Thursday, 22 November 2012

PVA Glue Base Coat Update (1)

As some of you will know from my last post, I tried using PVA glue (also known as wood glue, white glue, craft glue, or Elmers glue) as a base coat for the first time. We all know how hard glitter polishes can be to remove, so the idea is that by using glue as a base coat it will be easy to remove your polish as it will peel off (with some help). I was always very sceptical of this, thinking that it would just peel off after a day or so. Alanna at Pretty Purple Polish did a longevity test, and her polish lasted 5 days with only minor tip wear. Sadly, I wasn't so lucky, I had my polish on for 24 hours, took a shower, and then an hour later it literally just fell off. Unfortunately, I was at work when it started falling off and I have no idea where my polish went (hopefully not into some poor customer's bag with their newly purchased lingerie).

As you can see, my polish fell off in one complete piece (sorry for the poorly lit photo):

My polish after literally falling off my nails

Normally, I'd cheer and say this has worked, but clearly something went wrong because my polish should have lasted longer than it did. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it was my application. Admittedly I was a bit haphazard with my application, figuring that whatever I accidentally got on my skin I could just peel off. Wrong. Whatever is on your skin will dry attached to what is on your nail, so there's no way to just peel it off your skin without lifting what's on your nail. Also, I think because I put the glue right up to the edge of my nail this allowed water to get underneath (hence it lifting an hour after my shower). I think in order for it to work your polish needs to completely cover the edges of the glue to form a seal.

I'm not going to give up on this, because I'm convinced that it's going to make removal of glitter polishes alot easier. In future I'm going to try to be more precise with my application, and maybe not take the glue all the way to the edge of my nail. Has anyone tried using glue as a base and experienced the same problem?

If you want to know more about using PVA glue as a base coat, Alanna covers the process extensively on her blog Pretty Purple Polish.


  1. I used glue under my glitter mani the other day and it would come off, had to resort to nail polish remover, so I'm doing something wrong too!!!

  2. Yeah, I had the exact opposite problem too - mine did NOT come off, I scraped and chipped and just couldn't get it off, had to use acetone! Next time I am going to try thicker coats and see if that's the problem. I used something called 'craft and hobby PVA glue'....maybe I need to use plain on Selley's Aquadhere.

    1. I used UHU kid's PVA art and craft glue. I wonder how much they all differ. I've just applied the same stuff but only to the centre of my nail, I left a gap of a few millimetres around the edges. I'll see if that makes a difference!

  3. Happened to me too! Some lovely ladies in PAA told me to leave room around the edges of the glue to create a seal with the polish and I tried that and it worked better!

    1. I actually got it to work the other day! I left room at the edges so that the polish created a seal, but I also diluted the glue a little and that seemed to help :)


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