Can You Paint Over Acrylic Nails? How To Do It Like A True Professional?


Can You Paint Over Acrylic Nails

Have you just gotten your first manicure? I bet you are pretty excited and in love with your new shiny acrylic nails. They look great and neat at first, but you will get bored of sporting the same color day after day with time. So it is not a surprise that one of the most asked questions is, can you paint over acrylic nails?

Hear me out; the point of having acrylic nails is not only to protect your natural nails; the point is in being able to show off your pretty new nails in vibrant colors. So if you are eager to find if it is okay to repaint the acrylic nails and how to do it properly, this article got you.


What Are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are nail enhancements made by combining a liquid and powdered acrylic. These two products, also known as a monomer and a polymer, form a softball that can be easily reshaped into a nail. Once this acrylic mass is applied to nails, it hardens and becomes much stronger, so it must be buffed and filed to achieve the desired shape.

The lifespan of acrylic nails varies from person to person. For example, if you use your hands for some kind of manual labor, you will find out pretty quickly that acrylic nails won’t last too long. But in general, acrylic nails will last for about two to three weeks; after that, you will need to visit your nail technician to fill in the gaps that appear as your natural nails grow.

It is also recommended to remove your acrylic nails every three months to let your natural nails breathe and rest.


Is It Fine To Paint Over Acrylic Nails?

The answer is yes.

You can definitely paint over acrylic nails over and over again with no repercussions as long as you are using the correct procedures and products and follow recommended steps to keep their quality in order. The procedure is slightly different from applying polish over regular nails, but I believe that painting your acrylics is easy and fun.

Below is a quick guide that will help you to learn how to paint your acrylic nails with ease.

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How To Repaint Acrylic Nails In 5 Simple Steps

Beautifully done, acrylic nails won’t last forever, they get chipped, and the color starts to fade away pretty soon; we are all aware of that, so let’s learn how to maintain them in the best possible condition and prolong their lifespan. I have been following these five simple steps and the end results are perfect every time.

1. Remove Old Nail Polish

  • Before you start painting your acrylic nails, you must completely remove the old nail polish even if the old nail paint has naturally worn-out; there is no exception to this.  Also, you need to remove any leftovers with a nail polish remover.
  • Make sure that you use an Acetone FREE Nail Polish remover! The reason why is because the acrylic base will start dissolving when you use acetone, and it will come off alongside nail polish. Try to find nail polish remover that is Aloe Vera based and have moisturizing properties.

2. Clean And Dry Acrylic Nails

  • There will always be a small space between your acrylic nails and your natural nails, so it is recommended to keep this space clean and dry to avoid any nail infections. Unfortunately, these infections can happen easily if plenty of moisture and dampness are engaged between your acrylic and natural nails.
  • After you have completely wiped off the nail polish, the best way to clean your hands and acrylic base is with baby wipes. Do not use harsh chemicals to clean the acrylic base as you can never know what may cause an unwanted reaction. You can, of course, soak and wash your hands and then dry them with a towel but do not leave the acrylic nails in water for too long. Always make sure your nail base is dry and completely clean before you proceed to the next step.

3. Apply The Base Coat

  • This step is the most important in the whole procedure of painting acrylic nails. The point is that the base coat will protect your acrylic base from all the chemicals that nail polish contains. When you take care of your acrylic nails, their lifespan will increase, so you won’t need to replace them frequently. The base coat will also ensure that your acrylic nails do not stain due to the direct application of nail paint over them.
  • Once the hard acrylic is filed using a buffer, it is possible that the texture is not 100% smooth, and that is where the base coat will help and smooth out the surface. What I love the most about the base coat is that it makes removing the nail paint an easier task later.
  • Choose the base coat that is made specifically for acrylic nails for extra protection. Just to be safe, you can apply more than one layer of base coat. Apply the second base coat layer after the first base coat layer has dried up completely.

4. Repaint The Acrylic Nails

  • When your base coat has dried completely, it is time to apply the nail polish of your choice. It’s best to apply up to three nail polish coats at max and make sure each layer dried up properly and settled in before you apply the next layer.
  • You can use any regular nail polish since it will form a great bond with acrylic nails. Most girls think how the regular polish is prone to wear and tear, and they avoid using it on acrylic nails, which is a big mistake. The regular nail polish will perform way better on acrylic than on natural paint. You can as well use Shellac on them, but it is not necessary since acrylics already protects your nails, but if you want to get that premium shiny finish, you can spend some extra bucks and opt for this nail polish brands.
  • However, never apply gel nail polish on acrylic nails on your own if you are not a professional. If applied wrong, the gel polish will lift off the nail and damage your cuticles; it can affect nail growth as well. Keep in mind that gel nail polish can stay on the nail for up to six weeks, so if you want to change the color of your nails frequently, avoid this method.

5. Apply Topcoat

  • It is important to protect your nail polish color with a topcoat. There are two types of topcoats, an air-dry topcoat and a UV topcoat (requires UV curation). 
  • Apply up to two layers of topcoat on your dry repainted acrylic nails. Avoid applying UV topcoat since it could chip your acrylic nails; just use a normal topcoat, and the end result won’t let you down.
  • The topcoat will add shine to the nail and improve the life of nail paint and prevent your acrylics from being chipped.
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Can You Paint Your Nails With Acrylic Paint?

  • Acrylic paint is wildly popular nowadays, and if it is non-toxic, you can even apply it to your natural nails. The acrylic paint will allow you to create various designs, scratch based art, multi-color patterns, and so much more.
  • The acrylic paint is usually water-based so that it won’t stick around for so long as regular nail polish, but that is one of the main reasons why acrylic paint is the best option for you if you like to change the color of your nail frequently.
  • There is one thing you must be aware of; the acrylic paint sets with a matte finish that means if you prefer a glossy finish, you will need to seal it with a clear topcoat. Applying topcoat on acrylic paint is highly recommended since this type of paint is not water-resistant to the topcoat acts as a protection.
  • It is an absolute necessity to use a few layers of base coat before you apply acrylic paint. They are usually non-toxic, but the bigger problem is that they stain nails no matter if they are acrylic or natural, so do not skip the base coat.

Let’s Summarize

After you get your acrylic nails done by the professional, you can repaint them anytime you want, as many times as you want, since they won’t be affected by the nail polish at all. It will take you about an hour or so to do it properly, but you can be sure that your nails will always look like they are done by a professional after some practice.

Keep in mind that as your natural nails grow, the gaps will be more visible, so regular visits to your nail salon are still necessary no matter how good your repainting technique is.

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