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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!

Scott Sidorsky

Monday 1st of May 2023

Hello Mod Podge!

I've taken on the massive task of making 15 unique decoupage boxes for my friends. Collecting all my materials has been fun, and I'm about to start production. I have one question: I've read a couple of different sources on drying time before sealing. Can you tell me how long I should wait before sealing a decoupaged box?

• The bottle says the cure time is 4 weeks. Do I need to wait that long before I seal the boxes and give my gifts away? I have a deadline at the end of the month. Do I need to rush so that everything will be dry?

• Does a Matte decoupaged box need a sealer?

Thank you for your reply.


Saturday 20th of May 2023

Dry time vs. cure time is way different. Cure time is when it reaches its maximum strength, chemically speaking. Those bonds take weeks. Dry to the touch is right away. :) You can give the gifts before then. And you can seal when dry to the touch. A matte decoupaged box doesn't need a sealer unless the Mod Podge stays tacky for whatever reason. Thanks Scott!


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 !


Tuesday 28th of February 2023

Hi Conni! You can use a spray sealer on top. It will remove the tackiness :)


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!