Skip to Content

Mod Podge Formula Guide (Completely Updated!)

This Mod Podge formula guide explains all of the different formulas and how to use them. Updated with all of the new formulas for this year! There’s also a video. Scroll down to see it!

Mod Podge Formula Guide Updated


You’ve asked it in a few different ways, but the basic question is the same. I’m ready to explain to you with my Mod Podge formula guide – so let’s do this thing. And in case you are wondering if you should make your own Mod Podge, the answer is no. Here’s why.

#1 thing to remember: All Mod Podge formulas are essentially the same in that they can all do three things. They are all good for gluing, sealing, and finishing.

The finish or use may be different, but they are all capable of those three things. Don’t forget that. Now read on to get the Mod Podge formula guide – but before you do that, check out this Mod Podge formula guide video!

Mod Podge Formula Guide

Are you ready to check out the Mod Podge formulas? Click on the name of the formula to go to a specific post about it and get sample projects. Let’s dive in!

Classic Mod Podge: Gloss, Matte, Satin

There are THREE formulas that fall under this umbrella: Gloss, Matte, and Satin. When the best decoupage medium in the world was developed over 50 years ago by Jan Wetstone, it started with Gloss and Matte . . . . at a later date, the Satin formula came along. They’re exactly the same minus the finish:

  • Gloss – Shiny finish.
  • Matte – Non-shiny (flat) finish.
  • Satinslightly shiny finish in between the above two.
Mod Podge Matte, Gloss, and Satin bottles

With the Gloss formula, I typically receive the feedback that “after it’s dry, it’s sticky.” Sometimes I hear that about Matte too.

It really depends on the climate you live in, but there’s a very simple solution: spray with several coats of a clear acrylic sealer and you’ll be fine. Stickiness be gone! Extra protection too.

Result: great for all types of projects and most surfaces. These are your all-around Mod Podge.

Okay. Now after the three classics were born, the people at Plaid thought, “What if we developed Mod Podge in different formulas – for specific needs?” So they did. Which is why we have a Mod Podge formula guide!

The makers of Podge kept the two classics around, so if you notice that some of these properties overlap with those three classic formulas, you are correct. But think about it – can you really get rid of the original formulas? No way.

Brushstroke Mod Podge

Are you looking to get the look of a hand painted image without the hefty price tag? Simply paint Brushstroke Mod Podge over the top for a highly textured finish for an artistic look. Comes in Gloss or Matte.

Brushstroke Mod Podge bottle

Result: Very textured and dimensional (yet clear) and gives you the look of hand painting.

Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge

You asked for it, and now you finally have it! This dishwasher friendly formula was released in January 2014. It does the gluing, sealing and finishing of regular decoupage medium – but now you can put those items in the top rack of the dishwasher!

Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge Gloss

You should still keep this formula away from food and your mouth (3/4″ from the top of a glass), but now you can add items to cups, plates, and more . . . and wash them! Gloss finish. It MUST cure 28 days before washing.

Result: Use to add paper or fabric to something you want to wash (top rack dishwasher or hand wash only).

Extreme Glitter Mod Podge

Do you want Sparkle Mod Podge on steroids? Because that’s what this is! This formula contains ultra fine glitter and LOTS of it . . . so you wouldn’t want to put it over a paper or fabric where you want to see fine detail.


It looks great on all colors of surfaces but best on anything dark because the glitter really pops. I also love it on glass.

Result: Amazingly glittery finished surface that looks best on dark surfaces. Think “galaxy themed!”

Fabric Mod Podge

It’s not just wood or paper that people like to decoupage – it’s fabric too! Not only that, you know I love to decoupage fabric TO other surfaces. This formula does both.

Mod Podge Fabric bottle

You can decoupage things to fabric with it, and you can prepare fabric for decoupaging to surfaces by lightly brushing on and allowing to dry before cutting. It eliminates fraying. Here are 20 things you can do with Fabric Mod Podge.

Result: It’s main use is to adhere fabric to fabric so that it remains washable. Use to prepare fabric for decoupaging to surfaces and for decoupaging things onto fabric.

Furniture Mod Podge

This formula is similar to Hard Coat, but developed just for furniture pieces – also just comes in 16 oz. . . because you’re probably going to need more than the standard 8 oz bottle!

Furniture Gloss Mod Podge bottle

Result: Use for any furniture re-dos that you take on . . . like one of these decoupage furniture projects.

Mod Podge Glow in the Dark

Exactly what it sounds like. It’s the gloss Mod Podge with crushed fireflies! Kidding. Anyway, you’ll need to apply several coats for the best glowing effect. I love this stuff for kids’ project and my favorite-est holiday in the world, Halloween.

Mod Podge Glow in the Dark bottles

Result: You can’t really see the finish when the lights are on, but it glows-in-the-dark! Expose to light to recharge.

Hard Coat Mod Podge

This formula was specially developed to be super tough! Provides extra protection for projects that are frequently used and handled. It has a satin finish, which is somewhere between matte and gloss. It doesn’t show the scratches like the matte or gloss!

Mod Podge Hard Coat bottle

Result: perfect for furniture like tables and dressers. It’s the ultimate durable Mod Podge finish.

Outdoor Mod Podge

Decoupage + stuff that goes outdoors. . . . = Outdoor Mod Podge? Yes! Protects your decoupage project from moisture and the elements. Great for clay pots.

Mod Podge Outdoor bottle

Result: Pretty simple: anything you decoupage that you want to sit outside. While you don’t *have* to, I recommend also sealing with an outdoor sealer for added durability.

Paper Mod Podge

A lot of people are confused by this one – can’t regular Mod Podge be used for paper. YES!

Mod Podge Paper bottles

Here’s the thing though: the Mod Podge gurus realized that there is a group out there that do more advanced paper projects; scrapbooking to be specific. These people like their projects to be archival, and that means they want their glues to be as well.

Result: Paper Mod Podge is archival quality, keeps photos and papers from yellowing, and extends the life of scrapbooking projects. Comes in a gloss and matte finish.

Puzzle Saver Mod Podge

You’re probably not going to need an entire 8 oz. bottle of decoupage medium to seal a puzzle – and it might be nice to have a brush included, especially if you aren’t a regular crafter. Great idea, right?

Mod Podge puzzle saver bottles

Well, the makers of Mod Podge thought so too, so they put together a little 2 oz. bottle of Mod Podge with a brush on a card. It still comes in an 8 oz. bottle for serious puzzlers.

You can use the Classic formulas to seal puzzles too; this was created for folks who aren’t regular decoupagers but still have a need for the good stuff (it’s easy to identify!).

Result: Basic formula with simple Gloss finish.

Sparkle Mod Podge

Did you know there is a decoupage medium with glitter already inside? Yes. Sparkle Mod Podge contains hologram glitter pieces (rainbow effect) in a gloss base. Use several coats for more sparkle and shine.

Mod Podge Sparkle bottle

Result: Adds glitz to your project in a minimum of one coat. Note that this shows up great on dark surfaces.

Super Matte Mod Podge

You know that chalk paint and finishes are all the rage right now. You can get that smooth, luxurious feel of a finish with this formula.

Mod Podge Super Matte bottle

It’s hard to explain this formula is until you see it with your own eyes, and run your hand along it. I think it’s an amazing finish for furniture, especially a vintage item that you want to protect.

Result: VERY flat (no shine) and soft to the touch. No brushstrokes.

Mod Podge Ultra

This formula takes your standard decoupage medium to a whole new level! As you can see, it’s in a spray bottle, which I know y’all have been asking about for years. Here are the amazing features.

  • NON-tacky
  • Spray application
  • Multi-surface – wood, fabric, terra cotta, and more
  • Indoor or Outdoor (water resistant and UV resistant)
  • Self leveling, no brush strokes
  • Highly durable!
Mod Podge ultra spray bottles in gloss matte and satin

Result: yes, it basically does everything in a spray. You can brush it on too! Comes in a Gloss or Matte finish.

Special Formulas

There are a few special Mod Podge formulas that don’t do the gluing, but they act as special finishes and are complimentary to all of the decoupage products above. Here they are.

Mod Podge Diamond Top Coat bottle

Diamond Top Coat

Preserve the beauty of your diamond puzzle projects and more with this Diamond Top Coat. This finish is a great way to make sure your diamond paintings stay together in order to display.

Result: A shiny, clear finish that doesn’t dull sparkle!

Mod Podge Dimensional Magic

Traditional resins give you a hard, varnish finish but are toxic and require mixing – not Dimensional Magic!

Mod Podge Dimensional Magic Bottles

This product adds an epoxy-like finish to jewelry and paper crafts and dries clear. You can layer Dimensional Magic on top of itself (let it dry between layers). This formula comes in Clear and Glitter (if you can find it).

Result: Get the look of resin or epoxy without the toxicity and mixing. Dries clear and dimensional. Learn about Dimensional Magic vs. Resin.

Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium

You can use this formula to create decals or appliques from any original photo. You can also transfer images to fabric or wood. Keep in mind this isn’t clear – so anything you transfer will have a white background.

Mod Podge photo transfer medium bottles

It takes some practice to use this formula, but once you get the hang of it, there are no limits to what you can transfer! See 30 Mod Podge photo transfer crafts here (most of them use this medium).

Result: A opaque photo transfer with a slick feel to the surface (you can decoupage over the top).

Mod Podge Resin

This epoxy resin product was released in 2021! It’s not a decoupage medium – it’s a casting resin used to accentuate your decoupage projects or make separate projects such as DIY resin coasters and geode coasters.

Mod Podge Resin

Result: Thick, glossy, hard finish that you can use on top of your Mod Podge projects.

Super Thick Gloss

You can’t glue with the Super Gloss; the goal here is to get a smooth, epoxy-like finish over a large area. To use, Mod Podge your pieces down with another formula.

Mod Podge Super Gloss bottle

Then use the Super Gloss over the top. It’s self-leveling and thicker than regular Mod Podge. So it gives you a very shiny, clear finish that looks like epoxy but isn’t (it’s not as thick as Dimensional Magic for those who are wondering).

Result: A super shiny, clear finish that is a little bit more thick than regular Mod Podge.

Mod Podge Stiffy

I get a lot of laughs about the name of this product, but stiffening fabric is EXACTLY what it does! And I tell you, I love Stiffy. It’s not used for decoupaging or gluing anything down – not a top coat either.

Mod Podge stiffy bottles

Instead, you simply dip items into Stiffy and it . . . stiffens them. Before you ask why you’d want to do that, check out my doily bowls. I have a lot of projects planned with Stiffy that I can’t wait to try.

Result: Not used for decoupage; instead, used to stiffen (primarily) fabrics into 3D shapes.

Other Mod Podge Products

The Mod Podge brand encompasses more than just decoupage mediums and special formulas! Here are some additional products that you can find at the craft stores.

Acrylic Sealers: If you need a strong sealer to spray on top of your finished project, these come in Gloss, Matte, Pearlized (which has a bit of shimmer), and Super Gloss.

Mod Podge Tools and Brushes: There are several branded tools and brushes that are specifically designed for decoupage projects: a large and small brush applicator, finger caps, professional tool set and more.

That should cover it for the Mod Podge formula guide! I want to let you know, as a final word, that ALL Mod Podge is self-sealing. You don’t have to hit with acrylic sealer.

I sometimes recommend it, but that is only for added durability beyond what you already get with the formulas above.

If something is going to get used frequently and beat up, then you should also spray or brush on seal with something additional.

Mikel Van

Monday 3rd of June 2024

Mod Podge Water Resist - Great stuff!


Tuesday 7th of May 2024

Thank you, thank you! This is exactly what I've been looking for: the definitive guide to Mod Podge!


Tuesday 23rd of April 2024

Very informative, thank you. I do have a question. I'm in the beginning of creating a photo collage for my sister who is suffering from Alzheimer's. Once all they pictures have been placed and glued. Once I seal it with the Mod Podge formula, once it dries can it be rolled up? I'll be traveling on the train to take it to her and don't want to frame it took I get there. So can I roll it up and store it in a mailing tube?


Monday 4th of March 2024

Thank you for this amazingly-thorough, yet simple-to-follow great guide! I kept gleefully scrolling and didn't want the magic to end!

Bernetta Barnes

Sunday 3rd of March 2024

I follow the instructions on how to color the jars using the items but after the glass dryer it has a film inside what do I do for this the color is prefect