If you’re on the quest for the perfect manicure like the rest of us, you’ve probably tried and tested all the methods of nail adornment; acrylics, gel polish, dip powder, and regular nail polish… but what if you used both acrylic and nail polish? Can it be done?

What are Acrylics?

Sparkly Pink Acrylic Nails

Acrylic is a polymer-based powder used to build cement-like “nails” on top of your natural nails. “Acrylics” is the name for the powder when it is cemented to your nails.

Acrylics are often used to add length and color to a manicure without false nail tips or nail polish. Using acrylic powder to build yourself a new set of nails can give you the freedom to choose the length, color, and shape of your fingernails, and it’s even more straightforward to choose what you want when you DIY them.

If you want to start creating your own acrylic nails, be sure to view our acrylic powder catalog! We’ve specially formulated over 150 colors and finishes to give you the perfect manicure to match your mood.

Despite how cool-sounding acrylics are, they’re not exactly easy to create, especially if you’re a beginner. If you need a little boost with your acrylics, you can check out our blog on getting smooth acrylic nails or making acrylics shiny and glossy.

Why Would You Want to Paint Over Your Acrylics?

There might be a variety of reasons why you want to use regular nail polish over the acrylic set you already have, the most common being that you don’t like the current acrylic color but love the shape and length. Whether you did your set yourself or had them done by somebody, you might take a look at them and be like, “well, that’s not it.”

If you’ve had your acrylics on for a while, you might just want to change it up! I know that I get bored after having just one color on for a week, and maybe you do, too. But, on the other hand, you might also be in a hurry to get to an important event but not have enough time to take off and replace your acrylics with a new set that matches your outfit.

So, Can I Use Normal Nail Polish on My Acrylics?

Painting Long Acrylic Nails

Yes, you can! Although there are quite a few harsh chemicals in nail polishes (you can smell them as soon as you open the bottle), none of them will interact with the acrylic if there is a top coat over it. If there’s no top coat, you might damage the underneath acrylic and cause weird-looking lumps in the nail. Once you’ve applied a top coat, you are good to go with a new polish color!

In fact, applying nail polish over acrylic nails usually works better than painting the color onto your natural nails because it’s a completely smooth, thick, and durable surface. You might find it easier to paint over acrylic than your natural nail beds as the acrylic is slightly raised.

The best part about using normal nail polish over acrylics is that you can remove the polish and replace it with a different one! If you just want a quick color change for a few days and then will take off the acrylics, you don’t need to worry about this step. However, if you plan on switching out colors or going back to the original acrylic color, you will need to apply a base coat on top of the acrylic top coat to prevent the acrylic from being stained.

Can I Use Gel Polish Over Acrylic?

Gel polish and regular nitrocellulose-based nail polish have entirely different chemical structures. Despite that, you can still use gel over acrylics.

HOWEVER, you need to take a crucial step before slathering on the gel polish. You NEED to buff off the top coat on the acrylic for the gel to stick. If the surface is entirely smooth, the gel will just peel right off within one day.

If you want to go back to the original acrylic color, we don’t recommend using gel because it will stain the acrylic. However, if you want to replace the gel with another color, you can buff off the gel and then paint over the acrylic base again.

Quick Recap:

  • Yes, you can use nail polish over acrylic! Just be sure to read above for specifics
  • You can also use gel polish on top of your acrylic nails
  • There’s a variety of reasons you might want to paint on top of your acrylics
  • You should check out our new subscription boxes :p
October 01, 2021 — Fairy Glamor
Tags: help question

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Fairy Glamor designs unique 3-in-1 dip and acrylic nail powders in Galveston, Texas. We're a 100% family owned business that was founded in 2020 and went from making handmaking powders in our spare bedroom to shipping out of a big warehouse. We believe in both quality and affordability--that's why our powders are used by both professional nail technicians and in homes. Our unique colors are hand-designed to give you gorgeous manicures that'll make your nails feel magical.