Can You Paint Over Gel Acrylic Nails

So, you’ve got yourself a beautiful set of gel acrylic nails, but now you’re itching to switch up the color. The question on your mind is, can you paint over gel acrylic nails? Well, the good news is that you absolutely can! Whether you’re tired of the current shade or looking to experiment with some nail art, painting over gel acrylic nails is a simple and convenient way to give your manicure a fresh new look. In this article, we’ll explore the process of painting over gel acrylic nails and share some tips to ensure a gorgeous and long-lasting result. So, grab your favorite nail polish shades and get ready to transform your nails in no time!

Can You Paint Over Gel Acrylic Nails

This image is property of


Before applying gel nail polish, it is important to properly prepare and clean your nails. This ensures that the gel polish adheres well and results in a long-lasting manicure. There are two crucial steps in the preparation process – cleaning the nails and preparing the nails.

Cleaning the Nails

Start by removing any existing polish from your nails using an acetone-based nail polish remover. Make sure to soak a lint-free wipe with the remover and gently wipe away the polish. Take your time and ensure that all traces of old polish are completely removed.

Preparing the Nails

Once your nails are completely clean, it’s time to prepare them for the gel polish application. Use a nail file to shape and smooth the edges of your nails. A gentle file is recommended to avoid any damage to the nail bed. Next, use a nail buffer to gently buff the surface of your nails. This will create a slightly rough texture, helping the gel polish to adhere better. Lastly, use a nail dehydrator to remove any oils or moisture from your nails. This step is crucial as it ensures a better bond between your natural nails and the gel polish.


Before you begin, gather all the necessary materials to ensure a smooth and efficient gel polish application. Here’s a list of items you will need:

  • Acetone Nail Polish Remover: For removing existing polish.
  • Nail File: To shape and smooth the nails.
  • Nail Buffer: To gently buff the nail surface.
  • Nail Dehydrator: To remove oils and moisture from the nails.
  • Primer: To enhance the adhesion of the gel polish.
  • Gel Nail Polish: The main attraction!
  • LED or UV Nail Lamp: Used for curing the gel polish.
  • Top Coat: To seal and protect the manicure.
  • Lint-Free Wipes: For cleaning and wiping off excess products.
  • Cuticle Oil: To moisturize and nourish the cuticles after the manicure.

Step 1: Removal of Existing Gel Acrylic Nails

If you already have gel acrylic nails on, it is important to remove them before applying a new gel polish. Here’s how you can safely remove them:

Soaking the Nails

Start by soaking a small bowl in warm water and add a few drops of acetone-based nail polish remover. Dip your fingers into the bowl and let the nails soak for about 15-20 minutes. This will help soften the gel acrylic, making it easier to remove.

Gently Removing Gel Acrylic

Once the gel acrylic has softened, gently push it off using an orangewood stick or a cuticle pusher. Be careful not to force it or use excessive pressure, as this may damage your natural nails. If there are any stubborn areas, you can lightly file them away using a nail file.

Step 2: Cleaning the Nails

After the removal of existing gel acrylic nails, it’s time to thoroughly clean your nails before applying the new gel polish. Follow these steps to ensure your nails are clean and ready:

Removing Residue

Check your nails for any residue left from the gel acrylic removal process. If there are any remaining bits of gel or adhesive, gently buff them away using a nail file. It’s important to start with a clean, residue-free surface.

Trimming and Shaping the Nails

Using a nail clipper or a nail file, trim and shape your nails according to your preference. Remember to always file in one direction to prevent any damage to the nail bed. Take your time to achieve the desired shape and length for your nails.

Can You Paint Over Gel Acrylic Nails

This image is property of

Step 3: Preparing the Nails

Once your nails are clean and shaped, it’s time to prepare them further to ensure optimal adhesion of the gel polish. Here are the essential steps:

Buffing the Nails

Take a nail buffer and gently buff the surface of each nail. This step is important as it creates a slightly rough texture, allowing the gel polish to adhere better. Be careful not to over-buff, as it can weaken the nails.

Dehydrating the Nails

To get rid of any oils or moisture on the nails, apply a nail dehydrator. This product helps remove any residue that may interfere with the gel polish application. Simply apply the dehydrator to each nail and let it dry completely before proceeding.

Applying Primer

After dehydrating the nails, it is recommended to apply a primer. Primer enhances the adhesion of the gel polish, ensuring a longer-lasting manicure. Use a small brush to apply a thin coat of primer to each nail, making sure to cover the entire surface. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Applying Gel Nail Polish

Now that your nails are prepped and ready, it’s time to apply the gel nail polish. Follow these steps for a flawless application:

Choosing a Polish Color

Select your desired gel nail polish color. There are countless options available, from classic shades to trendy hues. Pick something that suits your style and preferences.

Applying the First Coat

Start by applying a thin layer of gel polish to your first nail. Avoid getting the polish on your cuticles or skin, as it may cause lifting or peeling. Use gentle strokes and apply the polish evenly. Repeat this step for each nail.

Curing the Nails

After applying the first coat of gel polish to all your nails, it’s time to cure them. Place your fingers under an LED or UV nail lamp according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The lamp emits specific wavelengths that help the gel polish cure and harden. Follow the recommended curing time for each layer.

Applying Additional Coats

If you desire a more intense color, you can apply additional coats of the gel polish. Remember to cure each coat under the nail lamp before proceeding to the next layer. Be mindful of the thickness of each coat, as applying the polish too thick can result in an uneven or lumpy manicure.

Curing Each Coat

To ensure a durable and long-lasting manicure, it is crucial to cure each coat properly. Each time you apply a layer of gel polish, cure it under the nail lamp for the recommended time. This will help the polish bond securely to your nails, preventing premature chipping or peeling.

Can You Paint Over Gel Acrylic Nails

This image is property of

Step 5: Applying Top Coat

Once you have achieved the desired color and opacity, it’s time to seal and protect your gel manicure with a top coat. Follow these steps for the perfect finishing touch:

Applying the Top Coat

Using the same gentle strokes as before, apply a thin, even layer of the gel top coat to each nail. The top coat not only adds shine but also acts as a protective barrier for your manicure. Be sure to avoid the skin and cuticles when applying the top coat.

Curing the Nails

Lastly, cure your nails one last time under the nail lamp to solidify the top coat. Follow the recommended curing time specified by the gel polish manufacturer. Once the curing process is complete, you can be confident that your gel manicure is securely sealed and ready to last.

Step 6: Final Touches

Now that your gel manicure is complete, it’s time to add those final touches and ensure a flawless finish. Here’s what you need to do:

Cleaning Up

Using a lint-free wipe soaked in acetone-based nail polish remover, carefully clean up any excess polish on your skin or cuticles. This step helps give your manicure that clean, professional look. Be gentle and take your time to remove any stray polish effectively.

Moisturizing the Cuticles

After removing any excess polish, it’s essential to moisturize and nourish your cuticles. Apply a small amount of cuticle oil to each nail and gently massage it in. This helps keep your cuticles healthy and hydrated, preventing them from drying out and becoming damaged.

Can You Paint Over Gel Acrylic Nails

Tips and Precautions

While applying gel nail polish can be a fun and rewarding experience, it’s important to keep a few things in mind to achieve the best results and protect your nails. Here are some tips and precautions to follow:

Avoiding Skin Contact

During the application process, ensure that the gel polish does not come into contact with your skin or cuticles. It can lead to lifting or peeling of the gel polish, affecting the overall longevity of your manicure. If any polish does get on your skin, remove it immediately with a lint-free wipe or an orangewood stick.

Proper Curing Time

Follow the recommended curing time for each coat of gel polish. Curing for too short a duration can result in an under-cured manicure, while curing for too long can lead to overheating and potential damage to your nails. Always refer to the instructions provided by the gel polish manufacturer for the best results.

Avoiding Harsh Chemicals

When choosing products to use during the gel polish application, opt for high-quality, professional-grade items. Harsh chemicals, such as low-quality acetone or removers, can damage your nails and inhibit the effectiveness of the gel polish. Using reputable brands and products will ensure the best outcome for your manicure.


With proper care and preparation, painting over gel acrylic nails can be a simple and enjoyable process. By following these steps and using the recommended materials, you can achieve a salon-worthy gel manicure from the comfort of your own home. Remember to always prioritize nail health, and don’t forget the final touch of cuticle oil to keep your nails and cuticles looking their best. So go ahead, get creative, and enjoy your beautifully painted gel acrylic nails!

Can You Paint Over Gel Acrylic Nails

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *