I painted some Jenga blocks and gave them a clear coat in Mod Podge to seal the paint. The Mod Podge coat is still sticky after a few days, which is definitely not good for Jenga blocks. How can I make the blocks not sticky?


Unfortunately after more than a month of curing, my blocks still stick together! What are my options?

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    Polyacrylic works best , it’s better than poly urethane. And mod podge is out dated. . It was basically the first clear coat they came up with . My granny went crazy with it in the 70s – Foolish girl Aug 19 '19 at 7:05
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    @Foolishgirl Mod Podge is absolutely not outdated; there are different uses for urethane, acrylic "urethane," and mod podge (and crystal clear, and floor polish, and dullcote, and...), and thinking there's a one-size-fits-all clear coat is as foolish as thinking hot glue is perfect for everything (it never is). – Allison C Aug 20 '19 at 1:39

Mod Podge takes a very long time to cure; around four weeks, depending on humidity and coat thickness.

To properly use Mod Podge, you need to apply multiple thin layers (not thick ones), allowing them to dry completely between each coat. 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.

"Dry" is not "cured," however; while it will only take an hour or so (again, depending on humidity) for each coat to dry, you need to leave the pieces alone for roughly a month to become fully cured and hardened. Once fully cured, the Mod Podge will be a durable coating resistant to damage, but during the cure time, it will remain soft and susceptible to damage, including shifting and peeling.

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    Good to know! I only applied one layer and don't plan on applying more. Guess it'll just be a while until I can make use of them. – jackwise Aug 9 '19 at 14:33
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    @jackwise Don't forget to accept the answer if you're satisfied with it! :) – Bella Swan Aug 21 '19 at 11:05
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    @BellaSwan I'm waiting a while to make sure the blocks actually cure - if waiting doesn't work, the question still stands. – jackwise Aug 21 '19 at 16:05
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    After about two months, it seems like my blocks have finally cured (enough). Going to accept this answer. – jackwise Oct 10 '19 at 18:36
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    @jackwise thanks for the update! It really is very, very slow to cure. – Allison C Oct 10 '19 at 19:03

Just to supplement the good answer by Allison C, there is a wide variety of Mod Podges with different characteristics (see descriptions on this blog). Certain ones are more prone to be sticky than others, especially if there is high humidity.

If thin coats and long curing still don't solve the problem, one solution is to try a different Mod Podge product that may be less prone to stickiness (see linked blog). Another solution is to give the item time for the Mod Podge to dry and cure, then spray it with several light coats of a clear acrylic sealer.


This might seem or sound a little silly, but I always do this, and have done it for bigger projects as well (like when I made a speaker out of cardboard).

I wanted a nice coating so I used a little bit too much mod podge (and too little water), so well...
The solution basically is: get dust, sand, or any other very smooth and light powder (you can also try any dry color powders, as they could even give texture to your blocks). Get it to the finest stage (blend it if it is coarse or has granules and such). Use a sieve to filter out crude leftovers, collect it in a paper, or something similar, and just plainly blow it across the blocks (do so with every single one).

  • Another thing well if we're talking about it how sticky is it really 🤔? As in stick it to a wall and stays there sticky? Or just.. keep it somewhere for long and when you try to move it, it resists kinda sticky? Also well another stupid solution if you're open to trying it would be.. superglue, the extremely liquid one, pour it on it and spread it across just like coating will mod podge (and it will surely dry and give a shiny-ish texture) – Aryan Oct 10 '19 at 6:27
  • Will this help the drying process? – Joachim Oct 10 '19 at 8:47
  • I tried doing something similar actually! It unfortunately did not help. – jackwise Oct 10 '19 at 18:36

Sandpaper helps a lot actually! As long as you don’t mind a few scuff marks, the sandpaper gets rid of almost all of the stickiness. I painted my Switch controllers the other day and hated the stick, but I used some sandpaper, and with a few scuff marks on the back, they're good and smooth now!

  • Would the sandpaper not dull the shine? What grain did you use? – jackwise Apr 8 '20 at 19:48

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