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Mod Podge on Glass: Your Complete Guide

Can you use Mod Podge on glass? Absolutely! Here are my best tips, including how to paint and prep your glass for the perfect results.

How to Mod Podge on glass

If you’ve always wanted to learn to Mod Podge, there’s no time like the present. You can use Mod Podge to decoupage on wood or decoupage on canvas (check out my 7 steps to perfect Mod Podging). AND – like the title of this post indicates – you can Mod Podge on glass.

It’s not as hard as you think.

However, I will say that glass is the surface I get the most questions about when it comes to Mod Podge. That’s why I’m excited to share all my knowledge with you today. I want to make sure you come away with a thorough knowledge of how to be successful with your project. There are definitely some secrets to success.

Maybe you want to make mason jars, or decorate vases, or simply glitter glasses. Regardless of what you want to do, you’ll need these tips. Keep reading and let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Decoupage on Glass

As you can probably guess: YES, you can decoupage on glass. You can Mod Podge directly onto glass with paper, fabric, tissue paper, napkins, photos (copied), and a variety of other materials. Here are the five steps you’ll go through to achieve project success:

  1. Prep the Glass
  2. Paint (optional)
  3. Choose Your Material
  4. Mod Podge to Glass
  5. Seal

So where do you get started? Before you do anything – you’ll need to prepare the glass.

Washing glass with soap and water and a sponge

How to Prep the Glass

Before you begin your project, no matter what you’re going to do, you will need to prep the glass. You have two options:

  1. Clean the glass with mild soap and warm water and let dry
  2. Clean the glass with rubbing alcohol and cotton balls (or similar) and let dry

The reason for the prep is because oils and dirt can get onto glass and stay there, and they can cause problems if you try to paint or Mod Podge the glass. By “problems,” I mean they won’t stick. So please clean the glass regardless of your next steps, and let dry completely before moving on.

TIP: some crafters sand the glass before painting or Mod Podging. I don’t personally, but if you’re having problem with paint sticking, roughing up the surface might work.

Painting on Glass

After cleaning, the next step is deciding whether or not you would like to paint your vessel. You can paint it on the interior or exterior depending on what you’re going to do with it. You can put Mod Podge directly on painted glass.

Glass-jar-painted-and-Mod-Podged

Do I Need to Paint?

You do not have to paint. This is a choice that you have to make based on the look you are going for. I’d say about 80 – 90% of the time, I paint the glass. However, I have Mod Podged paper to glass directly many times (see this project for an example).

IF you decide you would like to paint your glass, there are four methods I see regularly: spray paint, glass paint, chalk paint, and colored Mod Podge. I get into each method below.

Important Tip on Application: you might find more success painting on glass if you use a spouncer tool or artist sponge rather than brushing. I consistently get feedback that people prefer sponges and spouncers rather than brushes for paint, so it’s important to mention.

Spray Paint

You can spray paint and then Mod Podge on glass and it works very well. I only have a few tips. First, make sure the spray paint lists glass as a surface you can paint. Secondly, apply several thin coats and let dry rather than trying to thickly apply spray paint. You’ll get globs. Take your time.

Glass Paint

If you decide to use acrylic paint, you’ll need to be sure to use a multi-surface or enamel paint specifically for glass. My favorites are FolkArt Multisurface, FolkArt Enamel, and Martha Stewart Multisurface. There are plenty of other glass paint brands as well (Pebeo, Jacquard). Just make sure to read the bottle.

Chalk Paint

You can also use chalk paint on glass, and it sticks very well. Chalk paint is very popular to use when decoupaging napkins on glass. My favorite brand of chalk paint to use is FolkArt Home Decor Chalk Paint.

Colored Mod Podge

A final method I see regularly is using Mod Podge on glass – with the addition of food coloring to dye it! As you might imagine, this makes the glass somewhat transparent, but with color. A stained glass is the best way to describe it. You can learn how to do it and see the results here.

chalk painted mason jars

Materials to Use on Glass

You can use just about anything with Mod Podge on glass. Okay, not “anything,” but here are the most common items:

  • Doilies
  • Epsom salt
  • Fabric
  • Glitter
  • Napkins
  • Printed photos (see below)
  • Ribbon
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Stickers
  • Tissue paper
  • Washi tape
  • Wrapping paper

Once you select your material, you’ll trim it to the size you need with scissors, apply Mod Podge to the item, and then smooth onto the glass (or painted glass). It’s the same process as Mod Podging to other substrates, allowing time to dry in between layers of Mod Podge.

Mod Podge on Glass with Photos

If you want to use photos on glass, don’t use real photos OR photos printed on photo paper. Print photos on laserjet preferably, or spray seal both sides of an inkjet printed image. Ideally you’ll print your photo on 20 lb. (or less) weight paper (which is “regular” printer paper). You can print photos on thinner material too. I’ve seen printing on tissue paper, napkins, and other thin items – even fabric!

Mod Podge Gloss, Satin, and Matte

Mod Podge Formula to Use

I have a formula guide, but I realize it isn’t necessarily clear which Mod Podge to pick for glass. The short answer: any formula will work. The longer answer: If the item is for decorative purposes, I’d stick with Gloss, Matte, or Satin depending on the finish you like. Gloss is shiny, Matte is flat, and Satin is in between. I find I like to use Gloss most often because it’s shiny like glass.

If you want the item washable – like a glitter glass or plate – you’ll use Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge. It requires 28 days for curing.

If you want the item to stay outdoors – like windchimes or gazing orbs – you’ll use Outdoor Mod Podge.

You can also use Mod Podge Ultra on glass. It’s an indoor/outdoor spray formula. You may find it applies spotty on glass, so you can also pour it out and dab it on with a spouncer if you like.

Sealing Mod Podge on Glass

After you’ve applied your item to the glass with the correct Mod Podge formula, you’re going to let it dry 15 – 20 minutes. Then you’ll apply a top coat.

Do you need to coat the entire glass item?

You’re going to notice if you go “out of bounds” with the Mod Podge past your design, whether you painted or not, you’ll likely see the outline. Therefore, I always coat all of the glass with Mod Podge. If you have a lot of exposed, non-painted glass, you’ll see brushstrokes. You can choose to use a spouncer for a more textured look if you choose. It’s very difficult to avoid brushstrokes on clear glass with an acrylic product.


Are you ready to get started with Mod Podge on glass? Check out the 25 projects below!

If you want to learn to Mod Podge on glass, the best way is to dive in with a project. Try one of these ideas to get started and use your newly learned skills.

Easter bunny tissue paper canvas
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Gina Wilson

Saturday 1st of May 2021

Some great ideas there Amy! I have used napkins on glass jars before, but just kinda slapped it on to see what it looked like. They actually looked okay, apart from the paper being crinkled because I was in too much of a rush to smooth it out properly! I love the black jars with lace - will definitely add that to my To Do list as I have boxes of lace trimming looking for somewhere to go :-)

Rebecca Payne

Friday 30th of April 2021

I always look foreword to your posts. Thank you.

Karen Banks

Friday 9th of April 2021

May I ask if you have a tutorial to make iridescent wire framed dragonfly wings?

Amy

Friday 9th of April 2021

I do not, I'm sorry Karen. I would do a search online, it looks like there are some good options. Or join our Facebook group "Getting Crafty with Mod Podge"