Top positive review
Good for gluing pics onto plastic cat litter buckets
March 7, 2018
If you have an art background, then Mod Podge is pretty much a clear acrylic gel medium. But, lower cost, and not guaranteed to be archival. So, it might yellow or something like that. If you want long term archival, then something like a Golden clear acrylic gel or Faber Castel clear acrylic gel will work very similar to Mod Podge, but guaranteed to be archival (acid free and won't yellow) and will cost about two to five times as much as Mod Podge.
If you don't have an art background, then Mod Podge is like a more fluid Elmer's Glue, except that when Mod Podge dries, it won't dissolve into water anymore like an Elmer's and bugs don't eat it, like Elmer's. The big huge drawback of Elmer's is that it won't seal a top surface. So, when you cover the top of something with Elmer's glue, even moisture in the air can make it sticky later and then dirt/dust can get stuck in the glue. And, you can never wipe down Elmer's glue to clean it, because moisture will really mess it up. Mod Podge is an affordable alternative for craft projects you want to clean later.
I've been using this Mod Podge to decorate kitty litter buckets. I get the cat litter that comes in the big yellow plastic buckets, then I wash them and use them as storage bins. Acetone, like in nail polish remover, may remove the ink (for each bucket, it either wipes right off or does nothing at all, and it depends on which factory made the bucket or what month they made it in or something; all are the same brand, but use different ink). Then, I used Mod Podge to put calendar pictures on all 4 sides of each bucket. One coat under the pic to stick it on, and two coats over the top to seal it. After the Mod Podge dries, I've got a decorated storage bin and I can wipe it down with a damp rag to clean. The Mod Podge sticks fine to the plastic. I found that I use about 3 ounces acetone and 1 ounce Mod Podge per bucket.
Mod Podge stay just a little stick on the surface for months. It's not to where touching a surface will do anything. But, if you had something like a book cover, and you put a pic on with Mod Podge, then painted over the top to protect it, then you let it dry a couple of days, then put it in a stack, that pressure and touching of being in the stack would get parts of the cover stuck to the book next to it and really mess it up. Mod Podge recommends use a sealer that they also sell and if that is the top coat, then it dries quickly. For things you make for you, your choice of really long cure time (months). For things you will sell or gift, you probably want the separately sold Mod Podge brand sealer, because then you can have a short cure time and give/sell without including weird special care instructions. By the way, most artist gel mediums have long cure times as well, where the surface will be a little sticky for months after application. This helps a second coat to bond on top, and if you use it like a glue, it helps to later be able to remove air bubbles then press down and get it to stick where the air bubbles were.
Dollar Tree sells 2 ounce squirt bottles of Mod Podge, which can be a good way to try a small amount at home. They also have different kinds, like gloss versus satin finish, so you can see a small amount of each and decide which you like. Then, this big jar on Amazon can refill the little squirt bottle, so you can have that as a way to dish out a small amount at a time (pouring from the 16 ounce jar can be clumsy, and sticking a brush right into it can add glitter or water or whatever to the big bottle). Right now, Mod Podge is cheaper on Amazon than at WalMart, so Amazon is a good place to get it.
No noticeable fumes and no special instructions about using in a well ventilated area. In general, acrylic paints for art use don't have any restrictions, and since Mod Podge is essentially a lost cost clear acrylic paint, I wouldn't expect any fumes. It has a glue smell, similar to Elmer's.