How to Apply Acrylic Over Polished Nails

by Kyra Sheahan ; Updated September 28, 2017

Add acrylic to your painted nail to add strength.

Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Acrylic is a chemical substance that beauty technicians use on finger and toenails to harden the nail. The acrylic paint is typically used in conjunction with nail tips, which are fake extensions that lengthen shorter nails and keep them shaped the same. When used together this combination is known as acrylic nails. When applying acrylic nails it is important that the natural nail is clean and dry, with polish removed first. However, if you are just applying the acrylic paint over your nail to strengthen the natural nail, you can add a thin layer of the acrylic substance over the polish.

Pour the liquid acrylic into the dampen dish. Prepare the powdered acrylic by opening the container and leaving the lid off.

Dip your brush into the liquid acrylic. Do not soak the entire brush, but be sure that the tip of the brush is well saturated with the acrylic. Wipe off excess acrylic by rubbing the tip of the brush against the rim of the dish, like you do when getting off excess nail polish in the bottle.

Insert the tip of the acrylic brush into the container with the powdered acrylic. Notice the substance thickening and clumping on the brush when you remove it from the powder.

Apply the acrylic to the nail. Set the clump of liquid and powdered acrylic onto the tip of the nail and begin brushing it back to smooth it out. Do not let the acrylic come into contact with your skin or cuticles.

Wipe away any excess acrylic with a clean brush dipped in acetone nail polish remover. Allow the acrylic to harden.


  • Use clear acrylic when applying it over pre-polished nails. If you use a tinted acrylic, such as natural, it will alter the color of the nail polish.

Our Everyday Video

Brought to you by LEAFtv
Brought to you by LEAFtv

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

About the Author

Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.