Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods! (2023)

Whether you’re refinishing a furniture piece or cleaning up a spill, learn how to remove Mod Podge from surfaces including wood, fabric, and more!

Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods! (1)

It’s happened to the best of us. One minute you’re living your best life in your craft room, and the next minute you have Mod Podge on your favorite pair of yoga pants. Oopsie. If it dries, Mod Podge is not easy to remove.

That’s not the only reason you might want to remove Mod Podge, though. Maybe you went to the Goodwill recently and found a lovely furniture piece you want to re-do. The only problem is the thick layer of 70s-style scrapbook paper on top with a substantial helping of Mod Podge.

In both of these scenarios, you need to remove Mod Podge.

No matter what the situation, I’m here to help! I want to go through the various ways to remove Mod Podge below; they are organized by problem area.

Table of Contents

How to Remove Mod Podge

Scroll down to the appropriate surface below to learn how to remove Mod Podge from it. I find that all Mod Podge formulas remove the same way; I would use the methods below regardless of whether I used Gloss or Dishwasher Safe.

(Video) Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods!

Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods! (2)

How to Remove Mod Podge From Glass or Ceramic

If you catch yourself with a Mod Podge spill on glass or ceramic when it’s still wet, you can simply wipe it off with a wet rag. Rinse out the rag to make sure it doesn’t dry, causing you further problems!

To be honest, I just use my finger to remove a little Mod Podge and/or acrylic paint from any ultra smooth surface (like glass or ceramic) while it’s still wet. Then I just rinse my finger off in the sink. No big deal.

If the Mod Podge happens to be dry, you can remove it from glass with a razor blade or scraper. If you find it’s difficult to remove, spritz with some water and let it get a little soggy.

If there’s paper involved, you’ll definitely want to spritz with some water and remove as much of the paper as you can. You might need to add more water to re-activate the Mod Podge and loosen it up. Warmer water is better.

Once you remove the Mod Podge, you can spray the glass as normal to clean (with a glass cleaner). Mod Podge won’t remove the finish/coating from glass.

Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods! (3)

How to Remove Mod Podge From Wood

Mod Podge bonds pretty solidly to wood, but there are ways to remove it, if you really try. If the surface of the wood is painted, you have to know that there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to lose the paint job. You might have to sand the surface and start over. But that’s better than throwing a surface in the garbage!

Start by removing as much of the paper and fabric off of the surface as possible. If you can’t remove anything, that’s fine too. Move onto the next step.

Use a spray bottle to apply warm water to the Mod Podged area, and then put a damp washcloth over the top. The washcloth should be made pretty damp with warm water. Leave for several minutes – about 30 to 60.

Pick the washcloth off of the surface and remove as much paper or material as you can. If only a portion of the paper comes off, repeat the water process again. You should be able to scrape off the rest of the Mod Podge.

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IF that doesn’t work – maybe it’s a piece of furniture with several layers – you can use wallpaper paste remover or paint stripper. In that case, you are definitely going to lose the paint or stain on the surface. That’s really your only option in some cases; Mod Podge is pretty strong!

Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods! (4)

From Canvas

I’m almost embarrassed to say how many times I’ve removed Mod Podge from canvas. It’s all due to slip ups, though you might want to use this method just to change things up.

All you need to do is heat up some water as hot as you can get it, and use a sponge to apply it to the fabric or paper on the canvas. Leave it to sit for several minutes as it reactivates the Mod Podge.

Peel off as much of the fabric or paper as you can, and then apply more water as needed. You want the Mod Podge to be somewhat milky in color, then you can scrape it away.

If you can’t remove all of the adhesive, you can lightly sand it down – just be careful not to sand through canvas. You can get it pretty close to perfect! After that you can paint the canvas or decoupage over the area again

Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods! (5)

From a Wall

Removing Mod Podge from a wall is going to be very similar to removing wallpaper, according to many of my readers. The recommendation is to use wallpaper remover spray along with a scraper.

It’s going to take a bit of work to remove the dried Mod Podge, and you might have to do some patching/painting/sanding. But it can be done. It’s something I always advise readers on when they ask me about Mod Podging a wall. You just have to be okay with the work if you ever have to remove it.

Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods! (6)
(Video) How to Remove Dried Mod Podge From Paint Brushes | Natural Bristle Brushes

From Fabric

There are two scenarios in which you need to remove Mod Podge from fabric: when it’s wet and then after it’s dry. The #1 thing to remember is if you find Mod Podge on your clothes, don’t throw them in the dryer.

If you missed a spot and threw your clothes into the dryer, I’ll share with you how to remove Mod Podge anyway . . . but really, try to avoid the dryer with any Mod Podge spills.

When Wet

Sometimes you drop Mod Podge on your clothing and catch it right away, when it’s still wet. For those instances, I keep a gentle Brush Cleaner on hand.

I remove the excess Mod Podge from the fabric right away, and then add water and a little brush cleaner to the area. Then I scrub. I leave the area wet until I can wash it.

Wash normally – regular cycle, regular detergent. Check to make sure the area is Mod Podge free before throwing the item in the dryer.

In lieu of brush cleaner, which I know not a lot of people have, you can use dishwashing liquid or mild hand soap. This especially comes in handy when you aren’t at home and you can’t push your clothes in the wash right away!

Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods! (7)

When Dry

If the Mod Podged dried on the fabric, you’ve got a few options. They’re all going to involve a little elbow grease. Here are the three things I’d try.

First, you can try soaking the fabric/clothing in really hot water. The hottest water possible. Let the Mod Podge soften, and then scrape as much off as you can with a butter knife. Add a little liquid or dish soap and scrub with a brush to remove as much as possible.

Option two involves petroleum jelly, also known as Vaseline. To use this method, scrape off any excess Mod Podge that you can. Work the Vaseline into the stain, and then remove that with dishwashing liquid. Use hot water to rinse, and repeat if necessary.

(Video) How to remove mod podge decoupage diy

Your third course of action is to use hand sanitizer (which actually works on paint, too!). The ethanol in the hand sanitizer is a solvent, and dissolves the Mod Podge. You’re going to have to scrub a bit, but it should help!

Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods! (8)

From Dried Paint Brushes

The preference is to keep your paint brushes in water, especially if you can’t wash them right away. But we’ve all slipped up and left our brushes out a little too long, right? Some of us may have even let them dry on the craft table accidentally :0

In those cases, soak the brushes in hot water and soap for several minutes to loosen the Podge. Remove as much as you can and try again.

If it’s not working, try paint thinner. And if that doesn’t work, you might have to trash your brush :/

I’m not as inclined to work too hard to remove Mod Podge from foam brushes (if it’s dried), to be honest. It’s hard to do it, even with soaking. But I mostly use soft-bristled brushes, since they work better for me with Mod Podge and I don’t like throwing things away.

Remove Mod Podge with These Guaranteed Methods! (9)

From Shoes

Removing Mod Podging from shoes is a tricky one – and in no way guaranteed to work. Ripping fabric from shoes might damage or tear the shoes in some way. If you choose to Mod Podge shoes, you may also be choosing to alter them permanently.

If you want to give it a try, my favorite method for removing Mod Podge from shoes is to use steam. If you have a steamer, or an easy way to steam clothing, that’s going to help. It will help loosen the Mod Podge so you can separate paper or fabric from fabric.

Another option, and less preferred, is to soak the shoes in warm water. This will loosen the Mod Podge, enabling either paper or fabric to be removed (if it’s possible).

What are your best tips for removing Mod Podge? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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Will acetone take off Mod Podge? ›

When the mod podge has turned milky, you can wipe it off with a cloth. If you have decoupaged paper or fabric onto the glass surface, you may have to scrub a bit or rewet the surface to get all of the gunk off. If the glue still doesn't come off, try applying acetone to the area and scouring it.

Does Mod Podge wash off? ›

Mod Podge is a craft supply made up of several ingredients, including vinyl acetate. The combination produces a product that is somewhat water resistant, but not waterproof. If a few drops of water end up on your Mod Podge project you can wipe them away with ease.

What dissolves Mod Podge? ›

The hottest water possible. Let the Mod Podge soften, and then scrape as much off as you can with a butter knife. Add a little liquid or dish soap and scrub with a brush to remove as much as possible. Option two involves petroleum jelly, also known as Vaseline.

Can decoupage be removed? ›

I started by applying goof off pro strength remover to the decoupage and used a paper towel to wipe it off. This removed most of the decoupage. I then used a sander with an 80 grit sanding pad to remove the rest of the decoupage along with the original finish.

Can you peel Mod Podge? ›

If it peels off really easily, it's not going to work. If it is more difficult to peel off, then you should be safe to Mod Podge the item. You'll still be able to peel off the Mod Podged paper/fabric, so don't worry about ruining the surface. Items coated with a polymer, like Teflon, are too slick.

What is the fastest way to cure Mod Podge? ›

Mod Podge dries to the touch right away (like most acrylic products); in about 15 – 20 minutes. Depending on the environment, it can be longer. Humidity can make it take longer. You can speed up the drying with a hair dryer.

How do you fix decoupage mistakes? ›

How to Fix Streaks in Decoupage Glue
  1. Lightly sand the streaks with 400 grit sandpaper. This will not destroy the finish, but just polish the clear coat. ...
  2. Don't use decoupage glue as a top coat. ...
  3. Apply several thin coats, rather than one thick coat. ...
  4. Always use a matte finish. ...
  5. Use a foam brush instead of a bristled brush.
Oct 2, 2019

How long does Mod Podge last? ›

Yes, the hardener part of the Mod Podge Resin will yellow over time. The product has a shelf life of one year unopened and 6 months lifespan opened.

Will Mod Podge come off in the dishwasher? ›

Why do I need a special formula? This is a common misconception. All Mod Podges are not dishwasher safe. For example, Outdoor formula is highly water-resistant but not waterproof.

Is Mod Podge and decoupage glue the same thing? ›

Absolutely! Mod Podge is a brand of decoupage glue made by Plaid Enterprises, and it's also called decoupage medium. There are several brands of decoupage mediums, and various formulas typically within those brands.

How do you get dried Mod Podge out of fabric? ›

Petroleum Jelly
  1. Scrape away as much of the dried Mod Podge as possible with a butter knife.
  2. Scoop a finger full of petroleum jelly out of the jar and apply it to the dried Mod Podge.
  3. Work the petroleum jelly into the fabric with your fingertips and allow it to sit for at least one hour.

How do you get Mod Podge out of paint brushes? ›

Mod Podge and other water-based crafting products will wash out of the Mod Podge Decoupage Brushes with warm soapy water while the Mod Podge or paint is still wet. Never allow paint or Mod Podge to dry in the brush bristles.

Can you sand down Mod Podge? ›

To sand the mod podge down after applying it, use 400-grit paper followed by water if desired; otherwise, use an electric sander with medium grits (220–600). Finally, wet sand with 600-grit paper and water until you have a polished finish.

What happens if you don't let Mod Podge cure? ›

According to Meaningful Mama, If you don't let [the Mod Podge] dry completely between coats, your project can end up more sticky and may bubble a bit.

Why is Mod Podge sticky after drying? ›

If you've finished your Mod Podge project and it still feels sticky. There's a good chance you have applied it too thickly or didn't allow it to dry fully between coats. Also, the Podge formula you used was very glossy, which means it's more likely to stay sticky or tacky until it's fully cured.

Does Mod Podge need to cure for 28 days? ›

The most important thing about this dishwasher safe mod podge is that you really need to follow the instructions and cure for 28 days.

What is reverse decoupage? ›

Guides. Decoupage on glass or similar material is called Reverse Decoupage. Glass being transparent, decoupage on one side is visible on the other. Glass surface adds on to the dramatic effect. The word reverse is used because the same steps of decoupage are done in reverse.

How many layers of Mod Podge should I use? ›

How many coats of Mod Podge should I use? You can use two or more coats depending on the type of affect you are trying to achieve. If you want a soft smooth surface with no ridges, apply at least 5 to 6 coats.

What do you put over decoupage? ›


Anything from four to 15 coats may be needed depending on how thick the decoupage paper is and how smooth and durable a finish is required. To achieve a finely lacquered finish you will need to sand lightly after a few layers of varnish and wipe away all dust.

Is Mod Podge stronger than glue? ›

Mod Podge is a step above craft glue in terms of the sealing properties. Mod Podge is glue, but it's also a sealer – and there are varnishes, etc. in the formula that don't exist in craft glues. The bonding properties of Mod Podge are way stronger than that of (most) craft or school glues.

How long should you wait between layers of Mod Podge? ›

When applying Mod Podge over a design, apply one layer of the Mod Podge with side-to-side brush strokes. Allow that coat to dry for 20 minutes or so before applying another even layer of Mod Podge in up-and-down strokes. I have found that this process results in the smoothest possible finished surface.

Why did my Mod Podge dry white? ›

If your Mod Podge project is cloudy, it means that there is moisture present. Just let project continue to dry and it will look clear again.

Can I wash Mod Podge gloss? ›

This water-based gloss does the same glueing, sealing and finishing of regular Mod Podge® Gloss, but now you can put those items in the top rack of the dishwasher!

Can you fix dried out Mod Podge? ›

All you need to do is heat up some water as hot as you can get it, and use a sponge to apply it to the fabric or paper on the canvas. Leave it to sit for several minutes as it reactivates the Mod Podge.

Why is my Mod Podge tacky? ›

You're probably wondering: why is my Mod Podge sticky? The more glossy the Podge, the more likely it is to stay tacky, just due to the nature of the product. This isn't true for all glossy acrylic based products, but for your basic decoupage medium, it is.

How long does Mod Podge take to fully cure? ›

Most Mod Podge formulas dry completely within hours or overnight, but are not fully cured for 3 – 4 weeks.


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