CB22-017 - Mod podge vs decoupage what is the difference

Mod Podge vs decoupage: what is the difference?

What is the difference between Mod Podge and decoupage?

The main difference between decoupage and Mod Podge is that decoupage is a crafting technique. Mod Podge is a craft glue often used to create decoupage projects. Decoupage involves gluing fabric and paper to a surface. You can use Mod Podge for this purpose, but it is not a crafting technique.

It’s sometimes challenging to work out what different crafting terms mean and what they refer to. 

However, doing so means your projects are much more likely to succeed. With that in mind, let’s look at Mod Podge vs decoupage: what is the difference?

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Are Mod Podge And Decoupage The Same Thing?

Mod Podge and decoupage are not the same thing. Decoupage refers to a crafting technique involving gluing fabric or paper to something else. It is about decorating surfaces through adhesive.

The purpose of decoupage is to make something look more interesting and personal. It is an art form that you can do on any porous surface.

Mod Podge is a glue and a sealant, and it is often used for decoupage. It is similar to PVA glue but has some advantages. It creates a smoother layer on top, making it useful as a varnish.

You can use Mod Podge for many purposes other than decoupage. It is an exceptionally famous decoupage glue, but you can use it for all kinds of other projects. If you buy the correct kinds, You can use Mod Podge on dishwasher-safe products or make jigsaw puzzles.

Mod Podge is versatile, and it’s important to buy the type you need. Check out the different varieties before making a purchase.

Can You Use Mod Podge For Decoupage?

Mod Podge is great for decoupage, and many people use it. It’s a strong adhesive, and it works well with paper and fabric because they are porous.

That means it is ideal for almost all decoupage projects. It can even stick to plastic if the surface isn’t too smooth.

You can also use the Mod Podge as a sealant across your project when it is done. A few thin layers of Mod Podge will protect the craft once they have dried.

This is particularly important for paper decoupages. Paper can be delicate and might get torn or splashed, spoiling the craft. Whether you have used paper or fabric, Mod Podge will help prevent it from peeling.

Mod Podge can also be used as a finish if you choose the correct kind. It will make your decoupage look complete by applying a smooth, shiny layer on top. This is the perfect way to indicate that the craft is finished.

Do People Always Use Mod Podge For Decoupage?

Many people use Mod Podge for decoupage, but it isn’t the only glue available. Some people mix water into PVA and use it instead because it is cheaper.

However, this can have some disadvantages. Watery PVA will smudge inkjet images and may leave air bubbles as it dries. This spoils the surface of the decoupage and makes it look less professional.

Mod Podge is more expensive but provides a better finish and will not smudge images. Its name is said to come from abbreviating “modern decoupage” because it is suitable for this project. Mod Podge is unquestionably a good option if you want to create a beautiful decoupage.

Are Mod Podge And Decoupage Glue The Same Thing?

You may sometimes see “decoupage glue” on sale and wonder how this compares with Mod Podge. The answer is that both should work well for decoupage projects, and they are comparable products. In general, both will be superior to white glue and tacky glue when you are decoupaging.

This is because they contain more ingredients and are designed to dry completely smooth and clear. White glue should dry clear, but it may lack the makeup needed to give a perfect finish.

For this reason, decoupage glue and Mod Podge tend to be more expensive options. They will last for longer, protecting your project well, and they will look better too.

Can I Make Mod Podge At Home?

Some people say that Mod Podge is just white glue with additional water and mix it yourself. However, this is not the case. Mod Podge may be thinner than white glue, but it also contains other ingredients.

These ingredients help ensure that it dries clear and creates a smooth, hard finish that protects your projects. Adding water to PVA may make it thinner, but it will not ensure this finish.  Therefore, it is better to use proper Mod Podge for a decoupage project, as you will get better results.

Should You Varnish Decoupage?

It would be best to varnish decoupage projects when they are finished, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, a layer of varnish will protect your project from getting splashed or scratched.

Secondly, a layer of varnish helps to ensure that the decoupage doesn’t start to pull away in the future. It keeps the paper or fabric pressed flat against the decoupage medium. This reduces the risk of any catching and tearing, especially on high-use items.

Varnish is, therefore, the key to making your project last well, and you should add several coats. If you do not add enough varnish, your project will not last long. Make sure you apply multiple coats of varnish, like Mod Podge, to seal and finish your project.

You can do this by applying one thin layer of Mod Podge across your finished, dry decoupage project. Place this somewhere warm and allow it to dry fully.

When it is dry, add another thin layer and allow it to dry again. Make sure that you add only a small amount of Mod Podge at once. This helps to make the layers strong and protective.

Depending on how thick your varnish needs to be, you can add multiple layers. The thicker you make it, the better it will last. For high-use items, aim for at least three coats or more.

This will help to ensure that your decoupage project lasts in the long term. The varnish will prevent the image from being rubbed away. Although this is time-consuming, it’s key to durability.

Is Mod Podge Waterproof?

Once dry, Mod Podge will add a waterproof layer to the project. This means that you can wash decoupaged projects without worrying about them getting ruined by the water.

However, you should add plenty of layers if you will wash the item frequently. Make sure that it is completely sealed, or there is a risk that it will get ruined.

It’s also a good idea to gently sand the decoupaged surface with some fine sandpaper or wire wool before varnishing. This will ensure that the Mod Podge has a porous, rough surface to cling to, improving adherence. If you don’t sand it, the sealant may not stick as well and your seal won’t be as durable.


Mod Podge is different from decoupage because it is a crafting material, while decoupage is a crafting style. However, Mod Podge is commonly used in decoupage projects. It is the go-to option for many decoupage enthusiasts because it creates great results.