How to Thin Out Nail Polish

July 18, 2013 | By | Comments (12)

pink nail polish

When your favorite nail polish starts to get thick and clumpy, don’t toss the bottle. Prolong the color’s shelf life by adding a few drops of clear polish. A bit of nail polish remover will also work, but the clear polish will thin the formula without separating it, thus creating a smoother, less streaky result.

See more beauty-related tips and tricks.


  1. Ultimate Skincare & Beaute Report
    July 18, 2013 at 11:27 pm
  2. Eva

    Nail polish companies that sell nail polish thinners give you just a little bottle of it for a big price. Instead, go to your hardware store and buy a small tin (500 ml or 2 cups) of lacquer thinner in the paint dept. for about 5 bucks. Take the cap off and dip a narrow straw in the tin, then cover the top of the straw with your thumb to hold the fluid to drop into a smaller glass bottle for storage and easier use. Use same method with straw to drop thinner into nail polish bottles. Avoid contact with skin.

    September 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm
  3. RIta

    This worked perfectly for me and I didn’t have to leave my house or purchase anything. Thank you!!!!

    February 13, 2014 at 10:05 pm
  4. Anna B

    Eva you are awesome. That’s brilliant since the clear nail polish trick didn’t work well for me. It made my already sheer pink almost invisible once I added enough to make it workable.

    May 9, 2014 at 11:50 pm
  5. Katy

    Eva, you saved every old nail polish I own!

    June 17, 2014 at 1:44 am
  6. Virginia

    Wouldn’t the lacquer thinner be harmful?

    June 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm
  7. Grcae

    I believe lacquer thinner would dry out your nails.

    July 6, 2014 at 11:05 am
  8. Melody

    I was very skeptical when I read using clear nail polish as a thinner. I am a believer! It worked perfectly. Thank you very much.

    August 2, 2014 at 9:01 am
  9. Nikki

    Thank you so much I had forgotten that “trick” and just wanted to say thank you for putting it on a public site where people can view it.✨💫

    December 14, 2014 at 3:29 pm
  10. Jess

    I never tried it. I hope it works!!😊😊😊

    December 19, 2014 at 7:11 pm
  11. Karen

    I am going to give this a go.

    December 29, 2014 at 8:47 pm
  12. Tessa

    As an artist, I learned this many years ago. At my pharmacy (‘The Drug Store’) I paid $0.89 for a 4 oz. bottle of nail polish thinner. When it went out of business I was desperate. Reading the bottle I saw it was nothing but thinner, and I always had a can in my painting supplies. I’ve refilled that same bottle for over 20 years now, and still use the little hard plastic stopper that came with it. A couple of drops makes my polish like new, but be sure to clean the screw top and the brush itself. I never throw away old polish. If I get tired of a color or if its out of fashion, I decorate flower pots, bird houses, or hand paint Christmas decorations. Most fun was letting my children paint small pictures down on the baseboard in the family room with the date. What fun to see them hunt their own art work now thatthey are grown with kids of their own. ;-)

    January 1, 2015 at 9:24 pm

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