How to Make Your Nail Polish Chip-Proof

by Kimberly Caines ; Updated September 28, 2017

Applying thin layers makes polish last longer and dry faster.

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Nicely manicured nails can be the finishing touch to your look. However, everyday activities like hammering on a keyboard and washing the dishes cause wear and tear of the nails, taking a toll on fingernail polish and making it chip. To make your nail polish last longer and to prevent it from chipping, use the correct products and the proper application method when polishing your nails.

Remove any old nail polish from your nails using an acetone nail polish remover and makeup remover pads. .

Put some hand soap on an old toothbrush and brush your nails with it to get rid of any oil or lotion residue that may interfere with the adhesion of your new polish. Brush underneath your nails, over the surfaces and the corners of the nails. Rinse and dry your fingernails. Swipe nail polish remover over your clean nails to finish.

Apply a layer of base coat to your nails and wait two minutes so it can set. A base coat protects your nails from discoloration caused by dark-pigmented polished. It also makes your polish last longer and adheres better to your nails than nail polish does.

Apply a long-lasting, chip-resistant nail polish. Look for ingredients such as keratin, acrylic polymers and calcium. Avoid using a quick-dry polish because these don't last long. Apply a thin layer of polish in three strokes: one in the middle of the nail plate, one to the left side and one to the right side.

Wait two minutes so the polish can dry before applying a second thin layer. Wait two more minutes to let the second layer dry. If you use a dark shade of nail polish, wait at least three minutes between layers because dark polishes take longer to dry.

Apply two layers of top coat to your nails to seal, strengthen and protect your polish. Avoid using a quick-dry top coat because these are less effective than slow-drying top coats. Wait up to 20 minutes to let your nails dry; avoid touching the polish.

Mist your nails with a quick-dry spray to hasten drying.

Apply a layer of fresh top coat over your nails every other day to keep your polish strong, protected and looking fresh.


  • Avoid soaking your nails before polishing them because the moisture expands your nails, which shrink back once they are dry after polishing. This expanding and shrinking process makes your nail polish more prone to chipping and cracking.

    Apply a light shade of nail polish to your nails because if it happens to chip, the damage is less noticeable.

    Wear rubber gloves before washing dishes and moisturize your nails frequently with hand lotion.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images