Will Nail Polish Dry If It’s Too Thick? (Checked)

Are your newly-painted nails taking a long time to dry?

On average, it takes about 15 minutes for the top layer to dry and 2 hours for all layers of nail polish to dry completely.

If 15 minutes have passed and the top of your nails is still not dry, maybe the nail polish is too thick.

Here is What Happens if the Nail Polish is too Thick:

If the nail polish is too thick, it will take a long time to dry. If you apply thick layers of nail polish, you will notice that the top layer stays clumpy, and if you bump it, it will smudge or get ruined. A lot of times, nail polish that is applied too thick may not even dry at all.

Will Thick Coats Of Nail Polish Dry?

Sometimes we apply thick layers of nail polish to ensure that it has a very pigmented finish and covers the nails well. However, you should always apply nail polish thinly.

The average drying time of the top layer of nail polish is 15 minutes, while it takes 1 to 2 hours for the entire polish to dry completely, including the bottom layer.

If the coats of nail polish are too thick, you will notice that 15 minutes have passed, and the top is still gooey and clumpy. Even if you wait for an hour or two, your nail polish still will not dry properly.

If your nail polish hasn’t dried completely, you risk smudging, nicking, or ruining it.

Are Thick Coats Of Nail Polish Easier To Ruin?

Applying thick and heavy coats of nail polish becomes gooey and is very likely to flow into the cuticle area. It also means that it would take a very long time to dry.

Since they stay wet for longer, thick coats of nail polish are easier to ruin.

According to many nail experts, applying heavy coats of nail polish leads to smudges and nicks on your newly-painted nails. Even running your fingers gently through your hair can smudge your nail polish and leave hairline marks.

Another thing that can happen if you apply thick coats of nail polish is that dust, dirt, and debris can easily stick to it. A thick coat of nail polish stays “wet” for a longer time, making it an adhesive surface.

This is why they recommend doing three thin coats of nail polish instead of one thick coat. Because of its formulation, nail polish tends to not dry well when applied to nails too thick.

How Do You Fix Nail Polish That Is Too Thick?

If you apply a coat of nail polish that is too thick and takes a long time to dry, you can follow a couple of simple tips and tricks to speed up its drying process.

Here are some quick fixes that you can do:

  • Dip your manicure in cold water for 2 to 3 minutes. Doing this will harden and solidify the top layer of your nails so you can go about your day as normal, but you still have to take care of your nails to avoid bumping and smudging them.
  • Place your hands inside the freezer. Just like the cold water method above, the cold temperature from the freezer will solidify the top layer of your nails.
  • Use the cool shot button feature of your hair dryer. This will speed up the drying process of your nails.
  • Apply a quick-dry top coat nail polish. This simple fix can cut down the drying time of your nail polish, especially if you apply a coat that is too thick.
  • Spray a nail polish drying spray. This is an effective way to dry nail polish, and it can work on thick coats of nail polish.

Take note that the tips above are only quick and temporary solutions if you are in a rush. Ultimately, the best thing to do if you apply thick coats of nail polish is to remove it and re-apply properly.

How to Apply Nail Polish Properly:

Here is how to apply nail polish properly so that it air-dries faster:

  1. Apply a base coat. This will help make the nail polish adhere better. Plus, it strengthens and protects your nails from any damage.
  2. Apply the first coat of the colored nail polish thinly, and allow it to dry for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Then apply the second coat of the colored nail polish thinly, and then allow it to dry again for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Apply a quick-dry top coat and let it dry for 15 minutes.

The key is to apply thin and even layers and let each layer dry before applying the next one. Wipe off the excess polish on the brush on the bottle rim to return some of the product.

After application, keep your movement to a minimum and avoid doing things with your hands for at least an hour.

How Long Does It Take A Thicker Coat Of Nail Polish To Dry?

On average, nail polish takes 15 to 20 minutes to air-dry.

That is only to let it become dry to the touch. It usually takes an hour or two for nail polish to completely air-dry after application.

This means that during this period, you must be careful with your nails and do things with your hands that could smudge or ruin your manicure.

For a thicker coat of nail polish, it would take at least an hour for it to dry. but even then, it may still not be completely dry.

The layers under the top coat may remain wet and gooey, and you can still ruin them if you accidentally bump your nails. This is why all nail experts advise against applying thick coats.

How Many Coats Of Nail Polish Is Too Many?

All nail experts would advise applying multiple thin coats of nail polish instead of painting one thick glob.

So how many coats should you apply?

For most nail experts, three is the maximum number of coats of nail polish that you should apply. More than three is just way too many.

According to them, the finished product will be gooey and clumpy if you apply more than three coats of nail polish in just one sitting.

Even if you let each coat dry before applying the one, it will still be prone to smudging or nicking. This is because it is only the surface of the nail polish that dries.

Another reason you should not apply too many layers is that it can prevent your nails from breathing and cause your nail bed to dry. Excessive application of nail polish increases the risk of your nails getting damaged in the long run.

While it is technically faster to apply one thick glop of nail polish, remember that it is a bad idea because it will not dry, and it will eventually become smudged or nicked.

So when applying nail polish, apply two to three thin layers while allowing them to dry in between applications. While this process may take longer, the result is a flawless manicure that looks professionally done.


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How Long It Really Takes For Nail Polish To Dry – And How To Make It Dry Faster

Why You Shouldn’t Apply More Than 3 Coats Of Nail Polish

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