Mod Podge is known in the craft world as an all-purpose product. It can be used as a clear adhesive and even as a sealant to protect surfaces. It dries clear, and depending on the type of Mod Podge you’re using; it can even add a glossy or matte finish to the sealed surface too.
Can you put Mod Podge over pictures? You can put Mod Podge over pictures printed with Laserjet printers, but not photos printed with inkjet printers.
Why is that the case? In this article, we’ll discuss all the reasons why you may want to seal your pictures with Mod Podge and some top tips for how you can do so successfully.
Benefits Of Mod Podge Over Photos
Mod Podge is an incredibly versatile product that has a variety of uses in a crafter’s toolkit. It can be used as a clear glue, a sealant, and a finish on various surfaces, including paper, fabric, wood, ceramics, and others.
The reason why Mod Podge is so beloved is that it is nontoxic. This is a water-based formula that is safe for even children, which makes it a lot less intimidating to work with compared to other types of sealants and finishes.
Applying Mod Podge over pictures can have many benefits. The first and most obvious reason is that Mod Podge can form a layer of water-resistant protective finish over your pictures. Your pictures will last longer, and the colors won’t fade over time. If you don’t have a laminator, then using Mod Podge is a great alternative.
Another reason why Mod Podge can be great over pictures is the wide range of finishes that Mod Podge offers. Mod Podge is actually a brand name, and there are several products under the brand of Mod Podge.
Mod Podge also offers a product called Mod Podge transfer medium, which allows you to transfer your pictures from paper to wood or even glass.
In the next section, let’s discuss what you should know before applying Mod Podge to your pictures.
What Kind Of Pictures Can You Seal With Mod Podge?
Although Mod Podge is a very versatile product, unfortunately, you won’t be able to apply Mod Podge to every kind of picture.
There are two main technologies used to print photos: Laserjet and inkjet. A Laserjet printer uses powder toner, while the inkjet printer uses droplets of ink.
If you try to apply Mod Podge over pictures printed with an inkjet printer, you’ll find that the colors will bleed quite a bit. This is because the ink is very sensitive to moisture, and Mod Podge has a water-based formula.
If you don’t know what kind of printing technology is used on your pictures, you can test the Mod Podge over a spare photo to see if the colors will bleed. If the test turns out well, then you can safely use Mod Podge to seal your pictures.
How To Use Mod Podge Over Pictures
If you want to use Mod Podge to protect your pictures, here are the steps you can take.
First, you will need:
- A lint-free cloth to clean your pictures before applying the Mod Podge
- Mod Podge with a finish of your choice
- A Mod Podge Brush Applicator or a similarly wide, flat brush
Here’s how to apply Mod Podge over your pictures.
If your pictures are freshly printed using a Laserjet printer, you should wait at least 30 minutes for the toner to dry completely before applying Mod Podge over it. If the toner is not completely cooled down and dry, there’s still a risk of the colors running when Mod Podge is applied.
With a lint-free cloth, wipe down the surface of the picture to remove all the dust and lint on the surface of the picture.
Since the Mod Podge will dry clear, any dust and lint on the surface of the picture will look quite apparent and even appear as lumps on top of your pictures.
Use a Mod Podge Brush Applicator to pick up the Mod Podge, and apply a thin and even layer over your picture. Make sure to apply a very thin coat. If you lay it on too thick, the Mod Podge can become cloudy when it’s dry.
You’ll want to go in one direction (right to left or top to bottom) to cover the entire surface of the picture, and applying the Mod Podge in one stroke will also help minimize the appearance of brush strokes as well.
Allow the first coat to dry completely (which takes about half an hour) before applying the second coat.
We recommend applying at least two coats of Mod Podge over your photos for the best protection. You don’t need to apply too many coats, or it may cloud up your picture.
Make sure the first coat is completely dry before applying the second coat. Otherwise, you may cause textures in the finish. Then, follow the same steps as before to apply another coat of Mod Podge over your picture.
After the second coat of Mod Podge, you should wait for them to dry overnight or even up to 24 hours. After the sealant is completely cured, your picture is ready!
How To Transfer Pictures Using Mod Podge
Mod Podge has a product line called Mod Podge transfer medium, and this is something you can use to transfer a printed picture onto a surface, such as tile, wood, canvas, or ceramics.
This method is a favorite among crafters because it’s super easy to print on any surface. If you are using fabric as your surface, the transferred image is also washable as well!
Here’s what you will need to transfer your pictures using Mod Podge:
- Laserjet printer
- A surface of your choice (wood, fabric, tile, etc.)
- Mod Podge Transfer Medium
- A foam roller
- Mod Podge with a finish of your choice (for finishing)
- A Mod Podge Brush Applicator or a similarly wide, flat brush
- A sponge
Here’s how to transfer your pictures using Mod Podge
Print your picture using a Laserjet printer. With a transfer method, your picture will appear mirrored after it is transferred onto another surface.
If you want the picture to appear correctly on the surface you want, you can edit the image before printing so that it will appear correctly after it is transferred.
Allow the toner to dry completely, which will take about 30 minutes, before going ahead with the next step.
Step 2: Prepare for transferring
Cut your image to size. The Mod Podge transfer medium will transfer everything in the image – even any white border – so you should cut the image to exactly what you want to see in the final result.
Prepare your surface for transferring the image. If you are transferring the image to glass, ceramics, or wood, you should use a dry, clean cloth to wipe away any dust or grimes on the surface to get it ready for transfer.
Place the printed picture on a flat surface that you don’t mind ruining. Then, you can use the Mod Podge brush applicator to apply a thick layer of Mod Podge on the right side of the printed image.
Don’t worry about brushstrokes or textures when you apply the Mod Podge; we’ll smooth it out in the next step.
After applying the Mod Podge, place your picture face-down on top of the surface that you want to transfer the image. You can adjust the placement at this step, but try not to press down on the surface too much.
Then, with a foam roller or a credit card, smooth down the picture so that it lays completely flat on top of the surface. You can start from the middle of the picture and smooth out the image towards the edges; the excess Mod Podge will be squeezed out from under the picture.
Use a clean cloth to remove any of the excess Mod Podge that has been squeezed out from underneath the image.
Leave the Mod Podge to dry overnight or for up to 24 hours. You’ll want the Mod Podge to be completely dry. Otherwise, the image won’t be transferred correctly.
After 24 hours, you can come back to check if the Mod Podge is totally dry. If it is, you can go ahead and move on to the next step.
With a wet sponge, dampen the back of the picture paper and leave the water to soak into the paper for a few minutes. Once the paper is sufficiently wet, it will start to disintegrate, and you can peel or rub it off.
Make sure not to apply too much friction in this step. Otherwise, you may accidentally rub off the image. Apply more water if some bits are sticky or stuck.
After all the paper is completely removed, you will see your picture on your surface quite beautifully. The surface might still be a bit tacky after this step, and that’s completely normal because the Mod Podge isn’t completely cured yet.
Then, you will need to wait for at least 3 days (72 hours) to allow the project to dry completely since the Mod Podge will still need to take some time to cure.
Step 6 (optional):
If you want to add another layer of protection for your transferred image, you can use a Mod Podge finish of your choice to go over the picture one more time.
This step is optional for fabric.
Then, you should let the sealer dry for another 72 hours. After the final layer of Mod Podge is completely cured, your project is finished!
Here’s a helpful video about how to transfer pictures using Mod Podge Transfer Medium: