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Does Mod Podge Dry Clear? Find Out Here!

Does Mod Podge dry clear? Find out the answer plus learn more about this decoupage medium – with tips and tricks for success!

Does Mod Podge dry clear

Sometimes when you’re a blogger you can forget to answer the most basic of questions that people have, especially the newbies (learn how to Mod Podge here)! There’s a big question I get all the time that I’d like to answer now:

Does Mod Podge dry clear?

Let me give you the short answer to the question “does Mod Podge dry clear?”: YES! Mod Podge looks milky in the bottle, but when applied properly, it dries completely clear.

But I don’t want to give you this short answer and then split, because I know some of you have situations where Mod Podge doesn’t dry clear. So I’d like to address those now!

What if my Mod Podge didn’t dry clear?

Here are a few scenarios in which your Mod Podge may not dry clear! See if any of these scenarios fit your situation:

1. You applied the Podge too thickly.

This is a common problem I see when readers email me images of Mod Podge that is still white. Usually there’s clumping.

Mod Podge is best applied with several thin layers, with dry time in between each layer. And I TOTALLY get that it’s hard to wait because I’m not a patient person by nature. However, it’s best for project success! Trust me.

And if you do end up with clumping, I recommend trying to sand away the clumps with a very fine grain sandpaper. It works pretty well and you can typically make it perfect OR at least improve the end result (even if you can’t make it perfect).

2. You applied Mod Podge layers over Mod Podge layers before it fully dried.

This is related to the one above, but sometimes instead of clumping and a thick layer of decoupage, several thin layers are applied within minutes of each other. Again – wait the 15 – 20 minutes recommended. Trust me!

3. You applied the Mod Podge inside a small vessel.

This happened to me once when I added decoupage to the inside of a very small mouth glass jar. It took days and it still wasn’t dry!

I ended up tossing the project because, even after heating it in the oven, I still couldn’t get the Podge to dry. I figured out that air had to be able to get into the jar to dry it, or it just wasn’t going to dry. Lightbulb moment!

4. You live in a humid or freezing climate.

Any decoupage medium is going to take longer to dry in a humid climate. If you live in Thailand, it could take days. Maybe months? Okay, I’m just kidding – but humidity extends dry time.

In addition, drying outside (or in a garage) in a freezing climate has caused readers to have issues with Mod Podge drying opaque. You’ll want to use Mod Podge at room temperature as much as possible.

5. You have a bad bottle.

This is very rare. However, I have gotten emails from folks who have used bottles that are 10 years old – sometimes even older.

The recommended shelf life of decoupage medium is six months opened, two years unopened. Of course it could be longer where you are because it depends on a variety of factors.

Also, on occasion I’m sure a bad bottle – even if brand new – is produced. You have to remember that millions of Mod Podge bottles are produced each year. You’ve got to expect a few bad apples. If you have any questions about your bottle in particular, contact Plaid.

I hope this helps “clear” a few things up for you? Haha!

Have you wondered “does Mod Podge dry clear?” If so, let me know your thoughts or questions in the comments! Also check out these additional articles for Mod Podge beginners:

Kollette Stoller

Tuesday 20th of July 2021

Hi I used the product over shells in a champagne glass to seal it maybe 1/4 inch thick will it dry clear?


Tuesday 20th of July 2021

If it was put on it one layer, it might not dry clear. If it was put on in several layers letting dry between layers, you should be okay!


Saturday 3rd of April 2021

Is there a way to save my project after my mod Podge dried because I added it on too thick?


Monday 5th of April 2021

Hi Sahara! You can try to wet sand it down with steel wool. Or very fine grit sandpaper. That's what I would do!


Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Hi! What if you already just dumped the bottle (to create a creek) and it’s just thick white mod podge? Is it fixable?


Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Hi Hilary - Hmmm - it depends on HOW thick. Give it a few days to a week if you have the time. If it's not drying or clearing up, it may not be fixable :/


Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

Hello, I am using MP to glue and seal a piece of card stock to a painted wood square. The paint is white and the MP is definitely drying with a yellow tint. It's not that noticeable but I am comparing it to the other white wood squares that have not been used with MP yet. How do I get the yellowing to stop? No one else seems to have this issue when going over a white surface. Thank you!


Thursday 4th of February 2021

Hi Mindy! it's probably something in the paint or the cardstock that is bleeding. White acrylic paint doesn't turn yellow with Mod Podge. If you are using latex or some other type of paint, it's going to act weird with Mod Podge. Send me an email if this doesn't fix the issue (changing the paint!). FolkArt paint, Apple Barrel, and Delta craft paints work well with Mod Podge and don't yellow. Oh - make sure your Mod Podge isn't too old too.

Edmund Nappjo

Monday 11th of January 2021

We used modpodge on a flyshutter 20" × 30" puzzle. First, it was not easy to apply a "thin" first coat (we emptied 1/2 the bottle) with a foam brush. Second, we cleared the excess modpodge using a credit card, it actually damaged the foto. Need help with this?????


Monday 11th of January 2021

Hi Edmund! Just get the coat as thin as you can. You don't want to remove anything with a credit card. It will dry clear!