On average, nail polish takes one to two hours to become dry enough to avoid damage, but up to 24 hours to become completely dry. Drying time varies by brand and application method.
Nail polish takes longer to dry if a base coat, multiple layers of polish and a top coat are applied. Multiple, thin layers of polish dry more quickly, so applying large amounts of polish should be avoided to minimize drying time. Rinsing or dipping the nails in cold water for three minutes helps the nail polish dry more quickly. Hot showers should also be avoided within one hour of application.