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Nail Care

Nail Polish Thinner Tips: How To Revive & Thin Out Old Nail Polish

Nail Polish Thinner Tips: How To Revive & Thin Out Old Nail Polish

Nothing makes your nails look polished like a perfectly applied manicure or pedicure.

But, the enemy of beautiful nail color is an old bottle of thick and gooey nail polish.

As tempting as it is to use your nail polish remover to revive your favorite lacquer color, it’s better to use a nail polish thinner instead to thin out your nail polish.

Why Can’t I Use Nail Polish Remover to Thin My Nail Polish?

Never. Never.


Add polish remover to thin your favorite color.


Although the lacquer appears to thin out temporarily when you apply the acetone-based solvent, polish removers are not suitable as thinning agents because their oil content causes the enamel to separate and discolor.

But if you follow these simple steps below, you can quickly and inexpensively thin out your old nail polish without tossing your favorite lacquer in the trash.

The Best Way to Thin Out Your Old Nail Polish Using Thinner

Orly Nail Lacquer Thinner

  1. Give the bottle of thinner a gentle pinch and squeeze to draw the polish remover slowly into the top of the bottle. I recommend using Orly Nail Polish Thinner or OPI Nail Lacquer Thinner.
  2. Add two to three drops of the nail polish thinner into the nail polish. Let the product settle in the bottle for a minimum of 30 seconds.
  3. Close the cap on the nail polish bottle. Roll the nail polish bottle between your hands to evenly combine the drop of remover and the polish. Repeat step 2 until the polish glides smoothly on your nails.
  4. Smooth the polish on your nail bed to see if the polish is no longer thick or clumpy. It’s best to let the thinner and nail polish setter for 20 minutes before applying the newly thinned color to your nails.

OPI nail polish thinner

Thin Out Your Old Nail Polish Fast Using Hot Water

  1. Run the bottle under a stream of hot water to heat up and temporarily thin the polish.
  2. After a minute or two of placing the polish under the hot water, roll the polish briskly between your hands. Be careful because the glass nail polish bottle can get very hot.
  3. Repeat these steps until you’ve revived and revamped your old nail polish color.

how to thin old nail polish

Important Nail Polish Thinning Tips

  • Do not shake the bottle when you add the thinner. You don’t want the top of the cap to get filled with the thinning solvent. Gently roll the bottle to combine the thinner and nail lacquer evenly and smoothly.
  • Apply the drops of nail polish thinner into your nail polish in a well-ventilated room.
  • Use the polish thinner trick for just a few weeks. The ingredients in the remover may cause the polish mixture to separate and not allow the polish to adhere properly to your nail bed.
  • After you’ve stored your nail polish for a while, it tends to thicken. Rather than toss it, first turn the bottle upside down and roll it between your hands.
  • When the polish gets so thick that the colors separate, it’s too old to revive: it’s best to buy a new bottle instead.
  • Nail polish also thickens when it is stored in a warm room or in direct sunlight.

More Nail Polish Thinning References & Tips

Do you want to thin out your favorite nail polish color that has gotten too thick and clumpy? Anyone who loves nail lacquer like I do has a few bottles of old, gloopy nail polish that is just too pretty to toss in the trash. I've researched the best ways to extend the life of your nail polish using the best nail polish thinners to help you restore your favorite nail polishes like a pro manicurist.

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