Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mod Podge Tutorial


Let's face it. No one looks at a bottle of Mod Podge and feels the need to read the instructions. Myself included. And then we wonder why we can't get the results we're looking for! So here I'm going to add some tips and tricks for how I've perfected my own technique using Mod Podge to avoid bubbles, warps, tackiness, etc. I hope they help!
The Basics:
First, prep your surface. This isn't totally necessary, but I've found it makes me feel like everything goes together nicer. Simply rough up your surface lightly with a quick once over of sandpaper. No need to spend any serious time doing this, but 3 or 4 swipes isn't going to make this take any longer than it already would. Especially on smooth plastics or glass.
Using a flat paintbrush or a foam brush (I personally prefer the paintbrush because of the control I get and the ease of cleanup), paint a thin layer of MP onto your prepped surface. Next, paint a thin layer onto the back of the paper you are using to cover your project - by the time you have this layer painted on (do the edges last - they are key to keeping everything smooth!), your layer on your project should be dry to the touch - if not, you probably used too much.Carefully adhere the paper in place on your project and immediately smooth any bubbles or creases with your fingers. KEEP smoothing for a minute or two. This will keep bubbles from forming - use your fingers, use a bone folder, use a brayer, whatever will help make sure the two layers of MP bond together smoothly as they are drying.
At this point, I generally do my trimming or sanding to remove the excess on the edges. My favorite tool for this is those cheap black fingernail files. Once you're done with this, make sure you wipe off ALL traces of filing dust etc.Apply a thin coat of MP over the top of your paper and allow to dry completely. Even though MP dries quickly, for this step you really need to be sure you're in a fairly non-humid area and allowing a really thorough dry in between coats. A fan can help too. I'm generally working on several projects at any given time so I'm not as concerned with the time it takes to let one of them dry but if you are in a hurry, it really is worth the extra time to allow about an hour between coats. Building layer upon layer of not quite dry MP is what causes half of your stickiness problems - the other half are caused by humidity! Add as many layers to the top as you'd like - I usually use 3 just for good measure.If you are adding more layers of paper or stickers, they should be added after the first top coat, following the above instructions as if the new addition is your original paper but giving it more drying time as in the final steps. This will allow your project to build up gradually around your extra layers, smoothing everything out without making it sticky.
Using Stickers:
If you are adding a sticker, first remove the stickiness! Seriously - stick it onto some fabric a bunch of times, use Un-du, or dust it with cornstarch or baby powder. Then use the Mod Podge as your adhesive. For dimensional stickers that you want on top, wait until all your layers are dry and then add that sticker last. I usually add a wet adhesive (E6000 is my favorite) just for good measure. I use this for flowers, metal, and any other embellishments I want to not move ever again. It's goopy, it smells bad, and it WORKS.
Using Photographs:
First, I recommend using the Mod Podge for Paper formula - this one is acid free (and comes in matte or glossy), unlike the original. Also, a big part of how Mod Podge works is that it is meant to kind of soak through the paper. Obviously, this makes photo paper challenging. You will have MUCH better results if you either color copy the photo or print it onto good quality printer paper or thinner cardstock.
Using Rubber Stamps: Mod Podge is a liquid so if your ink doesn't say "waterproof", it's going to smear if you don't protect it somehow. You can use clear embossing powder and heat emboss the image or you can use some type of a spray fixative (I like Krylon's matte finish) and wait for it to dry before Mod Podging over the top of it.
Eliminating Tackiness:
Another thing if your project is something like a mini book where the pages will touch - use a spray fixative (matte or glossy) over the final coat of Mod Podge. Dry thoroughly (at least overnight if you can't give it a few days) before closing the book. Helps eliminate any stickiness that might be left.
Helpful Links:

32 Comments:

Lida said...

Thank you so much, I seem to be "modge podge challenged" can´t wait to try your tips!!

Jenna Franklin said...

You're welcome! Haha - anything I can do to spread the Mod podge love!

coachwife6 said...

Thank you for your tutorial. I am making a clipboard fash8ioned after the one by Cindy Hackathorne in Pinecone Press magazine. I am thinking of skipping the modge podge. Do you feel as if it is necessary. I love your knowledge of scrapping.

Jenna Franklin said...

I'm glad you liked it, coachwife6! While I'm not familiar with the clipboard by Cindy, here are my thoughts on the subject of clipboards, lol! If it is to be purely decorative or lightly used (i.e. you will have a cardboard-backed pad of paper on it), then by all means, you can skip sealing it. Be forewarned, however, that it will get dirty easily. I've done clipboards both sealed and unsealed and honestly, I try to seal them now simply because they wipe clean nicely!

coachwife6 said...

Thanks for getting back with me so quickly. It will be used only as a wall hanging in a coaches office. So, it won't get dirty. It's more of a thank you gift. I will see if I can scan it and post it for you to see. Thanks!

coachwife6 said...

I just realized I can't post a photo of the scan in your blog. LMK if you want me to email it to you. Thanks in advance.

coachwife6 said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial. I ended up making six and not one problem at all because of your suggestions. Thanks a ton!

barunner said...

Thank you this is helped me feel less worried about my project! I am doing a collage of just random things (magazine ads, stickers, drawings, etc.) on paper. Will I be okay to use regular MP on it, or would I be better off with Paper MP? With the stickers,can I just go over them with another layer of MP instead of adheisve?

Anonymous said...

I seem to have a problem with modpodge tackiness. The project has been drying for several months and still sticks to everything (paper, fabric and cardboard)and leaves fingerprints when held. Will the spray fixitive solve the sticky problem? Help!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I am trying to use modpodge on wooden snack trays. We painted and then glued (modpodged) the stuff on the tops. I have let them dry for 24 hours, but now I am not sure what to do. The jar says three to five coats allowing twenty minutes to dry in between. But?? I read on your post to let dry time be longer. Do the layers bond when you wait twenty-four hours between coats? Thanks in advance, Tina

Anonymous said...

Hi there....Ok Im so new to Mod podge but I am currently working on refinishing a desk,and I want to adhere wallpaper to the front of each of the drawers...Now its a wooden desk that is painted white...now would I go about this in the same way that you described in your tutorial...put a real thin layer of mp on the desk and then on the back of the wallpaper and then put a few top coats on the wallpaper? Thanks for all your help!

Anonymous said...

I am making a wooden baby block project from the Martha Stewart show. The project calls for Mod Podge and I see that it is water soluable. If a child puts the finished block in his/her mouth will the Mod Podge hold up? Can these wooden blocks really be played with? Also, is there a better choice between the regular or the matt finish for a harder end product?

Just another statistic said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

How do I prevent brush strokes showing on my finished projects. I am putting digital pictures onto candle holders

Becky said...

Have you ever used scrap book paper on a mod podge project. I need an extra set of hooks in my laundry room and am considering mod podge on a board using paper to match the room. Any thoughts? I am a newbie to mod podge.

coachwife6 said...

yes, I used scrap book paper. It works fine. Use the tips listed here and give it lots of time to cure.

Anonymous said...

I am new to mod podge and before I start my project, I was hoping someone could answer a couple of questions. I would like to cover our kitchen table w/paper and then put photos over the paper. Since it's on a surface that will be used regularily, should I apply a hard coat of mod podge over the paper coat mod podge. Do I need to use a fixitive so it won't be sticky? I need the surface to be able to hold being wiped down on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm new with mod podge and want to make a project using rice paper. I'm not adhering it to anything. I want to make a frame for my semi circle window and cover it with rice paper. I will use either wood or plastic sticks to make a design in the window so the rice paper will stay together, but nothing will be backing it. I want the paper to become hard and easy to wipe off the dust. How should I proceed?

Joani said...

Oh Thank you for the info! I love Mod Podge and now I'm a little smarter just reading your blog post.
If you don't mind I am going to link this article to my blog post. It's very informative *Ü*
Hugs,
Joani

Heather - CROQZine.com - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

Linking to you from Dollar Store Crafts!

Virginia said...

Excellent tips. I'm discovering the wonders of Mod Podge and I love using it on everything! I just made a pillow lap desk. I couldn't find the images I wanted, so I used press-on trasfers. I transferred the images to the surface, then VERY carefully and lightly applied a thin layer of Mod Podge over the individual images. When it dried completely, I added several layers over the entire surface. It turned out wonderfully!

Keri said...

So, these directions work for fabric? I am trying to put a large scarf on a piece of wood to make wall art... does this sound reasonable because it did not work the first time around. The material would not stay in place. Please help!

Melissa said...

Thanks for the tutorial I was wondering how to get rid of the bubbles in my paper

Kate said...

If I use the HARD COAT Mod Podge, will I avoid the tackiness problem? I do not want to add a final coat after the Mod Podge (since this is a Sunday School project). THANKS for all the great tips.

Rhonda said...

I have a four foot diameter round window in a Chruch gym which is being turned into a sanctuary. I'd love stained glass, but it's just too expensive. Do you think that I could use Mod Podge to do a stained glass effect with tissue paper? If so, how would you prep the surface?

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me why my modge podge left dark spots. It has been a few days. Will this dry and go away? Thank you!

Diane Hodrick said...

Your tips worked like a charm....not one bubble in my project. First time I've ever been totally satisfied with my Mod Podge efforts. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi , I would like to know may I use Mod podge as "gel medium transfer" for any colorful or original copy(black and white) ,or inkjet picture ?
if yes , would you please give me some information about which kind of "mod podge" is working to show the best result?
thank you
Neda

DawnEden said...

I made some coaster on tile with a pretty cardstock. The one thing or tip I will say is that you do need to use a spray fixative on the finale coat. When the water from the glass or cup gets the coaster wet, they will stick and form a wet mark. Thanks for your tips on MP. I use it for so many of my projects! I wish I would have known about the fixative before I laid a glass on my pretty coasters! lol! Thanks Again...

cincar0105 said...

I made a set of coasters with kids photos on them and modge podged several layers with only 20 minutes drying time in between. Then after 24 hours I stacked them face to face and set them aside. Now i can't separate them -they are stuck tight! Any ideas to get them separated without ruining them?

Michelle Keown said...

I am mod podging photos onto a craft table. What do I do to get a smooth top coat? Right now I have striations on the top after two coats....

Marz said...

oh man, the STICKERS! Thanks for that tip most of all! I redid a particular project and gave up after the 3rd time i messed up the stickers figuring stickers and mod podge just weren't meant to cooperate...maybe the 4th time's a charm? we'll see....Thanks!