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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Nails? (Quick Answers)

Nail styling is quite famous among the new generations. Before, using only one paint used to be popular.

Especially using aesthetic and classy nail polishes. Now the trend has changed. Everyone wants to do newly designed nail art and use multiple and vibrant colors.

Following the below tips and information regarding acrylic paint and if it can be used on the nails or not would help you to choose your nail paint.

Using acrylic paint on nails

You can definitely use the acrylic paint on the nails. But the paint has to be safe for the nails and non-toxic. Otherwise, it can damage the skin and also the nails. Apart from that, you need to use a clear base so that the acrylic paint is not in direct contact with the nail.

Nail art is quite popular these days. Some want to do art with henna on the nail. Meanwhile, others might want to do nail art with nail polish. Most nail artists prefer using acrylic paint instead of nail polish to do nail art.

Well, as acrylic paint is easy to apply and make designs with, most nail artists choose this paint. As long as it is not harmful, anyone can use acrylic paint.

Gel nails:

Gel nails refers to treated nails. You can also apply acrylic paint over the gel nails. Gel nails give a glossy and shiny finish. Everyone wants their nails to look best.

Gel nails can be an option to obtain such conditions. Yet, gel nails can cause damage to the natural nails.

Though the damage would be less than using acrylic paint. Yet, the nails would lose their nutrition with time. And you would not get back your healthy nails.

Fake nails:

Applying acrylic paint on fake nails is much better than applying the paint on natural nails.

Well, paint itself is harmful, no matter how safe it is. Fake nails are also made up of chemicals. And should not be worn for plenty of times.

On the other hand, you can apply acrylic paint on the fake nails and also design them as you want.

But you should clean the nails first. If there are any prior nail paints on the fake nails, remove them. Mostly acrylic paint would not go with the formula of nail polish.

Natural nails:

Well, natural nails themselves look beautiful. Still, applying nail paint is like adding color and going with the trend. You can also apply the acrylic paint on natural nails but with proper steps.

You need to clean the nails first, apply a base coat, and lastly need to seal the acrylic paint with a clear coat.

None of these steps should be missed out. Otherwise, the paint would not stay and of course, the nails would get severely damaged.

Moreover, the paint itself would dry out the nails with time. Better if you could reduce the application of nail paints.

How long does acrylic paint last on nails?

It is usually considered that acrylic paint can last on nails for about 6 weeks to 8 weeks. After that period of time, you would need to clean the paint.

Well, it is even better if you remove it fastly. Nail polishes would always have an impact on the nails. Even the acrylic paint would leave an effect.

The longer it stays, the longer it would be able to cause damage to the skin. Well, sometimes fungus may grow on the nail.

When the sealing is not done properly, the paint would get deteriorated. Even the improper application of the base coat would allow the direct contact of the paint with the nail.

That’s why it is better if you clean the paint faster. It does not matter how long it stays. The longer it would, the faster the nails would look pale and sick. You should change the paints faster.

What kind of acrylic paint to use on nails?

You can not use any acrylic paint as you want. Well, acrylic paint is not healthy for the skin and is neither good for the environment.

But for nails, you need to choose nail paints that would cause less harm. You can choose the following acrylic paint to use on the nails.


The acrylic paint has to be non-toxic so that it can be applied to the nails. Well, acrylic paint is made of harmful chemical compounds.

When you leave it for a long time on nails, the chemicals would produce toxicity. The degree of toxicity would vary. Yet, you should use them for less time.

Safe for the nails:

Well, no acrylic paint, and even the nail polish is safe for the nails. With time, the paint would cause deterioration of the nail.

Instead, choose one which has better safety. Especially using a base coat would definitely help to keep the nails safe from chemicals.

Not sticky:

Most acrylic paint tends to become sticky. Now no one wants their nails to have sticky paint. Moreover, the stains can also penetrate to the skin. You can remove the stickiness by creating a cover or finish coat.

Though it is water-based, yet no chemical is good for humans. As it creates damage with time.

How to use acrylic paint on nails?

Putting acrylic paint is not tough especially when you are a nail artist. Even if you are not, you can still slay the application process.

You just have to know how to do designs and patterns. After that, you can smoothly work with the acrylic paint on the nails. You can follow the below to apply acrylic paint to the nails.

Clean the nails:

You cannot apply anything to nails unless you clean the nails. You need to wipe out the dirt and clean the nails before preparing the nail.

You should wash the nails with water and remove prior nail polishes if they have any. After washing and cleaning, dry the nail.

Prepare the nail:

Cleaning is necessary to prepare the nails. After cleaning you need to apply the first base coat.

The base coat would create a barrier for the acrylic paint. As a result, it would not harm the skin. Moreover, acrylic paint can be applied smoothly to the nails.

Do not apply the acrylic paint without putting it on the base coat. In general, it protects your nail from further deterioration of the color.

Apply the acrylic paint:

After taking all the necessary steps to secure the acrylic paint, apply the paint to the nails.

Now you would need different brushes to draw different designs, you can draw dotted lines, straight lines, or anything. Take a small amount of acrylic paint and swap the brush.

Next, draw designs on the nail with different brushes as you want. Some may want to seal the acrylic paint by applying a clear coat. Well, you can also choose not to.

How to seal acrylic paint on nails?

Only applying acrylic paint is not enough. You also need to seal the paint. Otherwise, the paint would not be set and would not be protected.

As a result, the paint would also get vanished with time because it was not protected. You can seal the acrylic paint on nails by following the methods below.

Applying a clear coat:

Mostly, when you apply nail polish, you always finish it by applying a clear coat. The same goes here. The clear coat would act like a top coat on the acrylic paint and set it.

You should first let the acrylic paint dry. When the paint is dried, apply a clear coat to secure the nail paint. It would ensure the longevity of the nail paint.

Hair spray:

Some may try sealing the acrylic paint with hair spray. And of course, it works fine. After drying the acrylic paint on the nails, just spray the hair spray on top of that.

And it is done. You do not have to worry anymore about the nail paint getting removed. As the topcoat would prevent damage to the paint.

Final Thoughts

Overall, acrylic paint is applied to the nails as long as it does not release any harmful chemicals. It should not be toxic. Well, acrylic paint makes it easier to work with. As drawing strokes and designs is a more convenient drawing with acrylic paint, many may prefer it more.