over mod podge. However, be sure to spread the mod podge tightly before painting over it so it won’t come off. Then for better adherence, let the mod podge dry to the touch before putting in paint over it. 

Let’s now walk through everything you ever wanted to know regarding mod podge. 

Do You Use Mod Podge Before Painting?

Depending on the project at hand, it’s feasible to use mod podge before and after painting. Applying this medium before painting serves to secure your paint from high demands beyond what varnish could. 

Ideally, since mod podge is a water-based medium, it won’t blend well with oil-based paints or latex paint. So as an alternative, it would be best to utilize this medium with acrylic paints. 


  • Sanding mod podge is a great idea as it gives it a rough surface to hold onto the paint as expected. 
  • While applying this medium, don’t be dismayed if you catch a glimpse of white appearance, considering that it will dry clear. 
  • When painting over this medium, be sure to seal the paint with more mod podge on top so it won’t come off easily. 
  • Before painting over this medium, ensure it is completely dry and cured. If not, the paint will be incompatible with it and will eventually come off with time. 

Why Is Mod Podge Sticky?

Mod podge lasts long to completely cure depending on certain aspects such as humidity and coat thickness. Therefore, you need to apply several thin layers rather than thick ones. Still, you should give this medium ample time to dry in between coats. 

If you fail to let the mod podge dry fully between coats, the surface will end up sticky and may exhibit bubbles a bit. So allowing this medium to cure completely means that it will be an enduring coating invulnerable to damage. However, it will stay soft and sensitive to damage like peeling and shifting amid the curing time. 


  • Suppose a long curing time and multiple thin coats fail to address the problem; the other alternative is to give a try to a different mod podge product that might be less liable to stickiness. Or give the surface time for the mod podge to fully dry and cure, then spray over it with multiple light coats of clear acrylic sealer. 

How Long Should Mod Podge Dry Before Painting?

Mod podge’s drying time varies depending on the type of mod podge coat you use. If you opt for the hard coat, you will have to tolerate up to 72 hours before painting. But if you choose the normal coat, you barely have to stay for 24 hours to paint over it. 

Mod podge is a medium you can’t virtually go wrong with when spreading it on your project. However, several factors can affect the drying time of this medium. Check them out below: 

  • Environment

Extreme temperatures can have a big bump on the mod podge drying time. So be sure to work in a conducive environment free from humidity to avoid prolonging the drying time. 

  • Surfaces

Putting in mod podge on a well-prepared surface means you will enjoy the smooth application, which translates to quick drying time. So it’s always a good idea to kick off by prepping your surfaces before applying coats of mod podge. 

  • Application

The method of application you use will determine the drying time of your mod podge. For instance, using a paintbrush means that you will deposit more of this medium in one area. Consequently, you will need to embark on a few passes before the layer smooths, extending the dry time. Also, a paintbrush tends to leave visible brush strokes on the surface, which I bet you won’t like. 

Consequently, it’s best to use a foam brush as it helps you dispense even amounts of mod podge across the surface. Plus, it guarantees a smoother finish without excess product lingering on the surface. 

Can I Use Mod Podge Instead of Gesso?

The default purpose of gesso is to prepare a substrate for better paint adherence. It is also a worthwhile medium for stiffening canvas, and it’s still commonplace for most oil painters today. So the question is can mod podge be a substitute for gesso? 

No, it’s not possible to use mod podge in place of gesso. Even though mod podge and gesso are great adhesives and partially related, they are distinct from each other in function. 

Gesso functions well as an adhesive; however, it excels as a base primer for most porous substrates. On the other hand, mod podge is a brilliant medium for decoupage and can also serve as a top sealer on various crafts. Nonetheless, it doesn’t have the hardening power of gesso that fosters a great painting base required for paint to clasp on. 

Can I Use Mod Podge as a Base Coat? 

You can barely use mod podge as a base coat if you work on unfinished surfaces such as canvas or primer. 

Is Mod Podge Waterproof? 

The products that makeup mod podge are only certified to be water-resistant but not waterproof. That tells you that a little bit of water won’t harm it. So it’s quite interesting to know that exposing this medium to a lot of water means it will degrade and start to peel off gradually. 


Ideally, you can make this medium waterproof by putting in a clear coat of acrylic sealer after it dries.

Can Mod Podge Be Used as a Sealer?

Mod podge’s possibilities are endless, meaning you can use it on just about anything. So you can use this product as a sealer on various painted surfaces to protect them from high traffic. You can still use this product as a finish, but keep in mind that it’s not waterproof. 

Does Mod Podge Go Yellow With Time? 

Mod podge can indeed yellow with time, primarily if the podge surface is over-exposed to sunlight. However, it takes years for it to exhibit yellowing. Luckily, you can prevent mod podge from yellowing by keeping it away from heat sources and sunlight. 

Does Mod Podge Dry Hard? 

There exist several mod podge variations, and some dry harder than others. For instance, mod podge hard coats are bound to dry quicker than the standard options. But usually, the drying consistency of most mod podge versions is comparable to rubber. 

Can Mod Podge Be Used as a Primer?

Using mod podge as a primer is common among painters, even though it breaks the rules of priming. It’s indeed a worthwhile idea but not the virtual solution that secures your paint.

Still, you can use it over a weak primer to offer protection freedom since the weak primer won’t guarantee a perfect bond with the paint. Similarly, people also ask, can you prime with mod podge? 

Suppose you are using acrylic paint over mod podge; there is no essence of priming it. That is because mod podge is naturally acrylic-based, meaning the paint will chemically attach to it. 


If you encounter any adherence constraints, sanding might come in handy to aid in better adherence. 

What Can I Use Instead of Mod Podge? 

There are many substitutes you can use in place of mod podge. For instance, you can simply thin down any permanent white glue with roughly 20 percent water. If that seems not to work, I recommend using a painting medium such as Liquitex or gloss medium. 


You can confer with your manufacturer to guide you in choosing the perfect substitute for mod podge. 

What Distinguishes White Glue From Mod Podge?

Many painters are divided on what medium will work best on their projects. And therefore soliciting the question, is white glue any different from mod podge? 

Each of the products mentioned above brags outstanding qualities depending on your project. For instance, mod podge emerges as a better pick when handling decoupage projects since it encompasses more ingredients than white glue. For this reason, it’s better to go for mod podge for long-lasting projects. 

On the other hand, white glue can cling well on surfaces but not very well as mod podge could. 

Why Did My Mod Podge Dry White?

This issue often transpires when you apply mod podge too thick. Usually, the topcoat dries slightly clear, but the layer underneath remains white because of the thickness. If that’s the case, try applying multiple light coats allowing each coat to dry before proceeding to the next one.

How Do You Remove Mod Podge From a Paintbrush?

Suppose mod podge dries on your paintbrush after your previous projects, don’t worry, as you can peel it off in minutes. The best way to remove the stuck mod podge is by moistening the brush in hot vinegar for a couple of minutes. Thereafter, use a paper towel to wipe the brush clean. 

After that, don’t forget to rinse the paintbrush with warm water to dampen the vinegar smell. 

How Do You Know If Mod Podge Is Bad? 

Mod podge rarely goes bad, but you can easily tell it’s bad when it starts to discolor or when it appears lumpy. 

What Is the Difference Between Mod Podge Gloss and Mod Podge Matte?

Both mod podge gloss and matte are the same in terms of how they function. Glossy is relatively shiny, whereas matte is flat. The only exception is the final sheen. 

How to Make Homemade Mod Podge

If you love being crafty, you need to get used to making your mod podge. Mastering the skills of crafting this product can save you from acquiring it at a high price from various stores. 

Follow the steps provided below keenly to make your mod podge medium at home. 

Supplies Needed

  • ½ pint mason jar with lid.
  • One bottle of washable glue. 
  • ⅓ cup water. 

Step 1

First, you need to grab your ½ pint mason jar and take off the lid. Then take the whole 6 oz washable glue and fill the mason jar but don’t form a meniscus. 

Step 2 

After filling up the mason jar, take a cup of water and spill it on top of the glue. Cover your mason jar with the lid, then give it a thorough shake for nearly a minute. This way, you will be melding the components together to create an even mod podge. 

Once the mixture gains an even consistency, you can now reach for your paintbrush and start your craft job. Even though the consistency won’t match the original one, you will save extra cash to tackle other projects. 

Is It a Must to Prepare a Surface Before Mod Podging It?

Preparing a surface before applying mod podge is critical as it boosts the success rate. I have compiled a list of various surfaces and how to prepare them before applying mod podge. Check out below: 

  • Wood

It would help if you did light sanding using fine-grit sandpaper in wood, then wipe down the lingering sawdust. 

  • Glass

When applying mod podge on glass, it would help if you begin by dipping the glass in warm and soapy water. Wash it thoroughly to wipe down any dirt, grease, and dust. After that, rinse the glass in warm water and dry it before spreading mod podge over it. 

  • Canvas

If applying on a primed canvas, wipe it clean. 

  • Plastic

Plastic surfaces have a hard time sticking to mod podge. So begin by giving it a thorough cleaning, allowing it to dry. Then test if the mod podge will cling on it as expected or not. 

  • Tin

Tins are usually very dirty. So you need to wash the tin with plenty of soapy water, then take a damp cloth soaked in white vinegar to wipe the tin clean. 

  • Plaster

Plastered surfaces have very little to do with cleaning. Therefore, just take a damp cloth and wipe the plaster clean before applying the mod podge.

How Do You Seal Paint with Mod Podge? 

Mod podge can bring to life your painted surface and still protect it from daily demands. This product is by default white in color, but it dries clear, assuming you apply it correctly. In case you are strange to this medium, don’t worry. Follow the guidelines highlighted below to master how to seal the paint with mod podge. 

Things You Will Need

  • Project surface. 
  • Acrylic paint. 
  • Mod podge. 
  • Paintbrushes.
  • Scissors. 

The supplies mentioned above will guarantee the most demanding outcomes. Learn more below: 

Step 1

First, prepare the surface to be mod podge by thoroughly cleaning or wet sanding it. Then allow the surface to dry to the touch. If necessary, you can base coat your surface with acrylic paint.

Step 2 

Next, design the items you want to mod podge with scissors to fit your surface. Take your mod podge, load it on the synthetic brush and begin to deposit an even amount of mod podge on your surface. You will want to do long strokes to ensure that you don’t disregard any spots.  Then given that mod podge is acrylic-based, you won’t need a primer.  

Step 3

After the first coat dries, go on with a second one, but apply the mod podge horizontally. By doing so, you will cover up the spots that you previously missed. If the surface you are applying mod podge has endured maximum ill-use, I recommend you go on with several coats. 

After the coats dry, take a piece of 400 grit sandpaper, soak it in water and lightly sand the surface. Next, wipe the surface dry and use an acrylic sealer over the surface for extra protection and to prevent tackiness. 


Allowing ample drying time between each coat will ensure that you attain a glassy finish. If not, your surface will have a white appearance. 

How Many Layers of Mod Podge Should I Use?

You can put in as many coats of mod podge as you like. But that depends on the type of effect you want to achieve. Suppose you are in for a soft and smooth surface free from ridges, with at least 5 to 6 coats. If not, you can merely use the normal 2 to 3 coats. 


  • Even as you apply multiple coats, try not to dispense them thickly. Then if you notice unwanted brushstrokes after applying a coat of mod podge, you can sand them down with fine-grit sandpaper. Then afterward, wipe down clean with a rag. 

How Do I Make Mod Podge Cure Faster?

Mod podge is bound to take long before drying. For this reason, it can be somewhat frustrating waiting for it to dry, especially if you are overly impatient. Luckily, there are proven techniques you can employ to fasten the drying period. Let’s walk through some of them below. 

  • Using a Hairdryer

It’s best to use a hairdryer to lessen the drying time of the mod podge. A hairdryer will distribute consistent heat gently enough to enable the mod podge to dry shortly. However, you need to be watchful not to over-dry the mod podge.

You can achieve that by programming your hairdryer to the lowest setting. Also, be sure not to bring the hairdryer close to the surface. If not, the mod podge will dry on the top while the layer underneath is still wet.

Not to forget, if you are handling a project that needs a few coats of this medium, use the hairdryer for barely 5 minutes. Then allow it to breathe for 10 to 15 minutes, so it hardens a little bit. In the process, you will want to move around to secure consistency in airflow. 

  • Sanding

Even though sanding almost goes without saying, it surely helps lessen the drying period, especially if it’s done between each layer. However, you will want to exert a little pressure not to mess with the coat of mod podge.


It’s a wise idea to use mod podge in less humid areas, so it dries relatively quickly. 

Why Is My Mod Podge Not Drying Clear?

By default, the mod podge looks white before applying. But it dries clear; suppose you apply it correctly.

Aside from that, this medium might not dry clear primarily because of the following incentives; 

  • Your Surface

If you apply mod podge on some surfaces, the surface might disintegrate while applying the layers of mod podge. As such, particles from the surface, such as paper, might mix into the medium and result in clouding. 

  • It Isn’t Dry

Mod podge can stay for a while before it dries fully, depending on the coat’s thickness you apply. So don’t be impatient. Instead, give it ample time to dry or let it stay overnight and examine it in the morning. 

  • Old Mod Podge

Mod podge is known to withstand years without going bad. But at times, it can be wrecked with other aspects than time. If you were storing it in an unconducive environment, it’s likely to go bad. So before using it, ensure you give it a test on the unseen corner of your project before going on with an entire coat.

How Long Does Modge Podge Last?

Mod podge is formulated to survive years without going bad. However, its lifespan is set to lessen if you fail to preserve it per the user’s guide. Once opened, specialists suggest that it can hold anywhere between 6 to 8 months. 

Can I Prevent My Mod Podge from Drying Out

Mod podge can gradually dry out if not applied correctly. Fortunately, you can keep It from drying out by applying an acrylic spray sealer on top. 

By nature, mod podge is self-sealing, but putting in the acrylic spray sealer offers your project an extra coat of protection. 

How Long Does It Take Mod Podge Acrylic Sealer to Dry?

Mod podge acrylic sealer should dry in approximately two to three weeks. However, you can give it more drying time depending on the number of coats you applied. After the due time, your project can tolerate high traffic regardless of the impact. 

How Long Does It Take for Mod Podge to Dry On Canvas?

If you opt for the normal type of mod podge, it will only last 24 hours to dry and hang it on the wall. On the other hand, the hard coat mod podge can stay for 72 hours to dry on canvas.


As usual, going with light coats means the drying time will reduce significantly. 

How Do You Fix Mod Podge Mistakes?

Mod podge is a great way to embellish surfaces. However, you should not expect it to go as expected at all times. So to sort out such a mess, I have compiled some guidelines to help you when mistakes transpire.


Bubbles are unavoidable when linking one surface to another using mod podge. This often materializes due to insufficient smoothing as you work. But it’s pretty easy to fix them using these steps: 

  • Lightly wet-sand the piece to moisten it. Then put in more mod podge exactly when smoothing it out. 
  • If the bubbles are huge, poke holes on them using a pin as you add more of this medium. 
  • Give it time to relax, so the bubbles disappear on their own.


Mod podge dries with visible streaks because of uneven application. So avoid putting more of this medium in one area than others. Here are the remedies for streaks on your mod podge surface. 

  • Begin by lightly sanding the streaks using fine-grit sandpaper. Be sure not to eradicate the top finish. 
  • After that, use a matte finish since it disguises shortcomings like brush strokes. 


The main cause of tackiness is using old mod podge. As this medium ages, it eventually thickens, thus resulting in a sticky finish. So when your mod podge feels sticky; 

  • Begin by sealing it with polycrylic. This product aims to seal out the tackiness exactly when promoting an endurable surface. 
  • If that fails to work, I suggest you use a different matte that’s easier to work with. 

Final Thoughts

We have seen how worthwhile mod podge is in terms of protecting your painted project from daily demands. The flexibility of this medium means you can use it on a myriad of surfaces. But…

Can You Paint Over Mod Podge?

Yes, it’s possible to paint over the mod podge. But it’s best to put in more mod podge on the painted surface for the paint not to come off. Also, always use even coats of mod podge to enable the paint to remain securely attached as you apply. 

When painting over mod podge, there is so much at stake, so ensure you carefully walk through the instructions. By all counts, I hope this guide has the essential information you have been looking for. But in case you have questions, reach out in the comment section.