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Choosing the Perfect Mod Podge Finish: A Visual Guide

Are you curious what the Mod Podge finishes look like when they are dry? Scroll down for a handy dandy guide! Very informative. Also get a video about the formulas at the end of the post.

what do the Mod Podge finishes look like when dry

I get A LOT of questions about using Mod Podge as a finish (learn to Mod Podge here!). After all, you can decoupage with it, but after you are done, you can use it as a finish!

But how are the Mod Podge finishes going to look at the end of your project? Will they be shiny or what? That is one of the most common questions I get!

This visual guide is going to show you how each Mod Podge formula looks after you paint it onto your project and let it dry. I used a regular, soft bristle paint brush on paper.

In addition to viewing my samples, you should also:

Visit my Mod Podge formula guide to get learn more about these and additional Mod Podge formulas. If you click on the names of the formulas below you’ll get more details (including projects) as well.

To reduce brushstrokes from any of these formulas, use a soft bristled brush and then sand between coats. To do this, apply the Mod Podge and let it dry an hour.

Then use #0000 steel wood and lightly sand the entire surface. Do this between every coat. After the final coat, sand and then spray a clear acrylic sealer to finish.

Mod Podge Finishes

You can see what each of the Mod Podge formulas look like when they are dry below! I painted them on a gray piece of paper, so the point is to show you the light reflecting properties.

Mod Podge Gloss – Shiny, glossy finish. This was the first Mod Podge formulla.

Mod Podge Gloss swatch

Mod Podge Matte – Flat finish with minimal shine

Mod Podge Matte swatch

Mod Podge Hard Coat – Satin finish: somewhere in between a Gloss and a Matte (slightly shiny).

Mod Podge Hard Coat swatch

Outdoor Mod Podge – Shiny finish: even shinier than original Gloss

Mod Podge Outdoor swatch

Fabric Mod Podge – Shiny finish: very similar to Outdoor

Mod Podge Fabric swatch

Antique Matte Mod Podge – Flat like regular matte, just with a brown tint

Antique Mod Podge swatch

Mod Podge Glow in the Dark – Shiny finish that glows in the dark when charged with light

Glow in the Dark Mod Podge swatch

Extreme Glitter Mod Podge – very sparkly! Tons of glitter. Even more than Sparkle Mod Podge

Mod Podge Extreme Glitter swatch

Mod Podge Super Gloss – HIGH gloss finish. This formula is a finish only – don’t use it to decoupage down paper

Mod Podge Super Gloss swatch

Brushstroke Mod Podge – designed for adding texture to a decoupaged surface

Brushstroke Mod Podge swatch

Are you ready to see a video about the Mod Podge formulas? My friends Cathie and Steve will guide you. Press “PLAY” in the center of the video in this post!

Also, I’d love it if you would pin this graphic below!

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions in the comments.


Friday 10th of May 2024

I purchased acrylic book marks and personalized them by putting my friend's names on the book marks in vinyl. I would like to protect the vinyl on the book marks. What mod podge would I use as a sealer?


Saturday 23rd of March 2024

I used mod podge gloss to decoupage a lamp shade. It is to glossy. Is there a way to tone it down? And should I seal the lampshade to protect it?


Saturday 23rd of March 2024

Hi Kathy! Yes, you can either use another Mod Podge on top of it - (like satin or matte) OR you can spray seal it with a flatter finish. If you spray seal it then nothing else will be required.


Saturday 10th of February 2024

What mod podge would be suitable for sealing glitter on cowgirl boots for a concert day out plse


Tuesday 6th of February 2024

I have a puzzle with gold foil on parts. What would be the best way to seal it? Thank you!


Saturday 23rd of December 2023

Can decoupaged piece be used as sea salt holder? Will salt affect finish


Sunday 24th of December 2023

It can! I'm assuming on the outside of the vessel, as Mod Podge isn't food safe. It's non toxic though. The salt shouldn't affect it!