How to Paint Your Nails

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If painting the nails were easy, there wouldn’t be manicurists and nail shops in every town.  Painting nails requires more than a steady hand, it requires a certain technique.  This article will show you the technique used by most professional nail technicians and manicurists.

1. Start with a clean canvas.  Remove all traces of old polish before painting the nails.  If you have ridges on the surface of your nails, it helps to buff the surface of the nail before applying the polish for a smoother finish.

2. Apply a base coat.  A base coat is a clear polish which serves several purposes.  It creates a barrier between your natural nail and the polish, preventing the polish from staining your natural nails.  A base coat also helps the polish adhere to the nail better, resulting in a longer-lasting finish.

3. Apply two coats of polish.  It looks better if you apply two thin coats of polish instead of one thick coat.  Most pros can apply a coat of polish in three steps; one stroke down the middle of the nail, and one stroke on each side.  By using fewer strokes, the polish will have a smoother texture.  Make sure that your first coat of polish is completely dry before applying the second coat.

4. Apply a top coat.  A top coat is very similar to a base coat.  They are both clear polishes, and sometimes you can find one product that can be used as both a base and top coat.  The top coat is used to add a high shine to the nail, and it also helps to prevent the polish from chipping.  

5. Clean around the edges.  There is no need to be super-precise with your polish application because you can always use polish remover to clean excess polish from the edges of the nail and the cuticle.  Most professionals use a wooden stick tipped with cotton which has been soaked in nail polish remover.  Use the tip of this stick to remove excess polish from the sides, as well as the cuticles.

These five steps are the same steps used by most professionals in order to perform a polish application.  For best results, make sure that your polish is fresh, otherwise it may be clumpy or thick.  Also, avoid shaking the bottle of polish in order to mix it up because this will result in air bubbles in your polish.  Instead, roll the bottle between your palms.  Follow these five steps and you’ll be able to paint your nails like a pro!


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