Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Your Nails!

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With nail art becoming increasingly popular and more and more people trying their hand it is with each month that passes, we have noticed more and more people reaching out to ask various questions about how they can get their nails looking the best they possibly can for the lowest possible price. This has naturally led to a number of people reaching out to ask if you can use acrylic paint on your nails as well as a number of other related questions about acrylic paint on your nails.

Due to do many people reaching out with questions about nail art with acrylic paints each month, we have decided to publish this dedicated article on the subject with the goal of helping out readers get the best possible end result when using acrylic paints on their nails. In fact, some of the No products found. on the market use an acrylic paint formula with the pens being a very popular option for both professional and amateur nail artists alike.

As we are covering a range of different questions about using acrylic paint on your nails in this article, we have decided to add the table of contents below. It should make it easy for you to skim through the article to specific sections that you want to actually know the answers to. That said though, if you are brand new to nail art and seriously considering doing a large amount of acrylic paint nail art then reading the whole article is probably the better option.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint As Nail Polish?

Although acrylic paint is not an exact replacement for a high-quality nail polish, you are able to use acrylic paint on your nails and still get a good effect provided you understand that the acrylic paint is only a temporary solution. Although options are usually limited to the regular matte or gloss look of the acrylic paints, there are some metallic options available but an actual metallic nail polish will always look better if that is that you need.

Unlike actual nail polish, there are a few additional steps to the application process of acrylic paint to your nails that you should try to stick to for the best possible results. In reality though, it is always recommended that you do these similar steps that we will go over later in the article when applying actual nail polish too but the majority of people skip over them and just apply the nail polish directly.

Although you are able to take this route with acrylic paint and your nails if you wish, the results tend to be worse that if you prime your nails, apply the paint correctly, and seal it to your nails as we explain later in the article. Although it usually only adds one minute to the whole process, so many people skip these simple steps with many beginners simply making the mistake of applying the acrylic paints to their nails in a way that sets them on a path to poor looking nails from the very start.

Is It Safe To Paint Your Nails With Acrylic Paint?

The majority of acrylic paint formulas do tend to be safe to use on your nails and as we touched on earlier in the article, some of the No products found. on the market are made from a high-quality, water base acrylic paint formula. Due to this, many people reading this may have already had acrylic paint applied to their nails without even knowing it and simply presuming that it was regular nail polish.

Although the vast majority of acrylic paint formulas on the market are classed as non-toxic, there are a small number of colors that may contain toxic pigments although most brands are trying to quickly switch to synthetic, non-toxic alternatives. These tend to be the cadmium colors such as cadmium red, cadmium orange, and cadmium yellow but there are a few others out there too.

Even though these three colors are heavy in toxic materials, they can still be used on your nails temporarily in small quantities and it should not cause problems for the majority of people. There are also a few other colors with similar issues that contain large amounts of arsenic, borates, lead, cobalt, copper, manganese, nickel, and mercury, they still tend to be fine in small amounts for temporary use.

Can You Mix Acrylic Paint With Nail Polish?

There are two ways that you are able to mix acrylic paint with nail polish with one method providing great results where as the other can leave much to be desired. The first method is to mix the two in layers on your actual nails with the second method being to actually mix the two together in liquid form prior to your new mixture to your nails.

Modern nail art is usually made up of layers of different paint, ink, and dye types in various layers to bring the whole look together. This is the most common way to mix acrylic paint with nail polish on the same set of nails and provided you let the base layers dry fully prior to adding a top coat of either acrylic paint or nail polish, the results can be excellent.

A large number of beginners tend to try and mix acrylic paints with their nail polish to make their own custom colors to then apply to their nails at a later day. Although this can work, the different consistency between some acrylic paints and some types of nail polish can make this difficult. It can work well on occasion but sometimes it tends not to set well after the initial application and the color will usually skew during the drying process.

How To Prepare Your Nails Ready For Acrylic Paint!

Taking a minute or so to actually prepare your nails ready for acrylic paint to be applied to them is without a doubt the most common step that we see beginners to using acrylic paint on their nails miss out. Although this may sound like a useless step to some, it is surprisingly important and can make a huge difference in the quality of your end result and how the acrylic paint actually sites on your nails.

The easiest method is to just give your nails the once over with a baby wipe but you can use some warm water on a cloth if needed. This will remove any of the natural oils that your skin releases throughout the day from your nails as well as any built up dirt that can prevent the acrylic paint from sitting on the nail correctly.

If you are using the acrylic paint as a top layer on top of nail polish, we would highly recommend that you still go through this process unless you have only just applied the base layer of nail polish to your nails. If you have only just applied the nail polish then be sure to wait until it has dried fully before you start to apply your acrylic paints to the nails else it will lead to issues.

How To Apply Acrylic Paint To Your Nails!

The actual application of the acrylic paint to your nails is another area where we constantly see beginners to nail art making mistakes as they usually over estimate the amount of acrylic paint that they need to apply to their nail. If you are in the arts and crafts space and are used to using your acrylic paints for artwork then you need considerably less paint on your application brush for it to look good on your nails.

One of the easiest ways to get a good indication of how much acrylic paint you should be applying to your nails is to use a cheap nail art brush set that has been specifically designed for nail art. When using these brush sets, it tends to be difficult to get too much paint on the brush head due to the design of the brush and the head that is available usually making the process much easier.

You only need a thin layer of acrylic paint on your nails for it to actually work correctly so if you arnt using a nail art brush set try to think that you need a single thin layer of acrylic paint on your nail. Once the first layer has dried, you can then add an additional layer if required to make the color more prominent. Building up multiple thin layers of the acrylic paint on your nails tends to be much easier to get right than one single coat of thick paint added all at once.

How To Seal Acrylic Paint On Nails!

Although sealing the acrylic paint on your nails is not strictly essential, it usually does work wonders to ensure that your nail art will last you for as long as possible. You have to remember that acrylic paints are not specifically designed for use on your nails so the bumps and knocks that your nails take throughout the day really can end up taking their toll.

In our opinion, the easiest option to seal your acrylic paint on your nails is to simply use a cheap, clear, nail polish top coat as it will add the require protection above the acrylic paint to protect it. Once done, your nails will be able to take all the bumps and knocks coming their way throughout the day without your acrylic paint chipping off.

Just be sure to wait until your acrylic paints have dried fully prior to applying the top coat to them. To actually apply the top coat to your nails just use the brush that comes included with the product and apply it as if you were just applying regular nail polish to your nails. Once the top coat is on, give it a few minutes to dry and then you should be good to go about your daily business as need.

How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Your Nails!

There are a few ways that you are able to remove the acrylic paint from your nails with different paint formulas needing slightly different methods. For many of the acrylic paint formulas on the market, using regular nail polish should easily be able to remove the acrylic paint as well as any top coat product that you have used as a sealant.

Although rare, some acrylic paint formulas may need you to put a little rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and then rub it in a circular motion on your nails. Although this can be used with the other acrylic paint formulas too, we tend to discourage this method as it is harder on your skin but sometimes it will be the best option for you.

If you do have to take the rubbing alcohol route to remove the acrylic paint from your nails then it may be worth considering using a nail care kit once the paint is removed and you have gave them a once over with some warm water. This is not essential but the rubbing alcohol can tend to take a toll on your nails so taking steps to strengthen them after the removal of the paint is advisable.

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last On Nails?

We usually only recommend that you leave acrylic paint on your nails as a part of your nail art for a maximum of four weeks. Even if you do use a top coat as a sealant to add that additional level of protection to your acrylic paint, the bumps and knocks will have taken their tool by then and the detail in your nails will probably have started to take its toll.

Ideally, you would be wanting to get your acrylic paint off your nail in around a week though as that tends to be the sweet spot when the wear and tear will start to take its toll. Depending on the design that you use on your nails, it can be quick to remove the acrylic paint each week and then reapply it if you want and help to keep the paint looking fresh.

Depending on your needs, you may only be looking for some temporary nail art for a one off party or something and this tends to be where acrylic paint shines due to how versatile it is for the types of nail art you can use it with. This makes it the perfect option for parties, Halloween, and Christmas to theme your nails to the even and time of year with ease.


That brings our article going over if you can use acrylic paint on your nails to an end. Provided you follow the simple, quick, and easy steps that we have laid out in the article above, you can use acrylic paint on your nails with ease. Although regular nail polish does tend to out perform it, you are often able to get some very unique colors of acrylic paint that is not available in a nail polish format.