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Is Mod Podge Waterproof? Find Out Here!

I run a Mod Podge blog and get asked all the time, “Is Mod Podge waterproof?” Find the answer here, with more details (and solutions).

Is Mod Podge Waterproof?

Hello! If you’re joining me to get the quick answer to the question “Is Mod Podge waterproof?” then I’d like to let you know right away: NO.

Of course there is a more detailed answer, but I figured that some of you will want to know immediately and run, so there it is.

If you’d like to stick around to find out more details – and get some solutions to making Mod Podge waterproof – then I’m here for you.

One of the most common questions I get on this blog from readers is, “Is Mod Podge waterproof for coasters?”

Typically someone might be making coasters for a gift and are interested in how to make the coasters waterproof as well as heat resistant.

Which would be expected since coasters are exposed to water from glasses as well as extreme heat from hot beverages.

There are many other projects that crafters are interested in making waterproof (besides coasters) such as placemats, garden items or anything that might be outside on a porch or patio, and cups.

Kids’ tables and dressers are another common theme based on the fact that kids can be rough on stuff and also so many spills.

So now let’s answer the question you’re all wondering in more detail: Is Mod Podge waterproof?

Is Mod Podge Waterproof?

As I said before, no, Mod Podge is not waterproof. The longer answer has to do with the makeup of the product.

Mod Podge is a craft supply made up of several ingredients, including vinyl acetate. The combination produces a product that is somewhat water resistant, but not waterproof.

If a few drops of water end up on your Mod Podge project you can wipe them away with ease. You aren’t going to ruin your craft with just a little bit of water.

The issue is when something that is Mod Podged is exposed to a lot of water. The product is not “built” for submerging or exposure to water over a long period of time (and consistently).

For example, you wouldn’t want to put something only sealed with Mod Podge in your shower. This is true for Mod Podge as well as all other decoupage mediums.

Note: if water is on your Mod Podge project for an extended period of time, you might notice some clouding.

Typically when you remove the water the Mod Podge will slowly dry to clear again. However, you might see some permanent cloudiness and/or rings.

What about Outdoor Mod Podge?

You can learn more about Mod Podge Outdoor here. As I mention in that article, Mod Podge Outdoor is not waterproof. It is HIGHLY water resistant (more so than regular Podge).

This means that if you want a decoupage item to sit on a covered porch where it is not exposed to weather 24 hours a day, you are fine using this formula by itself.

Mod Podge bottles

HOWEVER – if you live in Seattle and your project is constantly rained on, or you live in Arizona and the sun is beating down on your craft all the time, I suggest another sealer that is waterpoof and/or UV resistant on top.

What about Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge?

You can learn more about Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge here. It is very highly water resistant (top rack, dishwasher safe) but even that formula isn’t completely waterproof.

This version of Mod Podge is highly durable, and perfect for using with mugs or placemats or something that will be exposed to water but not for a long period of time.

People make glitter mugs all the time with this medium and they last for a long time after repeated dishwasher runs.

Is Mod Podge permanent (since it isn’t waterproof)?

Technically, no. BUT if you Mod Podge a piece of paper to wood, it’s not going to come off without some serious work.

You’d have to peel the paper off, or sand it off, or leave water on it for an extended period of time (which would probably end up ruining the wood too!). Mod Podge comes off of glass more easily than other surfaces, and soaking typically works to remove it.

For my purposes, and in my crafts, Mod Podge is pretty permanent. I’ve seen 50 year old projects from the creator of Mod Podge (Jan Wetstone) that are still going strong.

So while I can’t *technically* say the product is permanent, you’re going to have a hard time removing it.

Do you need to seal Mod Podge?

No, you do not need to seal Mod Podge. It is a glue, sealer, and finish all in one. The Mod Podge Hard Coat in particular has very tough properties that make it suitable for sealing furniture.

However, sometimes you need to break out the big guns and you want to make a project relatively waterproof!

Thompson's WaterSeal

For those times, I recommend a product like Thompson’s WaterSeal painted right over the top, after your decoupage project is completely dry.

This doesn’t mean you’ll be able to submerge your project (I don’t recommend ever submerging a decoupage craft), but it will be pretty close to waterproof in terms of be exposed to rain or other water on a regular basis.

And while we’re on the topic of sealing, let’s get back to coasters.

You can use something like Thompson’s WaterSeal on coasters and it will be fine for most applications. Thompson’s and Minwax Polycrylic are commonly used by Etsy sellers who sell coasters.

The only issue is if your item is going to be exposed to extreme heat (like a trivet would be). Then you’ll likely want to use a resin. Learn about Dimensional Magic vs resin here.

Is Mod Podge waterproof? No. But it’s highly water resistant and if you’re looking for a tough decoupage medium, it’s the one for you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

John

Sunday 27th of November 2022

I'm making some wargames terrain, which I'm thinking of sealing with matt mod podge, will it survive a pint of beer being knocked over on it, assuming it is mopped up fairly quickly?

John

Sunday 27th of November 2022

Thank you Amy, I tried spraying a couple of test pieces with PVA + water but it was needing multiple coats and drying with a satin finish, which I wasn't happy with.

I've tried dabbing on Matt Mod Podge about an hour ago, it seems to have the same satin type finish, not sure if it is just needing more time, so I'll leave it to dry for a day.

The other I've coated with artists' matt varnish, for a comparison, as I'm sure that will give me a nice matt finish.

Amy

Sunday 27th of November 2022

Hi John! It should be okay. If it's going to get soaked, you might with to think about gluing down astroturf or using resin!

Gesche

Friday 4th of November 2022

I have made some styrofoam balls covered with fabric that I'd like to use outside. What would you use to seal them to protect from rain and snow?

Amy

Saturday 26th of November 2022

I'd go to a hardware store and get a waterproof-ish sealer. Since you're not decoupaging, you just need the sealer part!

Leah

Sunday 28th of August 2022

Thanks for your always helpful info! Question- I’ve painted some foam board to decorate my window unit, but I’m haunted by the thought of my cat ruining it with a hairball. Do you think modge podge would be enough to protect it if it had a, erm, spill on it for several hours, or would you recommend an additional sealant? Would also love to know which formula you’d recommend! Im thinking dishwasher safe or outdoor?

Amy

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

Hi Leah! Hmmm - this is a tough one. My thought process is use the Hard Coat Mod Podge. Several coats and let dry between coats. You should be fine to wipe it off. Having said that . . . I don't know how resilient Mod Podge is to cat vomit. I don't know if there is acid in it or what (probably because of their stomachs but I don't know?). So it's very difficult for me to say. But that's what I would recommend. And if you want to add an additional clear acrylic spray sealer on top you can :)

dulce

Sunday 24th of July 2022

what do i use for art that i want to place outdoor in my porch

Amy

Wednesday 27th of July 2022

Hi Dulce! If you aren't decoupaging, I'd get a UV spray sealer from the hardware store. Or a brush on. Get something tough and waterproof!

Paula

Friday 8th of July 2022

I make 3d objects with PLA filament, and after painting I use Mod Podge as a finish. I just made a flower pot and a saucer. There is an opening in the pot for water drainage into the saucer. If I use Mod Podge on the saucer will it water proof it enough to keep the water from leaking through? Thanks, Paula

Amy

Saturday 9th of July 2022

Hi Paula! No it won't be enough to waterproof it. Mod Podge will disintegrate if water is just sitting on it, like any acrylic product. I'd recommend looking into a resin or a boat varnish.