Acrylic paint is a popular medium for artists and crafters. Its fast-drying properties make it ideal for techniques like layering and blending colors. However, like any paint, acrylic paint needs to be sealed to protect it from damage over time.
This is where Mod Podge comes in. Mod Podge is an all-in-one sealer, adhesive and finish that can be used over acrylic paint. But how exactly does it work? And what’s the best way to apply it?
This article will cover everything you need to know about using Mod Podge to seal acrylic paint.
What is Mod Podge?
Mod Podge is a versatile craft glue and sealer brand made by Plaid Enterprises. It comes in different finishes – Matte, Glossy and Satin. At its most basic, Mod Podge is an acrylic-based sealer and adhesive. It serves multiple functions:
- Sealer – It seals porous surfaces and protects painted finishes.
- Adhesive – It glues paper, fabric and other embellishments to surfaces.
- Finish – It gives surfaces a smooth, glossy or matte coating.
Mod Podge dries clear, so it doesn’t alter the original color underneath. It’s water-based, non-toxic and cleans up easily with soap and water. All these properties make Mod Podge a popular choice for sealing acrylic paint.
Can You Use Mod Podge as a Sealer for Acrylic Paint?
Yes, Mod Podge makes an excellent sealer for acrylic paint. It protects the painted surface from moisture, handling and other wear and tear. Here’s how it works:
- It forms a durable, plastic-like film over the paint when dry. This prevents the paint from rubbing off or getting damaged by moisture.
- The acrylic polymers in Mod Podge bind to the dried acrylic paint, sealing it with a water-resistant finish.
- It provides a uniform surface coating that blends the paint layers nicely.
- The glossy, matte or satin finish enhances the look of the acrylic paint.
- Multiple coats of Mod Podge create added protection for heavily used surfaces like tabletops.
Mod Podge is decoupage medium, glue and sealer all in one. It eliminates the need for separate products. This makes it very popular for sealing acrylic paint projects.
How to Apply Mod Podge to Acrylic Paint
Applying Mod Podge over acrylic paint is easy. Here are some tips for best results:
1. Let the Paint Dry Completely
Acrylic paint dries fast, within 30 minutes to 1 hour. But make sure it is fully cured before applying Mod Podge. If the paint is still tacky or cool to the touch, give it more time. Applying sealer over partially dried paint can make it bubble up or get tacky.
2. Prepare the Work Surface
Cover your work table with wax paper, craft plastic or newspaper. Have a damp cloth ready to wipe away excess sealer. This will make clean up easier.
3. Shake the Mod Podge Well
Mod Podge contains polymers that can settle when sitting for long. Always shake the jar thoroughly before use to redistribute the ingredients. This prevents clumping or uneven brush strokes.
4. Use a Foam Brush to Apply Mod Podge
Pour a small amount of Mod Podge into a container. Dip a wide, flat foam brush in it and wipe off excess on the rim. Use this to apply a thin, even layer over the dried acrylic paint. Avoid globs or pooled sealer.
5. Seal the Entire Surface
Coat the entire painted surface with a layer of Mod Podge. Don’t just seal sections or edges. Acrylic paint is porous and needs complete sealing for protection. Pay extra attention to the edges.
6. Let the Sealer Dry
Leave the piece undisturbed while the Mod Podge dries. It will dry clear and leave a smooth, glossy, matte or satin finish depending on the type used. Drying time is 2-3 hours.
7. Apply Additional Coats (Optional)
For heavy use surfaces like tabletops, add 2-3 thin coats of Mod Podge for maximum durability. Let each coat dry fully before adding the next. Too many thick coats can get sticky.
8. Clean the Brush
Rinse the foam brush with warm, soapy water while the sealer is still wet. Wipe it on a cloth before storing for reuse. Dried acrylic sealer can be hard to wash out.
And that’s it! With a few simple steps, you can easily seal acrylic paint projects with Mod Podge for protection and an attractive finish.
Tips for Using Mod Podge on Acrylic Paint
Here are some handy tips and precautions when using Mod Podge over acrylic paint:
- Apply thin coats and avoid over-brushing to prevent dulling the colors.
- Use very light coats over dark paint colors to retain vibrancy.
- Make sure any embellishments like glitter or beads are firmly adhered before sealing.
- Don’t shake the can or blow on the project while Mod Podge is wet. This can create bubbles.
- Clean brushes and wipe up drips immediately before the sealer dries.
- Use an outdoor sealer for pieces that will be used outdoors. Mod Podge is not waterproof.
- Apply a protective varnish over Mod Podge for surfaces that need very heavy use protection.
- Use acrylic-friendly brushes natural bristle brushes can get ruined by dried acrylic sealer.
- Work in a dust-free area to prevent debris getting trapped under the sealer.
Following the basics well and using good quality acrylic paints and sealer will give you great results.
Common Questions about Using Mod Podge on Acrylic Paint
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about using Mod Podge over acrylic paint:
How long does it take for Mod Podge to dry on acrylic paint?
Mod Podge dries to the touch in about 20-30 minutes. It takes 2-3 hours to fully cure. Curing time depends on thickness of the coat and ambient temperature and humidity.
Does Mod Podge work on all surfaces?
Mod Podge works on most surfaces – paper, wood, canvas, metal, plastic, wicker, terracotta, etc. For non-porous surfaces, primer should be used first for better adhesion. Avoid using Mod Podge on vinyl surfaces.
Is it okay to use Matte Mod Podge over Glossy paint?
Yes, you can apply a matte sealer over glossy acrylic paint without issues. It will simply dull down the shine of the gloss paint with a flat finish.
Can I use Mod Podge as glue for acrylic paint?
Yes, Mod Podge works as an excellent adhesive for acrylic paint. Just paint a layer on surfaces before applying acrylic paint and the paint will stick smoothly.
Does Mod Podge protect against scratches and water damage?
Mod Podge provides basic protection from surface wear and tear. But for heavy use surfaces, additional protective varnishes or epoxy resins are recommended along with Mod Podge.
How do I clean brushes after using Mod Podge?
Rinse brushes in warm, soapy water while the Mod Podge is still wet on the brushes. Acrylic sealant dries quickly and can ruin brushes if left to dry on the bristles.
Alternative Sealers for Acrylic Paint
While Mod Podge is a popular sealer for acrylics, there are several alternatives as well:
- Polyurethane – Water-based or oil-based polyurethane can be used to seal acrylic paint. It provides a very durable finish.
- Resin – Two-part epoxy resins create a thick, glassy coating over paint. Great for heavy use items.
- Varnish – Acrylic varnish sprays are easy to apply. They are not as durable as epoxy resin coatings.
- Shellac – Provides good protection for household items and kids’ crafts with non-toxic shellac.
- Glaze – Acrylic glazes can be brushed over paint for an antique, stained glass effect.
- Decoupage sealer – Other decoupage mediums like triple thick glaze can be used instead of Mod Podge.
- Gesso – Provides a canvas-like surface for painting on wood, metal or ceramic surfaces.
- Commercial sealants – Specialty sealers like Floetrol can be added to acrylics for better flow and adhesion.
Always do a test patch when using a new sealer on acrylic paint to ensure compatibility and desired results.
Getting the Most Out of Acrylic Paints
Acrylic paint is a high quality, flexible art medium. But like any paint, it requires some care to get the best results:
- Use 100% cotton canvas for painting. Acrylic binds best to natural fibers.
- Gesso the canvas before painting for better adhesion and acrylic flow.
- Avoid over-thinning acrylic paint with water or medium. It can affect binding.
- Don’t layer thick coats of acrylic paint as it can crack when drying.
- Store acrylics tightly sealed and away from extreme temperatures.
- Clean brushes thoroughly after each use and store horizontally.
- Use palette paper or a wet palette to keep acrylics useable for longer.
- Check that all layers are fully dry before adding more paint layers.
- Varnish or seal paintings after the recommended drying time for longevity.
- Consider final display conditions like lighting when choosing acrylic paint colors.
- Use high-quality acrylic brands for better lightfastness and permanence.
- Scan or photograph acrylic paintings to have digital backups of your art.
With the right canvas prep, high quality paints and proper sealing, acrylic paintings can last for decades. Take care of your painted masterpieces and they’ll give you years of enjoyment.
Getting Creative with Acrylics and Mod Podge
Mod Podge is not just a sealer for acrylic paint. You can use it as an adhesive and finish for all kinds of crafts and collages:
- Decorate storage boxes with cutouts of acrylic painted papers sealed with Mod Podge.
- Make colorful decoupaged trays using acrylic painted canvases coated in Mod Podge.
- Create abstract acrylic backgrounds on wood and seal with glossy Mod Podge.
- Embellish acrylic paintings with sparkles and beads set in Mod Podge.
- Make trendy resin-like geode art using painted Mod Podge backgrounds.
- Coat kids’ art projects like pencil holders with Mod Podge for durability.
- Add acrylic details to glassware and seal with Dishwasher-Safe Mod Podge.
- Make trendy dripped candles using acrylics and sealing the designs with Mod Podge.
- Create faux stained glass with tissue paper and acrylics sealed between glass panes.
The possibilities are endless for creating arts, crafts and functional pieces with acrylics and Mod Podge!
Troubleshooting Guide for Acrylics and Mod Podge
Sometimes, acrylic paints and Mod Podge don’t cooperate as expected. Here are some common problems and solutions:
Issue: Bubbles or wrinkles in the Mod Podge over paint.
Solution: Paint too thick or Mod Podge applied too thickly. Sand lightly and reapply thinner coats.
Issue: Paint color changes after sealing with Mod Podge.
Solution: Too much Mod Podge used or paint not fully dry. Gently sand and reapply lighter sealant coats.
Issue: Acrylic paint not sticking to surface.
Solution: Always prime surfaces before acrylic application for better adhesion.
Issue: Acrylic paint cracking or flaking after sealing.
Solution: Too many thick layers of paint applied too quickly without adequate drying time.
Issue: Yellowing over time after sealing with Mod Podge.
Solution: Apply a UV-protective varnish over the Mod Podge to prevent yellowing.
Issue: Mod Podge not drying fully.
Solution: Ensure proper ventilation, dehumidify work area, and apply thin coats.
Catching problems early and following best practices for acrylics and sealants will give you the best results for your painted projects.
Get Creative with Acrylics and Mod Podge!
Acrylics and Mod Podge open up a whole world of DIY possibilities. You can create stunning artworks, crafty home decor pieces, personalized gifts and much more. Use high quality paints and materials. Follow the product instructions for optimal results. And get ready to unleash your inner artist with this dynamic duo!