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Can You Use Mod Podge on Styrofoam?

There are several reasons you might need to use Mod Podge on Styrofoam. Before you start the project, it is important to understand if the product will even work on the Styrofoam. Since Styrofoam is such a dense, but porous material it can be tricky to find something that actually works.

So, can you use Mod Podge on styrofoam? Yes! Luckily, Mod Podge is a product that you can use on Styrofoam without any issues. Mod Podge is extremely versatile, so it can be used on just about any surface, including Styrofoam. You can use the product as a sealant or as a glue.

Using Mod Podge on Styrofoam is super easy. You use the product in the same way you would use it on a piece of paper or cardboard. It dries quickly so you don’t have to wait forever to add additional layers of Mod Podge as needed. 

How to Use Mod Podge on Styrofoam

Styrofoam can be kind of tricky to work with because a lot of things stick to the surface. This includes loose hair, dust, dirt, and just about anything else that finds its way to the Styrofoam. This can make it difficult to clean for use.

If there is a layer of dust on the surface of the Styrofoam, you are going to need to use an air compressor to spray it off before you start washing. This will prevent any dust clumps from forming and sticking to the Styrofoam. 

You are going to need to use warm water, dish soap, and a sponge to clean the surface of the Styrofoam. Get a bucket of warm water and squeeze between three and five drops of dish soap in. Dip the sponge into the soapy water and wring out any excess water. Very carefully wash the surface of the Styrofoam. 

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Use a lint-free or microfiber cloth to dry the Styrofoam. Let it sit for two or three hours to completely dry before you start working with it. If you are painting the Styrofoam, paint it, then let the paint dry for a few more hours until completely cured. 

As soon as the paint is cured, you can apply the Mod Podge to the surface. Make sure you are painting a thin, even layer of Mod Podge over the surface. This will help the product dry faster and make it easy to apply additional layers sooner. One hour should be plenty of time for a thin layer to dry enough for another layer.

You should apply at least two layers of Mod Podge to the Styrofoam for the best protection. If you feel like two layers isn’t enough, you can add more. Avoid adding too many layers or you might experience some cracking or wrinkling.

How Long Does It Take for Mod Podge to Dry on Styrofoam?

Mod Podge usually dries pretty quickly on most surfaces. On Styrofoam, it might take the Mod Podge just a little longer to dry because of the porous surface. While Mod Podge can be dry to the touch in as little as 15 minutes on some surfaces, this isn’t the case with Styrofoam. 

On Styrofoam, it will usually take about an hour for the Mod Podge to feel dry to the touch. At this point, you can add extra layers. Your last layer, while dry to the touch, won’t be fully dry on the Styrofoam until about 24 hours after the layer was applied. You should keep your project in the same area for the full 24 hours to avoid creating any dents or fingerprints in the surface.

Abstract Painting

Can You Decoupage on Styrofoam?

You can definitely decoupage on Styrofoam. Start by preparing the Styrofoam by cleaning it and getting rid of any dust or dirt on the surface. Make sure the Styrofoam is completely dry before you start your decoupage project.

After your Styrofoam is clean and dry, you want to prepare the paper or pictures you are going to use. Thin paper will work best for this type of project, so it is best to avoid pictures unless they are photocopied. For the best results, you will want to keep the paper in strips that are between one and two inches wide.

I recommend using the Mod Podge Decoupage Kit. It has everything you need to get started!

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When you have all of your strips ready, you can start applying them to the Styrofoam. Working in small sections will be best and help you stay organized. Apply a small amount of Mod Podge to the surface of the Styrofoam and to the back of the paper strips for the best adhesion. Smooth out the paper to remove any wrinkles and keep your design looking neat.

Repeat this process until you have covered the entire surface of the Styrofoam. Let the Mod Podge dry completely. This will likely take 24 hours, so don’t move the Styrofoam during the drying process.

As soon as the Mod Podge is dry, you are going to cover the entire surface of the Styrofoam and the paper decorations with a thin coat of Mod Podge. Let this layer dry for about an hour then add a second layer. Let the second layer dry for 24 hours, then you are finished!

What Paint Can You Use on Styrofoam?

It is important to use the right kind of paint on Styrofoam to prevent any damage to the surface. You want to stay away from oil paints and spray paints that have solvents because they can melt the Styrofoam and ruin your entire project.

The best type of paint to use for Styrofoam is acrylic paint. This paint is water-based and super gentle, making it the perfect option for this surface. It will adhere nicely to the surface on its own, but it will stick even better if you use an acrylic primer before you start painting.

My favorite and top pick is always Arteza Acrylic Paints. They have so many different colors, and the quality is amazing! I usually use Arteza Paints for all my projects.

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For special offers and discounts, with my link you can also go to the Arteza website and shop their amazing products.

Another great option for Styrofoam painting is model paints. While these are technically acrylic paints, they are designed to be used on surfaces like Styrofoam. They will stick flawlessly to the surface and work against dents and scratches that the Styrofoam might come in contact with.

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If you are painting Styrofoam with kids, Tempera paint is a great option. This paint is completely non-toxic and water-based, so it will stick to the surface without you needing to worry about any damage being caused to the Styrofoam. 

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All of these paints will need to be sealed onto the Styrofoam to ensure that they last as long as possible. You can seal the painted Styrofoam with Mod Podge as instructed above. This will be the easiest way to protect your painting from damage.

Final Thoughts

Mod Podge is a great product because it can be used for so many different things on so many different surfaces. Luckily, Styrofoam is one of those surfaces that Mod Podge works extremely well with. You can use Styrofoam as a decoupage or as a sealant for paint on Styrofoam.

If you are painting Styrofoam to seal it with Mod Podge, you are going to want to use a water-based, non-toxic paint that won’t damage the surface. The best paint is going to be acrylic paint or model paint. These paints will adhere nicely to the surface of the Styrofoam and will provide your project with bright, vibrant colors.

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your styrofoam painted project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

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