At home, the process of applying acrylic nails is incredibly similar to the salon procedure, but because you lack the technique and skills of a tech, the details are very important, and most DIY acrylic nail kits will do their best to make it easy for you. In this article, we show how to do acrylic nails at home using DIY kits, as well as how to fill in acrylic nails on your own.
In this article:
DIY Acrylic Nails at Home
Many of the kits include everything you will need: nail file, nail buffer, acrylic liquid, acrylic powder and acrylic brush and an acrylic dish, as well as a non-acetone nail polish remover (for mistakes with polish) and a nail primer.
- First remove any old nail polish.
- Next choose your tips – match them up to your fingernails to make certain each one is the right size, then use nail glue to glue the nail tips on.
- Make certain each nail extension is not too big, and if it is the nearest size, file the sides down a bit to make it fit better.
- Be careful not to use too much glue – you don’t want the glue to touch your skin.
- Dab a small dot of glue on the tip and spread it from side to side and press it to your natural nail.
- Press the nail down for five seconds to allow the glue to dry and the nail to adhere.
- Once the nail is secure, trim down the length of the extension to the right length.
- Make certain the next step is done in a well-ventilated area. Put your liquid acrylic into the acrylic dish.
- Put the powder into a separate dish.
- Set up a few folded paper towels nearby.
- Dip the acrylic brush into the liquid and press the brush all the way down and wait for all the bubbles to dissipate, and then slide the brush on the edge of the bowl to remove any excess liquid acrylic.
- Dip the brush in a small sweep through the acrylic powder to create a small, moist ball of acrylic material on the end of the brush.
- The right ratio of liquid and powdered acrylic will not drip off the brush but will stay in a small bead at the end. The bead should be moist and spreadable.
- If you need to redo your blend of the acrylic liquid and powder on the brush, wipe off the initial attempt on the napkin and repeat the above steps.
- Between additions of the acrylic to the nail, wipe off excess on the napkin/paper towels to keep the acrylic from bonding to the brush. Make certain to do this between each wipe on the nails.
- Do not put the acrylic on your skin or cuticle. Make certain to start just a few millimeters away from the cuticle so that the acrylic bonds to your nail, not your skin.
- Wait approximately 10 minutes for the acrylic to dry and set (it won’t be pretty yet.). You can test the acrylic nails by tapping the surface with the handle of the acrylic brush – if you hear a clicking sound, your nails are set!
- Use a coarse nail file, (preferably electronic for speed) to shape the tips and then file them down to the desired length. Use a 180-grit one to shape the nails, a 240-grit file to remove any scratches from the 180-grit and finish up with a 1000-grit to shape. For a stunning shiny finish, follow up with a 4000-grit file.
- Paint your nails drawing inspiration from acrylic nail ideas!
Acrylic nails will have to be filled in every 2 to 3 weeks to keep them looking pristine. You can learn to fill in your acrylic nails on your own if push comes to shove, but the process does not take as long as the initial install whether done by you or by the tech.
If you are looking to fill in your acrylic nails yourself, it works very similarly to installing them. You’ll need the same kit supplies mentioned earlier: a nail file, nail buffer, acrylic liquid, acrylic powder and an acrylic brush and an acrylic dish, as well as a non-acetone nail polish remover (which will remove the nail polish without damaging the acrylic beneath) and a nail primer.
- Remove the old polish with the non-acetone nail polish remover.
- Wash your hands thoroughly, and then dry them to eliminate likelihood of an infection.
- Buff away any acrylic that might have lifted up as your nail grew out – you don’t want a seam. Be sure to buff away only the acrylic so you don’t damage your nail bed.
- Apply 2 to 3 coats of nail primer to the newly grown nail surface, making certain to allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next coat.
- Prepare and apply the acrylic in the same method as mentioned above, but only place the acrylic mixture on the natural nail and only the amount needed to meet the existing acrylic smoothly. If needed, do another coat of the acrylic to make certain the surfaces line up smoothly.
- Dry your acrylic nails.
- File your nail length down if you like and buffer the entire nail to achieve a smooth, uniform texture.
- Paint your nails!
Photos via @misslaladoll, Instagram