Matte Medium vs. Mod Podge: What’s The Difference?

Matte Medium is designed for fine art while Mod Podge is suited for crafting – they have different levels of glossiness and drying times. Matte Medium is waterproof while Mod Podge is not waterproof.

In terms of consistency, Matte Medium is thinner since it can also be used to thin acrylic paints. It takes longer to dry than the thicker Mod Podge. Mod Podge dries quickly and can adhere to heavier materials due to its thicker consistency.

Matte Medium vs. Mod Podge

Matte Medium vs. Mod Podge: Specs & Uses

⏰Drying Time

Matte Medium: Dries quickly, usually within 15-30 minutes

Mod Podge: Dries slowly, taking several hours to a full day (24 hours or more)


Matte Medium: $4.99 – $6.99 per 2 oz bottle

Mod Podge: $9.99 – $14.99 per 8 oz bottle

🛠️Common Uses

Matte Medium serves as an effective sealant if you want to safeguard your inkjet printed images from smearing when using water-based media on top; or transferring photocopies onto canvas; once fully dries, it becomes waterproof for artwork; and offers superior adhesion compared to standard glues like Mod Podge or Elmer’s on collages.

Mod Podge is perfect for decoupage projects, such as adhering paper, fabric, or other materials onto various surfaces like wood, glass, or ceramic; adhere cardstock prints onto coasters, providing a waterproof layer.

Technical Info

Matte MediumMod Podge
Total Score★★★★★★★★★
Adhesive StrengthMedium to high adhesive strength (4/5 on a scale of 1-5)Medium to high adhesive strength (4/5 on a scale of 1-5)
FinishMatte finishGlossy finish (7/10 on a scale of 1-10)
Water ResistanceWater-resistant, but not waterproof (can withstand light splashes)Water-resistant, but not waterproof (can withstand light splashes)

My Hands-on Test of Mod Podge

Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Waterbased Sealer, Glue and Finish (8-Ounce), CS15059 Gloss, 8 Ounce
The Mod Podge was exactly what I needed to seal the inkjet-printed vinyl stickers on my tumblers, creating unique gifts for my friends. Before applying the Mod Podge, I took the precaution of spraying Rustoleum 2X clear gloss on the stickers to prevent any ink smearing.

✅Decorative Pieces

I often use Mod Podge to adhere paper cutouts, photos, fabric scraps and more onto surfaces like wood, glass, terra cotta and canvas. For my latest project, I decoupaged vintage comic book pages onto IKEA Byttor storage boxes to create unique display pieces. The Gloss Lustre formula gives items a beautiful shiny finish.

applied matte Modge Podge in thick brush strokes

Sealing – Mod Podge doubles as an excellent sealer. I’ve used it to protect my handcrafted salt dough ornaments from spills and toddler messes. It’s also perfect for sealing finished jigsaw puzzles before framing – just apply one coat to the front, let it dry for 24 hours, then do the back. Your puzzle is now ready for hanging thanks to the water-resistant (not waterproof) protection.

Mod Podge explained

Mod Podge Glow in the Dark

Testing out black light mod podge.

Mod Podge Glow in the Dark

Rocks & Outdoor Crafts – Mod Podge also seals and protects outdoor pieces. I recently used it to decoupage fun scrapbook paper designs onto plain garden rocks that I then hid around our neighborhood park for others to find and enjoy. Just be aware that it takes around 28 days to fully cure when used outdoors.

holding Mod Podge

Glue & Adhesive – In addition to being a sealant, Mod Podge can also be used as a glue for adhering paper, fabric, buttons and other craft materials. It’s not intended for repairing broken ceramic or glass items, but it works great for putting jigsaw puzzles together before sealing.

I’ve also used it to adhere cardstock photo prints to coasters before varnishing them with a spray sealer for a waterproof finish.

Mod Podge for Jewelry

I’m using this mod part, the dimensional magic, and just with a little brush, put a thin layer on it on my baked pieces.
You can use something to hold it and then just brush on a thin layer and then let it dry and it’s shiny like that.

Mod Podge for Jewelry

Markers & Paints – When working on ceramic or glass items, I’ve found oil-based Sharpie paint pens work best along with Mod Podge, as acrylics and alcohol-based markers can smear. I first bake on the oil-based design, then seal it with 2-3 coats of the Dishwasher Safe formula, allowing each coat to fully dry in between.

This ensures a lasting, protected finish – even my COLOR WORKSHOP Squiggle Pen designs on CORELLE dishes hold up beautifully. However, the Mod Podge itself is not microwave safe, so I don’t use it on mugs or plates that will go in the microwave.

Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Waterbased Sealer, Glue and Finish (8-Ounce), CS15059 Gloss, 8 Ounce

❌Not Food Safe

While non-toxic, Mod Podge is not FDA approved for direct food contact. So I don’t use it on dishes, mugs or anything else that will go in the mouth. For decorative dishes that won’t be eaten off of, it works great – I recently Mod Podged pretty napkins onto some Dollar Tree plates to make charming wall decorations for my kitchen.

As for the formula varieties, the Gloss is great for shiny finishes, while the Matte provides more of a flat look. Unfortunately there isn’t a waterproof matte option. And be aware that the pricing online can sometimes be inaccurate – I’ve seen the 8 oz bottle listed for $3 when it should be closer to $15.

💬 FAQ of Mod Podge

Q: Does this product have non-toxic properties? Can it be used to fix dinner bowls that are used daily?

A: It is not recommended to use this product on the inside of the bowl, especially if it will come into contact with food.

Q: Is this product FDA-approved as food-safe?

A: While the Mod Podge products are non-toxic, they have not been approved for contact with food. Therefore, it is not recommended to use them in areas that will come into contact with someone’s mouth or direct contact with food.

Q: Can Mod Podge be used to seal crafts that have been treated with mod podge? I have made some decoupage glass pieces using mod podge gloss and would like to seal them.

A: It might be possible, but personally, I prefer using triple thick or some type of glaze as a sealer.

Q: Can I use Mod Podge to seal rocks?

A: Yes, you can use it for sealing rocks. Another choice would be Museum Gel, which is ideal for small ceramics, plastic items, rocks, and other collectibles, and doesn’t leave any marks or stains when you reposition the item.

CTA:list all comments

5 reviews

      • I spray the ink jet print with hairspray before I put on medium. I don’t spray it, full blast, but rather dust it on from above with light coats until it builds up a barrier. When I put the medium out, I don’t rub my brush back-and-forth, but just lay it on one time, and then let it dryRead More

  • I'm having trouble with the ink smearing when I use it over Sharpie designs on porcelain mugs. Can you offer any advice? 😢

    • For the best results, I would suggest using oil-based Sharpie paint markers or other oil markers. Avoid using acrylic pens with an application of mod podge as they tend to smear. If you want to decorate a ceramic cup, it's recommended to use oil paints, bake the dish, and then apply a layer of mod podge. While I haven't tried…Read More

📣🔥 Share it to easily keep track of the answers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Matte Medium Uses

Golden Matte Medium
I love using Matte Medium because it is some of the best in the market. Among their range, I found it to be a great substitute for the pricier Liquitex brand.

✅Pros: Golden Fluid Matte Medium

It doesn’t leave any shine behind like glue sometimes does, and it holds up well in my mixed-media canvas projects.

Superior Quality

One thing I appreciate about Matte Medium is its superior quality compared to cheaper brands. For my collage work, this matte medium is perfect. It not only protects my images from other layers like watercolor and paint but also dries clear without any unwanted shine. It’s worth the investment, especially if you want to safeguard your artwork from possible harm. I even mix this medium with paint sometimes because it works excellently to thin the color.

pouring Matte Medium
When it comes to application, this matte medium is easy to use and dries at a forgiving rate, giving my collages a nice finish.

Matte Medium for Acrylic Paint

It’s quite satisfying to peel it off my fingers at the end of the day. The medium also extends the life of my acrylic paint, and I find it easy to mix.

Matte Medium for Acrylic Paint

Golden’s matte medium is not only useful for collage and painting but also works well for art journaling and other mixed media projects. It provides a beautiful clarity and reduces shininess on finishes, whether it’s on acrylic paint or when priming canvas or journal pages. The consistency is perfect, and I didn’t need to dilute it with water for my project.

Golden Matte Medium

💬 FAQ of Matte Medium

Q: Can this medium be used on wood?

A: Absolutely. According to Golden Artist Colors’ online help, the Golden Matte Medium can be used as a clear gesso for wood panels and canvas. It is recommended to apply a minimum of two coats. If using it on a wood panel, it might be a good idea to seal both sides to prevent warping.

Q: Can I use this Golden Fluid Matte Medium for transferring photocopies to Canvas?

A: My teacher actually uses it for that purpose.

Q: How does this differ from the less expensive (35205) Golden Matte Medium?

A: While you can achieve similar results with other glues, there is a significant difference when it comes to painting acrylics, watercolor paints, or oils over a matte medium compared to using Mod Podge or Elmer’s glue. Mod Podge and Elmer’s are sealers that tend to leave a glossy finish, making it difficult for paints to adhere. However, with a matte medium, you can paint over it with other products, as they will adhere to the surface. It’s recommended to seal the finished piece afterward. Golden Matte Medium works great as glue if you plan to add other products like paint, gels, or oils on top. Once you’re finished, Elmer’s can be used as a suitable sealer. If you prefer Mod Podge, it’s best to use a separate sealer, as Mod Podge tends to leave a tacky finish when dried.

Q: Can Matte Medium be used as an adhesive?

A: Yes, I use it as an adhesive.

Q: Is it suitable for use on leather?

A: It is likely suitable for use on leather, but it’s worth testing it on a small spot first. There is a possibility that it might feel tacky if exposed to warmth. While I believe it should work fine, I personally haven’t used it on leather before.

Q: Is it waterproof?

A: Once the medium is fully dry, it is definitely waterproof. Initially, it appears milky, but it dries clear.

Q: Can I apply this matte medium over Mod Podge Gloss to prevent my items from sticking together?

A: I’m not entirely sure. It would be better to use this matte medium instead of Mod Podge entirely or try Mod Podge Hard Coat (the purple version) as an alternative.