Grab your nail tools, and come on in, nail fanatics! Today, we’ll go through the best techniques how to thin out nail polish. I understand the challenge.

You’re ready for a fantastic DIY manicure, but what do you discover when you open your nail paint bottle? Instead of your preferred color, you’ll get a sticky, clumpy mess. Isn’t that a pity? Don’t throw that away just yet, darlin’. There’s a life hack for everything, even how to revitalize your old nail paint.

There are several methods for thinning it out, some more efficient than others. Here are some tips on thinning down your favorite nail polish with commercial nail polish thinner, followed by some DIY Nail polish thinners made from everyday household products.

4 Best Methods: How to thin out nail polish

Before we start, remember that this ain’t some quick fix or magical trick; it’s all about a few simple steps and patience. So, let’s get into it. Now, we have two types of nail polish: regular and gel nail polish. Both require different techniques to thin out because of their unique formulas.

1) How to thin out Thick, Goopy Nail polish with professional Nail polish thinners

Pure Acetone

One of the most common ways to thin out thick nail polish is by using professional nail polish thinners.

  • It’s very simple; use an eye dropper to pour a little bit of it into the nail polish bottle and close the Bottle tightly and gently roll the Bottle in your palms to mix the polish; no shaking, babes! Shaking only creates air bubbles.
  • Check the consistency; if you need to, add one more drop. Repeat the process till you reach the desired consistency.
  • Now, if you still have very thick nail polish, you might need to let the thinner sit before mixing it in. Here’s how: open the Bottle, drop in two to three drops of nail polish thinner, and put the cap back on. Leave it for an hour. After that, roll the Bottle to mix the thinner in. And there you go – you should have your nail polish back to a great consistency.
  • However, there are a few downsides to thinning out your nail polish with thinners. For instance, most nail polish removers contain acetone which can affect the formula of your nail polish, making it thinner and less glossy.

Also, nail polish thinner won’t do much with glitter or texture polish. However, thinners are very simple to use, so it’s still a common way to thin nail polish.

Thinning Gel Nail Polish

Applying the correct procedure and products when thinning out gel nail polish is important. Regular nail polish thinner is not suitable for thinning gel nail polish because of their different chemical compositions.. Gel polish requires a gel polish thinner or a gel base coat formulated particularly for thinning gel nail paint. Conventional nail paint thinner may interfere with the gel manicure’s curing process and longevity.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure to thin out gel nail polish:

  1. To do the task, locate a clean and sturdy workplace.
  2. Look for signs of separation or thickening in the gel nail paint bottle.
  3. Thin gel nail polish with a gel nail paint thinner or a gel base coat formulated for thinning gel polish.
  4. Open the gel Laquerre bottle with care.
  5. Fill the Bottle with a few drops of gel polish thinner or gel base coat.
  6. Make sure the Bottle is securely closed.
  7. Roll the Nail polish Bottle between your palms to combine the thinner and gel polish. Avoid shaking since it might cause air bubbles.
  8. Examine the gel polish’s consistency. If it’s still very thick polish, continue stages 5 and 6 until you get the appropriate consistency.
  9. When the gel polish has been suitably thinned, it is ready for use in a manicure.
  10. Cure the gel polish under a UV or LED lamp to guarantee appropriate drying and long-lasting effects according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Infographics: Tips on how to Thin out nail polish

DIY Nail Polish thinning Ideas – alternate professional nail polish thinners

Though getting the same results as commercial nail polish thinner is impossible, you can get similar results with these DIY methods.

1) Using Base Coat or Top Coat

You can thin out clumpy nail polish by adding a few drops of base coat or top coat if you do not have any polish remover. This way, you thin nail polish without thinning it out too much, just enough to make the consistency right.

Top coat and base coat

2) Use Hot Water

Now, if you are thinking about other ways how to thin out nail polish without thinner or alcohol, we’ve got the hot water fix. But don’t get your nail polish bottle anywhere near your boiling pasta water, ok? It’s a little more nuanced than that. Fill a bowl with hot water, making sure it is not more than half full. Carefully immerse your sealed nail polish bottle in hot water for about 15 minutes. Again, roll the Bottle between your palms. The heat should thin out and nail your polish nicely.

Remember! The bottle, made of glass, has the potential to become extremely hot. The polish might not reach the desired consistency if this occurs. The technique also aids in the removal of a hard-to-open nail polish bottle cap.

3)  Use Acetone or Nail Polish Remover

Experts hardly ever endorse the widely-accepted industry practice of thinning nail lacquer with a drop of pure acetone nail polish remover. Expert nail technicians do not recommend using acetone as a nail polish thinner due to its strong solvent properties. Shortly, never use acetone nail polish remover to thin, thick nail paints or use it only as a last resort if nothing is available.

Jess, a nail technician with 15+ years of experience and a YouTube channel called jessFACE90, has shared a video on how to fix and prevent thickened nail polish. She suggests using pure acetone as a quick fix to thin out the polish, but cautions against using it too often.hough it can work as a diy nail polish thinner, she warned in her video that thinning nail polish with acetone or nail polish remover might damage the formula and lead to peeling and chipping.

4) Using “Rubbing Alcohol” (isopropyl alcohol)

Expert nail technicians recommend avoiding the use of rubbing alcohol as a nail polish thinner due to its distinct composition from that of nail polish thinner. So, rubbing alcohol might not give the best results and might change the nail polish’s color, finish, and performance.

Alcohol and ethyl acetates are the main ingredients in nail polishes. Therefore, since isopropyl alcohol is a very similar solvent to ethyl acetates, you can use it as a replacement solvent for them in nail lacquer.That’s why you can use rubbing alcohol to thin the nail polish; add it gradually and in small amounts. Begin with a few drops, and mix them well to check the consistency. You can add more if needed, but be careful not to add too much. Test the thinned polish on paper or a nail swatch to ensure it goes on evenly and smoothly.

A Quick rundown: How to thin out nail polish if It’s thick or sticky

If you want to get perfect results, then the best way to thin out thick or clumpy nail polish is to use professional nail polish thinner. They can make your nail polish’s consistency perfect. However, if you don’t want to buy any of them, go for these DIY methods to thin out nail polish at home.

  • Dip your nail polish bottle in hot water for 2 minutes.
  • Put a few drops of nail polish tthinner in it and shake well.
  • Add a few drops of acetone or any nail polish remover to thin it down
  • Isopropyl alcohol can be used in small quantity to thin out clumpy nail polish, but this method is least recommended by experts.

What if the nail polish becomes too thin

If you’ve thinned your nail polish too much, there’s no direct way to thicken it back up, as the added solvents can’t be removed. However, you can try a couple of things:

  1. Leave the Bottle Open: By leaving the Bottle open in a safe place for a short period, some of the solvents in the nail polish may evaporate, thereby thickening the formula slightly. Do not leave it too long, as this can ruin the polish.
  2. Purchase a New Bottle: If the polish is a favorite color or brand, purchasing a new bottle might be more convenient.

For future reference, when thinning nail polish, it’s always best to add the thinner sparingly and gradually to prevent over-thinning. You can add more as many required, if necessary, but removing once added is impossible.

How to Avoid Your Nail Polish Becoming Goopy

  • Keep your bottles upright to keep them from drying out at the neck. If you try to store them upside down or on their side, the liquid will clump in the formula and dry at the Bottle’s neck.
  • Before replacing the cap, keep the neck of your nail polish bottle cleaned using a cotton ball soaked in pure acetone.
  • When not in use, keep the lid off. One of the most common reasons for thickening your polish is that it’s left open for too long.
  • Place your nail polishes in a cool, dry location that maintains a constant temperature.
  • Avoid keeping your polish near a heating source or in full sunshine.
  • Keeping your nail polish in the bathroom is bad since the temperature varies.

Frequently asked questions

How to thin out top coat

To thin out the top coat, add a single drop of acetone and then shake it thoroughly. If your top coat is still thick, add only one more drop and shake again, says Shelly Hills, a celebrity manicurist at Base coat nail salon.

Can I use alcohol to thin out gel polish?

Yes, rubbing alcohol( 91%) can thin out gel polish, but add only 2 or 3 drops at one time. Once you get the desired viscosity, stop adding more.

When is nail polish too old?

Here are some signs that your nail polish is too old to use: For instance, if it separates into layers that will not mix no matter how hard you shake it, or if it gets too thick and becomes a pain to work with. It usually indicates that it has gone bad.

At times, you might find that the color has changed or that it has a somewhat unpleasant odour, reminiscent of spoiled chemicals or something sour. Another telltale sign that your nail polish has seen better days is if it takes much longer to dry than usual.

Basically, nail polish doesn’t last forever. Over time, it loses its mojo because some of the stuff that makes it work evaporates. So, the remaining bits get thick, the colour fades, and it just doesn’t spread as nicely on your nails anymore, says cosmetic formulator Mary Berry, founder and CEO of Cosmos Labs.

How to open nail polish cap?

So, you have this bottle of nail polish, but the cap will not come off? Not a problem; I will show you how to deal with it. First, place the sealed bottle in a basin of hot water or use a rubber band to secure it. In some cases, tapping it gently on a hard surface is all that is needed. Putting some nail polish remover around the cap could help if it is still stuck. It could remove the dried polish that was sealing the surface. You might want a new bottle if nothing else works or the nail polish is old.

Why is my nail polish so thick?

The main reason nail paint thickens up too much over time is that the solvents in its recipe evaporate.

Solvents  ethyl acetate or butyl acetate) begin evaporating when you open a nail polish bottle.Leaving the container open for a long time or not sealing it properly results in the evaporation of more of these solvents, leaving behind a higher concentration of the other ingredients, including resins, plasticizers, and pigments. This results in a thicker, more difficult-to-apply polish.

Temperature variations may also be the cause. Keeping nail polish bottles in an environment with considerable temperature variations may also cause the polish to thicken.

Another factor in the issue is using the nail paint brush without wiping off the extra polish. If you don’t remove the extra polish from the brush before reusing it, the leftover polish in the bottle may thicken.

Finally, the nail polish’s age may be a problem. Old nail polish, particularly those that have been opened and shut several times, have had more time for their solvents to evaporate, stopping them from working properly.

Can water make nail polish thinner?

Nail polish shouldn’t be thinned with water. Usually, organic solvents, resins, and water-insoluble pigments are used to make nail polish. Your nail paint may disintegrate if you add water, leaving it unusable.

Can we use remover to thin out nail polish?

No, using nail polish remover is not an ideal way to thin out nail polish. It’ll break down the nail polish’s formula, eventually cracking and breaking your polish after several uses.

Can we use hydrogen peroxide to thin out nail polish

No, you shouldn’t thin nail polish with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is not a good solvent for nail polish because it can react with the polish’s ingredients and make the formula change in ways that aren’t good.

How much thinner should be added to nail polish?

Only 2,3 drops of thinner will be enough

How to Keep and Store Nail Polish

Try using these preventative measures to prevent your polish from drying. Remove any dried polish flakes around the Bottle’s neck and tightly screw the nail polish bottle cap to keep your nail polish in good condition. Store the nail polish in a cool, dry place with consistent temperature away from direct sunlight and heat sources such as a drawer or cabinet to avoid discolouration issues. To avoid moisture-related issues, avoid storing thinned nail polish in the bathroom.

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