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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!


Thursday 21st of February 2013

I really need some help...

Alright, so I collect My Little Pony blind bag figures and they came out with a series that was made of a translucent plastic with glitter ontop. I wanted to keep the glitter from getting everywhere and I ended up using high-gloss acrylic modge podge spray. I did test it on two figures I had doubles of and allowed it to dry between coats and then let them set for a week or so. One was glittery and the other was a metallic plastic. They both turned out great so I did the rest of them.

About two months after they became very sticky, they will actually stick to paper. Dust sticks to them and handling them creates bad fingerprint marking. I'm really unsure what to do to make them not sticky. If it was only two or three I wouldn't care and would just try to find more of those but it's almost the entire set plus the rare metallic versions. I'm alright if they have to have a matte finish, even-though the gloss finish is really gorgeous. I'm nervous about using another acrylic sealant on them, I really don't want them to get sticker.

Any recommendations on fixing this would be great.

Here are two pictures of the different styles of the toys I sprayed. I don't have photos of mine due to having to store them in a sealed plastic box to avoid dust sticking to them (they don't stick to eachother too badly.) silver metallic: clear glitter and a normal blind bag pony:

The figures are really small, about 3 inches long.


Friday 22nd of February 2013

Hi there - I recommend painting them with an outdoor brush-on sealer, like Minwax Polycrylic. Give them several coats and let them dry. Good luck!


Monday 8th of October 2012

Hello there! (: I''m working on a foam "head" project it's coming along great! I just noticed that any little bumping into walls, doors and such leave unpleasant dent on the foam dome.. I was wondering if Mod Podge hard coat will form some what of an outer shell protecting it from and further damage.? Any info would be appreciated. Thank you for your time (:


Amy Anderson

Monday 8th of October 2012

Hi Eddie! Even the Hard Coat will remain flexible. You'd probably have to use a tough resin like EnviroTex Lite. But you have to drizzle that on so I'm not sure how that would work. I'd probably get recommendations at the hardware store.


Saturday 7th of July 2012

Hi! I'm trying to build up a highly glossy finish on a wooden box by using Mod Podge Gloss.

The problems I've encountered are:1. I get a lovely, super smooth finish by wet sanding, but the gloss disappears - is there any way to get the high shine back? I've polished with 1500 grit sand paper (because I read that steel wool causes tiny scratches).

2. To work around the above problem, and also to get rid of the tackiness, I followed your advise and sprayed Plasti-kote clear acrylic sealer on top. This got rid of the tackiness (and put the shine back), but after over a week, the finish(es) are still soft, i.e. if I lightly press the box with my nail, it will leave an indent.

Any tips? I will be trying the hard coat mod podge (although it only comes in satin), but wonder what I'm doing wrong with the current setup?

Many thanks

Amy Anderson

Sunday 8th of July 2012

Hi Anonymous! Typically I recommend that you use #0000 steel wool. This is such a fine grit that it won't cause scratches. BUT you can still make a glossier finish without it. There are two products I recommend:1) The Super Gloss Acrylic Sealer The Super Gloss Liquid Finish:

The difference between the two is that #2 is thicker and brush on.

Also, nail denting is normal with acrylic products. These are not resins, so they don't harden the way resins do. If you are looking for a super thick varnish coating that is hard, you'll need to use something like EnviroTex Lite. It's a two part resin and you'll have to mix it wearing gloves.

Hope this helps!

Mod Podge Amy

Sunday 26th of July 2009

Hey Meredith! Yep - You'll be totally fine. Good as gold!


Sunday 26th of July 2009

so, i'm decoupaging one of those little ikea drawer units (like this:, and using hard coat mod podge. if i use that, i don't have to seal it (unless i want it to be glossy), right? it'll be durable just the way it is? thanks!