How to Make Nail Polish Thicker + Helpful Products!

Whether you are a nail professional, or a DIY enthusiast, using nail polish correctly is crucial. One possible question for you is, “what is best for how to make nail polish thicker?

The answer seems simple, but there are several options for this process.

There are various steps involved in making nail polish thicker. You can use some nail polish remover, shake the bottle, or even add some dry nail polish. The best solution depends on your needs, the state of the nail polish and the expected results. 

Join us as we look into more details about this process:

Best Ways to Make Nail Polish Thicker – From a Glance!

Here are the best ways of making nail polish thicker:

  1. Add some nail polish remover.
  2. Shake the nail polish bottle vigorously.
  3. Add some clear nail polish to your nail polish.
  4. Put some dry nail polish and a tiny amount of thinner in the polish.

How to Make Nail Polish Thicker 

How to Make Nail Polish Thicker 
Source: FreePik.

Here is a list of products you can use to thicken nail polish. We have also identified specific tips you can use to achieve this goal. The techniques recommended are dynamic to help ensure the best results.

Things You Need to Thicken Nail Polish

ProductDescriptionAmazon Link
Nail polish remover or pure acetoneUse this to thicken your nail polish.Pronto Acetone Nail Polish Remover
Clear nail polishAnother nail polish thickener alternative.OPI Infinite Shine ProStay Primer and Gloss


Here are the tips we recommend for thickening nail polish:

Tip #1. Add Some Polish Thinner 

Adding some nail polish remover to your nail polish bottle can improve the product’s consistency, and thickness. This method works if you have the right thickening agents for thin polish.

The other thicken option is to add some rubbing alcohol or a high-quality thinner formulation to the regular nail polish. 

Doing this helps improve the evaporation rates in the nail polish bottle, thus thickening the dried polish. You can also get a thicker consistency by adding some nail glitter.

Tip #2. Shake the Nail Polish Bottles Vigorously 

While this won’t always work for thin nail polish, it can still be an effective solution. It involves closing the polish lid, and shaking the bottle vigorously. This produces air bubbles in the polish, which helps improve its thickness. Here are the steps:

  1. Close the lid of the bottle and hold the bottle using one hand securely. 
  2. Then, shake it vigorously for up to one minute. Use a toothpick to remove any dried polishes on the cap.
  3. Ensure the motion exposes the bottle to as much pressure as possible. 
  4. Next, open the bottle and check the consistency of the product.
  5. Repeat this process if you still deem the nail polish to be thin.
  6. Close the lid, and let it sit in a cool and dry setting.

Tip #3. Add Some Clear Nail Polish or Xanthan Gum

Believe it or not, adding a small amount of clear nail polish can also help thicken nail polish. And it’s simple!

Start by adding clear nail polish or xanthan powdered gum to your colored polish. However, be cautious when using xanthan gum powder with gel polishes because they are bit thicker than most alternatives.

Next, mix them using a pointed object such as a toothpick. Ensure you stir it slowly to avoid the excessive production of bubbles. It’s also crucial when you want to do salon quality nail art.

Once the clear nail polish mixes fully, you will notice an improvement in the density of your polish. Ensure you add small amounts as you check back on the product’s consistency levels.

Since you will be using only a small amount, it won’t ruin the color of your polish. The other benefit is that clear nail polish also helps improve the longevity of your polish. Xanthan gum is also popular because its safe for the nails.

Tip #4. Put Some Dry Nail Polish on Paper then Put it Back in a Bottle

Using some dry nail polish is another excellent technique for improving the consistency of your nail polish.

Start by pouring a small polish on a piece of plastic surface or ceramic. Let it dry completely, and scrape it off using a piece of paper. 

Next, set it back into the bottle, and prepare to shake it vigorously. Add a few drops of nail polish thinner – it will help break down the nail polish and be careful.

Doing this will help improve the consistency of your thick nail polish. Remember to use the same color pigment when you want to thicken nail polish. You can also use xanthum gum powder to help create the desired consistency.

Why Is My Nail Polish So Thin?

Why Is My Nail Polish So Thin
Source: FreePik

There are various reasons why your nail polish is so thin. Some of these reasons can include

  1. Not shaking the bottle. Failing to shake the bottle before using nail polish is a common problem. The ingredients in nail polishes require sufficient mixing because they tend to separate over time. So vigorous shaking to form the right consistency should be your first step.
  2. Using old nail polish. Nail polish products that have expired are also prone to being thin. That is because the ingredients might break down, and no longer have the right consistency levels.
  3. Using excessive polish thinner. You probably made the mistake of adding excessive thinner or liquid solvents amounts that can lead to watery nail polish. Use a make-up or cosmetics bag to keep your nail polish from issues like direct sunlight.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Causes Nail Polish to Thicken?

There are various causes of thickened nail polish. It could be exposure to a warm area, or cold, surpassing expiry dates, and adding excessive pigment. Setting the polish close to an open window can also.  Instead, try and use a resource like xanthan gum.

How Can I Make My Nail Polish Stronger?

There are various ways of making nail polish stronger. You can use products like a base coat and a top coat or polish remover to help improve the strength of your nail polish. Using high-quality nail polish products is also important because they offer quality across all fronts.

What Do Nail Salons Put In Their Polish to Make It Thinner?

There are various resources that nail salons set in polish to make them thinner. These can include products like nail thinners, nail strengtheners, xanthan gum, and top coats. They might also try basic brush coats before applying the product to your nails.

Does Olive Oil Thicken Nails?

Yes, olive oil can help thicken the nails. It’s a natural oil source with various beneficial properties that can aid nail development. A good example is that it helps hydrate and moisturize the nail bed and cuticles. Instead, try and use a resource like xanthan gum.

Does Coconut Oil Thicken Nails?

Yes, coconut oil is a thickening agent for nails. That is because it’s a natural product which you can apply to the nail surface. It also contains natural and essential oils crucial for living tissue development.

You have various options for making nail polish thicker. You can add polish thickener, use some dry polish, or shake the nail polish bottle. The best option depends on the results you want to achieve with your nail polish.

Katharyn Riedel

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