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Why is My Mod Podge Sticky? Find Out Here!

Why is your Mod Podge sticky? Find out in this informative post – and learn what you can do to prevent it. Find success with decoupage here!

Why is My Mod Podge Sticky?

If you have never created a word cloud, you need to give it a go. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to waste away several hours, especially when you’re putting in terms to describe Mod Podge. But I digress! Back to sticky Mod Podge.

The real intention for this blog entry is to share with you a tip that I hope you value. Before I share this tip, I would like to thank (in addition to the Academy), my friends Patty and Holli, who have taught me everything I know about Mod Podge. Including this tip.

Problem: You’ve finished your Mod Podge project, it’s dried, and it feels tacky. Sticky.

You’re probably wondering: why is my Mod Podge sticky?

The more glossy the Podge, the more likely it is to stay tacky, just due to the nature of the product. This isn’t true for all glossy acrylic based products, but for your basic decoupage medium, it is.

So what should you do?

Here’s what you need to do for sticky Mod Podge. Purchase a clear acrylic sealer such as this one. When you are done with your project, allow it to dry for time recommended (about 24 hours after the last coat). Spray a coat of sealer, allow to dry for 15 minutes, then spray another coat.

You can also use a brush on clear sealer like Minwax Polycrylic. A lot of people use that particular formula for coasters.

The sprays and brush ons can both be found at home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. For those making coasters, definitely consider the VHT Enamel in clear which can withstand high temps. You can get that from an auto parts store.

SPECIAL NOTE for decoupage furniture. I highly recommend Hard Coat Mod Podge. It’s not tacky, because of the satin finish. It’s basically a tougher Mod Podge, hence the slightly higher price. If you want a gloss finish, I suggest using the Hard Coat and then spraying or brushing a gloss sealer over it.

Now you know why your Mod Podge is sticky, and I hope this helps. Okay, back to creating another word cloud!


Wednesday 1st of February 2023

Hi! So I used Mod Podge spray gloss on a faux leather (vinyl?) purse I decorated with permanent markers. It looks great but feels a bit tacky. Do I have to wait 28 days for it to completely cure ? Or can I seal it with something else ? Thank you !


Thursday 20th of October 2022

I’m having a hard time getting all the paper backing off my picture. If u can, please answer tonight. TY


Wednesday 26th of October 2022

I'm not sure what the project is Karen!

Lori Eisenberg

Wednesday 5th of January 2022

My mod podge gets curdled. That's what it looks like, I've strained it thru cheesecloth but the clumps come back. Help!


Wednesday 5th of January 2022

Hi Lori! Mod Podge doesn't last forever so either 1) your bottle is old or 2) there's an issue with it! If it's a relatively new bottle, please contact Plaid: They will ask for some numbers on the bottle so they can check it. My guess is either way, you need a new bottle - it shouldn't be clumpy :)


Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

Dry shampoo works in a pinch! Be sure to spray at a distance and little at a time to determine the feel of the non-sticky feel you want. I used an Herbal Essence brand; worked like a charm. I’m sure other brands work well also!


Thursday 23rd of December 2021

That's a great tip!


Tuesday 14th of December 2021

I want to spray a clear sealant over some large (8”) garden rocks I decoupaged using 2-3 coats of matte Mod Podge. You say to wait 24 hours after the last coat before sealing. I have read that you need to wait 4 weeks for the Mod Podge to cure before you can seal it. Do you find that you don’t need to wait that long?


Wednesday 15th of December 2021

Hi Carey! Curing time and dry time are different. You can seal after 24 hours when its dry; acrylic products take about 30 days to fully "crystalize" and bond, and reach maximum hardness. You can still use the item but that's the guideline for full cure time :)