How to Apply Multiple Coats of Polish

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

How to Apply Multiple Coats of Polish. Quite often, one coat of nail polish isn't enough to thoroughly cover your nails with color. If you don't apply multiple coats of nail polish properly, your nail polish can peel and chip off very quickly. Here's how to polish your nails for beautiful, long-lasting coverage.

Clean your nails thoroughly with warm water and soap. Make sure to clean under your nails.

Apply a cuticle softener and push back your cuticles if desired.

Wipe each nail with acetone-free nail-polish remover to make sure all the oil is off your nails.

Shake your nail polish vigorously for about 30 seconds to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed.

Pull the brush out and wipe it off on the side of the bottle opening, so that only a little nail polish is on the brush.

Apply the nail polish to your nails in even strokes, starting at the base of your nail (near the cuticle) and brushing outward toward the tip.

Apply polish carefully to each nail.

Allow this coat to dry thoroughly, at least 15 minutes.

Apply another thin coat of nail polish to your dry polished nails.

Allow the second coat to dry thoroughly.

Apply a third coat if necessary.

Let the third coat dry thoroughly.

Apply a strong, clear top coat of nail polish to protect the color from peeling and chipping.


  • Thin coats of nail polish adhere better to one another. Always allow your polish to dry thoroughly between coats of polish. If you apply more polish before the previous coat has fully dried, your nail polish will chip and peel much more easily.

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