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Can You Paint Over Shellac?

Can You Paint Over Shellac?

Every woman knows how amazing it feels to get your hair done, put on a fire outfit and just burst with confidence. But there’s one thing that adds a final touch – freshly manicured nails. 

We can all agree that there are few things in life better than being pampered at a nail salon while sipping coffee and hanging with your girlfriends.

If you’ve ever gotten your nails done, then you’re probably familiar with different types of manicures and all kinds of techniques nail technicians use. So I’m guessing you also know about shellac. 

Let’s say the last time you went to the salon, you chose a beautiful shade of shellac but now it’s all grown out and you don’t have the time to wait until your next appointment to fix it. 

You get the brilliant idea to paint over it, but is it doable? Can you paint over shellac?

Stay with me until the end to find out!

What Is Shellac?

Let’s first start with the question: What exactly is shellac?

I’m sure you know to some level what it is, but are you completely familiar with how shellac works and what’s the difference between it and other polishes and techniques?

Shellac is actually a form of nail polish. It was developed and patented by Jan Arnold of Creative Nail Design, or CND.

There are more than a hundred colors you can choose from at verified nail salons, so whatever colorful idea for your next manicure comes to mind, shellac has got you covered. 

But what makes shellac so special that it stands out from regular nail polish?

The secret of shellac is that it’s a combination of two types of polishes, gel and traditional polish. Shellac takes the best from both worlds – the durability of the gel and the colorfulness and shininess of classic nail polish. 

So with shellac, not only is your manicure going to last longer, but the color is also going to be vibrant and lustrous. 

There’s some science behind creating shellac, but I’ll keep it as simple as possible. The tiny molecules (monomers) and the larger molecules (polymers) bind together to create a formula that, when exposed to LED lights, creates a shellac effect, hence the name. 

The way it works is you get three coats of polish with shellac manicure: two polish coats and one top coat. Each layer needs to be cured by putting your nails inside an LED lamp. 

And how long does it take to get shellac? 

Similarly to other manicures, getting shellac takes around 45 minutes, give or take. It depends on how skilled your nail technician is, but it shouldn’t take longer than an hour (with cuticle treatments and nail filing).

The Benefits Of Shellac

If you’re a busy working gal that doesn’t have time nor patience to deal with the hassle that is regular nail polish, shellac is the ideal solution for you, for one simple reason:

Shellac manicure can last up to 14 days! 

Sure, regular nail polishes are way cheaper than shellac in the long run, but they require a lot more effort on your side. Even the most high-quality nail polishes don’t stay perfect longer than a couple of days, so you always have to fix it and worry whether your nails look neat. 

Let’s admit it – nasty nails are a big turn-off and they look very unprofessional (if your job involves working with people). Whether you like it or not, nails say a lot about you so keeping them neat and manicured is a big deal. 

Getting a shellac manicure means that for 2 weeks you don’t have to worry about your nails at all. It’s quite a relief, to be honest. 

Another advantage of shellac over other manicures is that it looks very natural. Many times when you get a classic gel manicure, they end up looking kind of bulky on your fingers. The gel can be quite noticeable and you can really tell your nails are fake (if the gel manicure is not done properly).

With shellac, you don’t have to worry about this – you can rest assured your nails will look natural, classy and sleek. This is because shellac resembles a regular nail polish in texture, shineness and appearance, but it lasts five times longer. 

On top of all this, shellac comes in more than a hundred colors and shades, so the possibilities are endless.

So, to sum up, what are the benefits you get from shellac?

  • Manicure lasts up to 14 days
  • Natural and classy look
  • Extremely wide color palette

There’s really no reason not to give shellac a chance.

Is Shellac Safe?

Lav Can You Paint Over Shellac

I know that many women have worries regarding any sort of polish other than the regular one. This is because most manicures require the use of an UV/LED lamp, and people in general are worried about how safe it is to expose yourself to it. 

While UV exposure isn’t 100% safe, getting a manicure with an UV lamp doesn’t pose any threat. A recent research shows that the risks associated with the use of UV lamps are minimal, so there’s no need to be afraid – your visits to the nail salon are perfectly safe. 

If you’re still feeling iffy about it, here’s a little tip: 

Before going to get your nails done, apply SPF on your nails, just for your own peace of mind.

Can You Paint Over Shellac?

Probably the biggest downside of shellac and similar manicures is that you can’t take it off at home. 

I mean, technically, you can, but it’s a struggle. Unlike classic nail polish that you can take off in a few seconds, it doesn’t work like that with shellac. 

So if your shellac is outgrown and you don’t have time for an appointment at the nail salon, you will get tempted to take it off by yourself, or at least paint over it so it looks neater. 

But can you actually do that? 

Let’s see first if it’s even possible to take it off at home. 

While it is possible to remove shellac by yourself, I strongly advise against it. If you try to do it at home, there’s a huge chance you’ll damage your nails. Peeling the shellac off on your own can also cause the top layer of your nail to peel off (yes, it’s as painful as it sounds).

You are likely to make things worse and the healing process will take a long time. So the moral of the story is – go to the salon to get shellac removed.

However, if it’s absolutely urgent and you have to do it at home, follow these few steps to get it done in the best way possible:

  1. Soak cotton pads with acetone (and don’t get stingy with it)
  2. Place one pad on one nail and wrap it up tight with aluminum foil
  3. Leave it on for 10 minutes
  4. Wipe your nails again with acetone
  5. Throw away the used up acetone properly

That’s it on how to remove shellac. It sounds fairly simple, but again, I recommend you to go get it done by a professional rather than doing it at home.

But what if you don’t want to remove it, just paint over it? 

If it’s the last arrow in your quiver, go for it. Is it the best solution? No. But is it a quick temporary fix? Sure. 

Painting over shellac can be done with regular nail polish, but make sure you have a high-quality nail polish for the best results. It shouldn’t take long, however, don’t expect it to look perfect. Painting over outgrown manicure is quite discernible and looks messy so don’t count on it to be an ideal solution. 

The best thing to do is to make an appointment and get a fresh shellac manicure. Painting over shellac should be your last resort. 

Can You Paint Over Shellac – Final Word

So, what’s the bottom line? Can you paint over shellac or not? 

It turns out – yes, you can!

If you’re running late or can’t fit a nail salon appointment in your schedule, using regular nail polish to paint over shellac will do the trick. Just remember, it’s not a permanent fix. For that, you will have to pay a visit to your nail lady. 

There’s another DIY solution and that is to remove shellac at home. Consider this the last option because it’s not only a complicated and inconvenient process, but it can actually damage your nails if you’re not careful enough. 

And one more thing – nail files are not your best friends when it comes to shellac. If you absolutely have to remove it by yourself, do the acetone method since it’s the least painful option.