Monday, August 27, 2012

PVA Glue Base Coat Questions and Wear Test

I received a lot of questions regarding the PVA base coat so I thought I'd put the answers together in a post. A lot of you were concerned that it would be harmful for use on your nails so I hope these answers will put you at ease.


What is PVA glue?

PVA stands for Polyvinyl acetate. It's a widely used type of glue. You may know it as wood glue, white glue, craft glue or Elmers glue (especially if you're from the US). Michelle over at Lab Muffin has a great break down of the ingredients in her post.


Is PVA glue bad for your nails?

PVA glue is non toxic. I'm not an expert but based on the safety information for Selleys interior and exterior PVA glue (the brand I used) I'd say this product seems to be safe for use on nails as long as it doesn't irritate your skin. Perhaps you could to a patch test to see if you have a reaction. The information may be different between products so always check the label.


I remember myself and other kids in primary school putting PVA glue all over our hands just so we could peel it off when it dried. I don't remember anyone having bad reactions. Also one reader commented saying she had used PVA glue every day for years to make mosaics. The glue had no affect on her nails.



Is PVA glue more toxic than using acetone for removal?

As I said above PVA glue is non toxic. The amount of PVA needed for the base coat it less than the amount of acetone needed for the foil removal method. Also PVA won't dry out your cuticles.


Does the glue peel off with the polish?

Yes, the glue and polish peel off together. If you're careful you can peel the whole thing off in one chunk.


Does peeling it off damage your nails?

There was no damage to my nails from peeling it off. It doesn't stick to your nails like polish does. It creates a kind of seal and then once the seal is broken it comes off easily. I wouldn't recommend using a metal tool to scrape the polish off as that may damage your nails. I used an orange wood stick.



5 Day Wear Test:

I also received questions about how long it lasted, especially under wet conditions such as hand washing, showering and washing dishes. I did a 5 day wear test during which I washed my hands, showered daily and I washed the dishes twice, without gloves.

I decided to put the PVA glue base coat on my left hand and a regular base coat on my right hand to compare how each one lasted. I also tried the combination of regular base coat then PVA base coat on my thumb.



Left hand:
PVA Base Coat (1 medium coat)
Revlon - Purple Potion (3 coats)
Lynderella - Love Potion no.99 (2 coats)
Seche Vite (1 coat)


Right hand:
Nail Tek II (1 coat)
Revlon - Purple Potion (3 coats)
Lynderella - Love Potion no.99 (2 coats)
Seche Vite (1 coat)


Left Thumb:
Nail Tek II (1 coat)
PVA Base Coat (1 medium coat)
Revlon - Purple Potion (3 coats)
Lynderella - Love Potion no.99 (2 coats)
Seche Vite (1 coat) 




The wear on each hand was about the same. I thought once the PVA base coat started chipping the whole thing would come off but it didn't. It also held up during the hand washing, showering and washing up. I'm sure I could have kept it on for longer than five days but I usually change my polish daily so I was itching to change it. The removal after five days was fine.




Here's how the removal went on my thumb where I had a coat of Nail Tek II base coat under the PVA glue. I could still scrape it off but there were some areas where the base coat wouldn't come off. I didn't want to risk damaging my nail so I stopped and used nail polish remover to remove the rest of it.

So I think PVA glue is a great to use under glitter polish, the removal is so easy, it lasts just as long as a regular base coat and it's cheap. I hope this post help to answer some of your questions.

105 comments:

  1. Ah! I now know why I had problems removing mine with my Essence peel off base coat. :) I wore a regular base coat under the Peel Off and it looked exactly like your Nail Tek & PVA when you peeled it off! I'll know not to do that if I want a cleaner removal this time :) thanks! I'm so excited about this PVA/peel off base coat. I never minded doing the foil method. I quite liked doing it actually...that's really weird. LOL. But I don't like the amount of polish remover I go through!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely try it with just a plain PVA base, so easy to remove! I was always too impatient to wait long enough for the foil method to work properly. :P

      Delete
  2. thank you so much for this test! sure helps me a lot in my questions. looks like i can save up more $$ on removals. And think about all those glitter polish to wear more often without worrying about removal part! Thanks again! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. Save money on remover and spend it on more polish! ;)

      Delete
  3. Awesome. Thanks for doing the wear test. I could wear a single mani for that long to test, so this is fantastic. I've had great success with PVA glue this week since your first post. The only additional thing I recommend is removal in the shower, they just slp off once you get an edge started. I LOVE this new method for removing glitter and so do my dry little cuticles. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it was purple so that helped me keep it on for so long. Removal in the shower is a great idea! My shower temperature sucks though. It's either too hot or too cold so I don't stay in long. :P

      Delete
  4. Wow, that is a great post! So good to know that this is an option, especially for glitter removal, but it will last the same length as a "normal" manicure (though I itch to change mine after the polish dries, lol!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I'm not sure what you mean by normal manicure though. Like using a regular base coat? All the picture above compare the wear of the PVA base on one hand to a regular base coat on the other hand over 5 days. The Nail Tek base coat is what I use normally.

      Delete
  5. Great post!! Thanks so much for all the info! I can't wait to try this, I have my Elmer's glue but now I just need an empty polish bottle to put it in. Oh and did you add water to the glue or just use it as is?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I didn't add any water. But if your glue feels a bit thick use water to thin it out because it's water based. Don't use polish thinner. :)

      Delete
  6. Thanks for sharing this - it's very informative!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. OMG! BRILLIANT! and right under our noses the whole time! o.O LOL! thanks for the follow-up post! did you use straight up PVA glue or did you add water to it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used plain PVA glue and didn't add any water. If your glue feels a bit thick use water to thin it out because it's water based. Don't use polish thinner. :)

      Delete
  8. Nice! Thanks for this experiment.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the info. I applied the PVA glue over a base coat and it didn't come off as easily. I'm afraid to still apply it directly to my nail. I think it'll be safe for short tern wear!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It comes off much more easily if you use the PVA directly on your nails. Maybe test on your thumb if you're still not sure. :)

      Delete
  10. I posted about my experiences with using PVA Glue and I said that there are four advantages with using it over regular base coat. I have not thought of any disadvantages except that if I want to remove it easily, I find it best to have a little soak in warm water.

    I don't know how you managed to keep the same polish on for so long. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a good idea soaking it first! If it wasn't purple I probably wouldn't have kept it on for so long. ;)

      Delete
  11. Great post! I've seen the Essence 'PVA in the bottle' base coat and had an itch to buy it but I think the PVA glue will do as you say :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went looking for the Essence base coat but couldn't find it in my local store. The hardware had a whole shelf of PVA glue and much cheaper. :)

      Delete
  12. interesting! i HATE having to remove glitter polish. where can you get that pva base coat??

    ReplyDelete
  13. could you wear a normal base coat, and then the PVA base coat over that, and then polish? lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can but the removal is harder and there's a risk of peeling off some of your nail plate in the process. Check out the picture of my thumb in the post. I used Nail Tek II base coat then PVA base and then polish.

      Delete
  14. wow, this is amazing! I would have never thought of that! I have to try it! How do you apply it? Any special tips for application?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I put some PVA glue in an empty clean polish bottle. Then painted a medium coat on my nails. It goes on white but will dry clear so you know when it's ready to paint over with polish. It takes about 5-10 minutes to dry depending on how much you put on. Try not to get it on your cuticles. It will come off your skin easily but may pull the polish off your nail too. Hope this helps. :)

      Delete
  15. thanks, that does help! elmers glue on your nails...who would have ever thunk it??

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great post! Thank you! Do you think it would work the same with creme polish or any other finishes? I am assuming it will act the same but was wondering if maybe you've tried it? Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assume it would still work. I'll give it a try and comment back for you. :)

      Delete
    2. I just tried it with a creme polish. It worked but it wasn't as easy to take off as the glitter polish was, possibly because the layers weren't as thick. It peeled off in little bits rather than in large chunk.

      Delete
  17. Thank you so much for this!! I got my Elmer's tonight, and I'll be trying it out tomorrow. This is AWESOME for me, since I love my glitter bombs, but dread taking them off! I'm super-stoked!! :-D

    ReplyDelete
  18. This is so amazing your wear test was impressive just love how it just comes off in one whole sheet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it's pretty cool, picking it off is so fun. :)

      Delete
  19. Awesome post! I'll have to pick some of the pva glue up. I bet it would work great with the pva coat directly on the nails and another base coat on top of it, to help prevent staining.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I've heard that using PVA and then a base coat on top will stop staining. I haven't tried that combination yet, I will try it next I think. :)

      Delete
  20. Thanks for the info! Now, do you just use your fingers and smear the glue onto your nails?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for the info! Now, do you just smear the glue onto your nails with your fingers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I put the glue in an empty polish bottle and then I paint it on like nail polish. Make sure the bottle is clean I'm not sure how well it would mix with a bottle that still had some polish in the bottom. You can clean out and empty bottle with some acetone. :)

      Delete
  22. This was an interesting read : )

    I was wondering if it was bad for your nails or not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you used Tease yet? I remember is was a bit hard to remove so PVA would be good for that. :)

      Delete
  23. Great, informative post! Thank you for this.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you SO MUCH for doing this excellent follow up post!! I had been sort of ignoring this idea because I assumed it would be really damaging to the nail plate, but it looks like it works really well. Can't wait to try it out now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. My nail plate is fine and this is the third time I've used it. :)

      Delete
  25. Fantastice review!
    I to had wondered if the PVA would work differently if you used a base coat like Duri or NailTek under the PVA. Now I know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use a regular base coat over the PVA. :)

      Delete
  26. Replies
    1. I don't have acrylic nails so I can't test this sorry. :(

      Delete
  27. Thank you so much for all the testing and research work you've done into this for us! So exciting. And yes, as you say, as kids we get PVA all over our hands (deliberately!) and no damage - it's got to be better for our nails and skin than acetone. Plus- we're actually encouraged to pick off our nail polish? Consider me sold on this technique! heh heh heh. Thank you, I am super keen to try this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I'm so glad this worked! :)

      Delete
  28. Great great super post!!! This answers all of the questions I had!!! I also love the daily pictures and wear. So super informative! Great job.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am so exited! I love to wear and change polish constantly but due to lupus I've started having a really hard time with removal. I cant wait to try this It will be great not having to struggle with removal and I haven't worn glitter in forever because of it. I will breaking out all my glitter polishes. Thank you so much for the info

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I'll also be wearing lots of glitter polishes now. :)

      Delete
  30. Brilliant!! I just wrote a quick post and featured your article over at my blog. Thank you so much for such detail and the photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, thanks for sharing my post! :)

      Delete
  31. How exactly did you remove the PVA? Do you just peel it up with your nail?
    Really sorry if this was already mentioned, I know it's kind of a dumb question.

    ReplyDelete
  32. How exactly did you remove the PVA? Just peeled it off with your nail?
    Sorry for the dumb question. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a dumb question :). I used a wooden cuticle stick and pushed it under the polish at my cuticle. It's a little hard to 'break the seal' at first but once you do the rest of it lifts off easily. Hope this helps. :)

      Delete
  33. awesome test!!! thank you so much!!
    I already tried it once but I felt that it wouldn't last and took it off the same day, but I will try again just to see how long it lasts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, I hope it lasts a few days for you too! :)

      Delete
  34. Wow! This is soooo exciting! First time I've heard of the PVA base technique. I , too, like many love glitters but hate the foil removal process...thank you so much for sharing your technique. Can't wait to try!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I hope it works well for you. :)

      Delete
  35. I just found you and your post and am super excited to try this out. I'm a horrible mess when applying polish. I'm getting much better, but I use gobs of acetone to clean up, and using less to change manis would be totally excellent. Yay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to have a new reader :)
      I hope this works out for you. I'm also saving on acetone now.

      Delete
  36. Loved this post! I have tried Elmer's glue under a purple glitter polish. It lasted almost 2 days with normal amount of hand washing. I'd rather have to re-do it when it comes off early than put up with the hassle of removal w/ acetone! One question for you. My nails looked like yours afterward (especially your thumb), a little pinkish. Do you think that's just from the purple polish?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately PVA glue doesn't protect your nails from staining so I'd recommend using a base coat over the PVA glue, but make sure the PVA is dry first. :)

      Delete
  37. Thanks for taking the time to address those common questions. I'm totally going to try this out. Glitter manicures are gorgeous but such a pain to get off, normally.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Bethany, I use this all the time for glitter manicures, it's so easy! :)

      Delete
  38. I can't tell u how wonderful it is to have people like you who take.the time to do tests like this and pulish them for people.who don't yet have the knowledge. I want to let you know you are appreciated! Thanks a million & I am trying Elmer's RIGHT now!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  39. LOVE this :) thanks for your great post (and great blog!) I've just discovered it after spending hours removing Orly's monster mash from my nails oops!! Will be giving this a go tonight! Thanks again. Alix

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Alix. I too have spent quite a while removing glitter polish. So glad there is a peel off base coat option. :)

      Delete
  40. What a great idea for anyone who works in a "no polish" industry (like, say, food service)! Put the polish on for the evening, peel off in the shower before work the next day! My daughter will like this for when she has ballet rehearsals that specify "no polish". Plus, we get to change more often and wear thick glitters! Yay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad this will come in handy for you and your daughter. :)

      Delete
  41. This is scathingly brilliant! I just read your first post on this and ran out to buy some white glue. I didn't have an empty nail polish bottle so I just squirted a little glue on a hard surface and applied it to my ring fingers with an art brush. It went on smooth and dried quickly. I already had on a two-day-old manicure of three coats of OPI Blue My Mind plus top coat that I was a little bored with so I applied the glue over the old polish. I then applied a coat each of three different glitter polishes and a quick dry top coat. It looks fabulous - the blue of the old polish didn't change colour at all with the glue on top once the clear polish from the glitter was applied. I'll have to report back on how it comes off for me in a day or two. I'm hoping that the glitter coat comes off easily and then to use polish remover as usual for the regular polish underneath.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm interested to hear how your removal goes. When I wore the PVA over a base coat it couldn't just peel the PVA off and leave the base coat on my nails, it all came off together. Peeling the basecoat off my nails did damage them a bit so be careful when you remove yours. :)

      Delete
    2. I just took off the glitter using a plastic pusher/orange stick. It came right off with minimal damage to the blue polish underneath and therefore no damage to my nail. I had only used a very thin coat of the glue so next time I will use a thicker coat.

      This is an absolutely brilliant idea. I often get bored of a polish after a couple of days and like to add a glitter topcoat at that point to liven it up, but hate the removal. The glue process has solved that problem. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

      Delete
    3. I just took off the glitter using a plastic pusher/orange stick. It came right off with minimal damage to the blue polish underneath and therefore no damage to my nail. I had only used a very thin coat of the glue so next time I will use a thicker coat.

      This is an absolutely brilliant idea. I often get bored of a polish after a couple of days and like to add a glitter topcoat at that point to liven it up, but hate the removal. The glue process has solved that problem. Thanks so much for sharing! :)

      Delete
  42. I just removed the glitter with a plastic pusher/orange stick. I used a very thin coat of glue and it didn't come off in one piece but still scraped right off with minimal damage to the blue polish underneath. Therefore there is no damage to my nail. I will use a thicker coat next time.

    I often get bored of a polish after a couple of days and like to add a glitter topcoat to freshen it up but hate the removal later. The glue process has solved that problem. Thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for letting me know how this went. I've wanted to add glitter to a mani too but didn't because I didn't have PVA underneath. I'll be trying this method! Thanks :)

      Delete
  43. Are some PVA glues better than others? I tried this technique twice with a no-name white glue and both times my mani didn't last past 18 hours (and I was asleep during 8 of those!!!). The whole nail would just peel off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The formula would most likely be different between brands. The one I used was an outdoor waterproof one so it might have held up better because of that.

      Delete
  44. Darn it... I just tried this and the polish started to lift up on my index finger the next day... I used 1 coat of glue, 1 coat of sally hansen hard as nails in Rockin Hard, 1 thick coat of Sally Hansen xtreme wear glitter polish in Strobe Light and 1 coat of a no name top coat and 1 coat of Revlon no chip top coat. When I was showering this morning, the index finger was catching on my hair where the polish was lifting up. I also noticed a slight chip on another finger.. This afternoon, I was rummaging around in my purse then noticed that one nail was totally gone of the polish. Man, too bad, so sad. What did I do wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you try wipeing your nails with acetone or polish remover before applying the glue? That will remove dirt and oils from your nail which can prevent the glue from sticking.
      Also make sure you don't let the glue touch your cuticles. Leave a small gap around the base and sides of your nail when applying the glue. The glue won't stick to your skin very well. If the glue is touching your cuticles if will lift off and pull the glue from your nail with it.

      Delete
  45. Great post. I've tried this technique and had some trouble peeling it right off easily. How many coats of the glue did you do, and how did you start getting it to peel off?

    ReplyDelete
  46. Great post! I tried this out and had some trouble. It didn't remove as smoothly as yours. How much glue did you use and how did you start getting an edge to pull off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try using two coats of the glue if you are having trouble removing it. Also having a lot of coats of polish over the top makes it easier to remove. I used an cuticle pusher/orange wood stick and pushed it under the polish near my cuticle. Once you've started to lift it up it should come off easily. :)

      Delete
  47. D What was the name of the pva glue you used? I want to try this but i thought i should ask first just in case i see it in a store!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The brand I used was Selleys and I bought it from Bunnings Warehouse.

      Delete
  48. I just tried using a PVA base coat, but l found that the PVA glue had hardened the brush completely, so l wasn't able to use it?

    Any tips?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try soaking the brush in warm water to soften the glue. :)

      Delete
  49. On reading this post I came to know about PVA Glue is there any difference between PVA glue and craft super glue?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Australia "super glue" is a fast drying adhesive that it used to stick something together permanently. This is different to "PVA glue" which is a water based glue that can be easily removed. I wouldn't suggest using super glue as a base coat.

      Delete

Your comments are welcome but please don't include a link to your blog/website. Comments containing such links will not be published.