What is the Best Glue for Decoupage?

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Decoupage is perfect to give old furniture or other items a new awesome look or to give your crafts an awesome finish! You can use Decoupage on a lot of different materials like wood, glass, metal or even stone and more! But depending on the surface, that you want to decoupage, you will need the right glue. So after reading this article, you will know exactly what glue to use on which surface and more!

So what is the best glue for Decoupage? The short answer is it depends. Decoupage Glue is good for almost any surface and the one, I would suggest for almost all Decoupage projects. You can also use PVA glue or spray glue for most surfaces. Mod Podge is probably the best alternative to Decoupage glue though.

Decoupage glue is the best glue for most Decoupage projects because it is specially made for decoupage. It is, however, not the cheapest glue to use for Decoupage.

This glue is, however, also the most versatile for Decoupage. It sticks to most materials (wood, plastic, metal, and more) and most decoupage glues are glue, sealant and finish in one.

If you want to do a lot of decoupages, then I would highly recommend using a decoupage glue but if you only want to test some decoupage out before committing to it, then I would suggest checking if you maybe have some Mod Podge or PVA glue around.

If you do, then use these first and if you like Decoupage then you can still go out and get yourself a special Decoupage Glue!

PVA glue is another type of glue, that you can use for decoupage but it is a little more tricky to use. PVA glue sticks to pretty much the same Materials, that Decoupage Glue does, so there is no problem there.

But PVA glue drys a little faster than Decoupage glue does, so you have less time to work with it. It is also a little more likely to capture some bubbles in its surface, that can look a little ugly when the glue drys. But if you want to test out decoupage then I can highly suggest using PVA glue.

But if you have some Mod Podge lying around, then I would suggest using Mod Podge over PVA glue!

Transparent Spray glue is the same as PVA glue when it comes to using it for Decoupage. It is only a little easier to use compared to PVA glue because you can apply it easier.

And the last glue is Mod Podge! Mod Podge is all around great. It is almost exactly as good as Decoupage glue and it is also a Glue, Sealant and Finish in one!

I generally recommend Mod Podge over Decoupage glue if you generally are a very crafty person because you can use Mod Podge for so much more than just Decoupage!

If you want to Seal your Decoupage additionally or you used just a regular glue, then I can also recommend using Varnish. You will have to use gloss Varnish though because matte Varnish will sometimes not be transparent when it drys and you won´t be able to see your paper through anymore.

Varnish is normally used tor sealing wood but you can use it on a lot of other surfaces and it will seal your decoupage very well and keep any dirt and water far away!

Is PVA Glue the Same As Decoupage Glue?

The short answer is yes, almost. PVA is white crafting glue that drys transparent and Decoupage Glue is also a white crafting glue but with a completely different consistency. You can, however, make your own Decoupage glue by simply mixing some water with PVA glue and you will end up with glue, that is extremely similar to Decoupage glue.

Most crafting glues have a very similar basis as PVA glue has. Only the consistency and drying time vary mostly.

You can simply use PVA glue and water it down and you will end up with a glue mixture, that is almost exactly the same as Decoupage glue. But PVA glue still likes to create some nasty bubbles, when you mix it and you might end up with ugly little gaps or captured air bubbles underneath the surface of your dried glue.

So even though you can create your very own Decoupage Glue or even Mod Podge glue I still recommend using the originals because they are slightly different in composition and therefore are easier to apply and use for crafts.

Is Mod Podge the Same as Decoupage Glue?

The short answer is, not really but they are very similar. Mod Podge is way more versatile than Decoupage Glue is but most Decoupage Glues are way cheaper than Mod Podge. But both Mod Podge and Decoupage Glue are glue, sealer and finish in one. So you can use Mod Podge for Decoupage without any problems.

Both Mod Podge and Decoupage are almost the exact same. If you want to do some Decoupage and you have some Mod Podge around from previous projects, then you can go ahead and use Mod Podge. It will work just as good!

But Mod Podge is kind of expansive compared to other glues, so if you don´t have any Mod Podge around and you want ´to try out decoupage, then I would recommend buying Decoupage glue because it will be a lot cheaper compared to buying Mod Podge.

You can compare the prizes of Mod Podge and Decoupage yourself if you want to.

Check the price for the best Mod Podge for Decoupage right here.

And here you can check the price for the best Decoupage glue.

Keep in mind, that the Mod Podge tube, that I liked to above, is smaller than the decoupage tube!


So in the end, the two best types of glue for Decoupage are either Decoupage Glue or Mod Podge.

Mod Podge is a little more expensive but also a lot more versatile.

Other types of glues, like PVA glue or Spray adhesive can be a good alternative if you want to try out Decoupage but I would generally recommend using a special crafts glue like Mod Podge or Decoupage glue if you want to do more Decoupage.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a commend down belbow and I will answer it as soon as possible.

Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.

6 thoughts on “What is the Best Glue for Decoupage?”

  1. Hi Valentin!

    Depending if this is the first comment you have read of mine, or the 4th? >_<…all glues that you are recommending on this particular article may be ideal for fabric and wood for instance?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Amanda,
      I have a separate article on how to glue fabric that will show you how to glue fabric to all kinds of materials. Decoupaging fabric is generally not a good idea. The other glues I mentioned in this article can be used to apply decoupage on wood.

  2. Hi Valentin!

    I’m wanting to teach my elementary students about decoupage with Christmas ornaments (spheres with paper and string wrapped on itself), and we already have a lot of Elmers glue. Will that work as PVA glue, or is it something else? Would it be worse than these other types? Would it need to be varnished/finished?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Georgi,
      you can use Elmers glue but make sure that it dries transparent as regular Elmers glue has a yellowish tint when it dries which you don´t want for decoupage. You only have to varnish the decoupage if it is in danger of getting wet or if it is being touched often. But if it just stands around or if it hangs on the Christmas tree then you don´t have to finish it.

    • I would absolutely not recommend using hot glue for decoupage. Hot glue is quite bad for adhering thin paper to stuff because it is generally hot when applied and it is difficult to apply hot glue in thin layers.


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