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Mod Podge Matte vs Gloss

mod podge matte vs gloss

If you are an artist, chances are you have tried or learned about decoupage. This form of art depicts the idea of a resourceful yet artistic and unique designing technique to rework furniture or personalize items and gifts. And with the help of Mod Podge, you can spruce up your projects and emphasize your art with your desired finish.

To give you an overview of this product, Mod Podge is an all-in-one glue, sealant, and finish compound that amplifies the appearance and quality of your decoupage craft. This finishing product comes in different variations: matte, gloss, satin, and sparkle.

Therefore, It is up to you how you give your decoupage art some finishing touches. But for now, we are going to focus on the matte and glossy finishes.

Let’s dive into this Mod Podge Matte vs. Gloss review and differentiate their features.

What is the Difference Between a Mod Podge matte and a Mod Podge gloss?

The matte variant gives off an eggshell finish, which is not reflective, giving your artwork a clean surface. On the other hand, the gloss variant is quite the opposite; it has a glare effect or reflective and bright texture.

As we delve more into their properties, we will know more about their different aspects and their other outstanding qualities when using this formula.

Finish Clean, soft, has a slight tooth, and an easy-to-clean surface. Similar to an eggshell texture. Reflective and shiny.
Purpose Multipurpose sealant, glue, and finisher. Can be used to amplify decoupage art with optimum preservation, matte finish, and artistic features. Multipurpose sealant, glue, and finisher. Can be used to amplify decoupage art with optimum preservation, shiny finish, and artistic features.
Preservation Properties Preserves the quality of decoupage art with a resilient surface to ward off dirt, dust, and fingerprints. Preserves the quality of decoupage art with a clean and much smoother surface. Adds a subtle layer of protection against water.
Odor Has little to no odor Has a strong odor
Drying Texture Dries completely clear though can alter the paper’s color depending on the type Dries completely clear
Longevity Has no expiration date but usability depends on how it is stored. It can last for 5 to 8 months or a year. It can last for years when unopened or unused. Has no expiration date but usability depends on how it is stored. It can last for 5 to 8 months or a year. It can last for years when unopened or unused.
Drying Time Quick-drying; Dry to touch within an hour. Dries completely in 24 hours. Quick-drying; Dry to touch within an hour. Dries completely in 24 hours.
Versatility Can be used on fabric, plastic, metal, canvas, ceramic, painted wood, and paper. Can be used on fabric, plastic, metal, canvas, ceramic, painted wood, and paper.
Price Reasonable Reasonable


With the texture itself, matte has a clean and soft feel to it with an easy-clean surface that we usually see on the quality of the decoupage. It somehow lends a texture or subtle feeling similar to an eggshell.

The gloss has a dashing touch to it that you usually see in magazines, typically with glaring quality. It gives your decoupage more refining details because of its reflective appearance, highlighting your craft and its attractive features.


As it is an all-in-one art finishing, they do have the same purpose – and that is the gluing part. The only difference between the gloss and matte variants is that the matte has more texture or tooth than the gloss type. Both Mod Podge variants provide aesthetic finishing touches that can highlight the grandeur of your decoupage.

Moreover, the gloss and matte variants can accentuate your creation and give it a detailed design as well as highlight the effects of your craft. What is more fascinating is that it can preserve your favorite paper designs and projects beautifully and for a long time.

Preservation Properties

Since the matte Mod Podge has some tooth in it, it can preserve your art and ward off potential elements that can damage your art. Fingerprints, dust, and dirt, for example. As it reinforces the quality and resilience of your decoupage, it can keep it from tearing easily.

The gloss variant, on the other hand, also shares excellent preserving properties as the matte type, only it adds more shine and reflective appearance. Since it has a much smoother layer, it can give your art a subtle layer of protection against water.


The matte has little to no odor. However, the gloss has a strong stench that persists even after a day. It wears off after a few days, although some may find it bothersome.

The glossy sealant has a smell similar to some art products like glue, though Mod Podge normally has this smell because of the formula. Each brand utilizes its unique formula, which is why the odor differs from one another. However, you do not have to worry about the smell affecting your health because it is water-based and non-toxic.

Drying Texture

As the matte does dry clearly on white paper, it can sometimes affect the color of paper, usually when used on kraft paper or black paper. The same thing happens with the gloss variant although it leaves a smoother, cleaner, and clearer texture.

Nonetheless, both formulas ensure aesthetic quality that can transform your paper cutouts and prints into artistic artwork. When applied correctly, both types will dry completely clear without any color alterations to your designs.


The Mod Podge gloss and matte variants do not have expiration dates; nonetheless, it is dependent on how it is stored. Most sealants will last a year, and some may last five to eight months. When left unused or unopened, it can last for years.

The more you utilize these formulas, the better the outcomes will be. Moreover, the more you use them, the longer it will take to obtain a really satisfying result for your project.

Drying Time

Both glossy and matte sealants will feel touch-dry in an hour, but it is better to wait for 24 hours for them to dry completely.

Though it can dry completely after 24 hours, you may allow extra drying time to achieve a smooth and even appearance. Because these sealants also have different compounds, matte can sometimes dry more quickly when applied to your art. As you can see, the texture is flat whereas gloss has a shining detailed touch.


Although we compare Mod Podge Gloss vs. Matte products in this review, both variants share similar versatility in terms of the materials or surfaces you want to work on.

They both work as multipurpose sealants, glue, and finishers that can ramp up your decoupage with a sophisticated design and stylish quality. You can use them on various surfaces and materials such as painted wood, canvas, fabric, plastic, metal, ceramic, and paper.


The cost of this type of brand is determined by the size and quantity of the formula purchased. Overall, the pricing is reasonable, especially if you want to give your project an elevated and more sophisticated appearance without spending a massive outlay.

Which is better: Mod Podge matte or Mod Podge gloss?

mod podge gloss vs matte

It all depends on your preferences and needs. Both matte and gloss variants provide outstanding quality that can render straightforward yet elegant and aesthetic features.

The texture that Mod Podge provides is the key distinction between the two sealants. Thus, the overall depiction of this multipurpose product is to provide an exquisite touch to your decoupage art pieces.

If you want to achieve a smooth and soft texture with some tooth in it, you can go for matte Mod Podge. It is also a better option if you do not fancy reflective and bright appearances but rather subtle textures. It has a simplistic feel to it, which we always utilize for some kind of creative art endeavors.

On the other hand, the glossy one is an ideal option if you want to add some shine and reflective details to your decoupage. Some opt for this type of finish because it gives off elegant and expensive-looking textures.

Overall, they both offer your project a minimalist aesthetic, so it all relies on how you use it. They both serve a valuable purpose for your work and provide you with gratifying results in terms of your production and how you wish to maintain it.


To wrap it up, both the matte and gloss Mod Podge products work as excellent decoupage art media. You can choose whichever texture you need or want for your art; choose matte for a subtle and less reflective finish or gloss to add a shiny and sophisticated finish. Or try both types!

Thus, this Mod Podge Matte vs. Gloss detailed review helps you differentiate the objectives of these classic sealants in a very effective way. Hopefully, it has helped you come up with the best decision of which to use on your next decoupage project!

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