You may already have read ‘Why Use Acrylic Paints for Nailart?‘ which outlines why I prefer acrylic paint to nail varnish for painting my nails. But I thought I’d go into a bit more detail about what you might need in order to get started and where to buy your tools.
1. Paint palette
The first thing I recommend is a palette to squeeze your paints onto. These paint palette sheets are great as you can easily dispose of them afterwards without a mess.
The next thing you’re going to need are some paints. I use Folk Art paints – mainly because they were the cheapest in the art shop! When starting out, I advise getting a white, black, blue, red and yellow tube of paint as those will give you the basis to mix whatever colours you’re after. I also bought a pink and a turquoise to brighten my palette a bit.
It’s a good idea to get 3 or 4 little brushes of varying thicknesses. I find Royal and Langnickel to be a good brand. You’ll want a very little one for doing tiny details and then possibly a long one for doing stripes, a wide, flat one for applying a whole base of colour and then a medium-sized one.
I’ve also found it really helpful to have a slanted clean up brush for neatening up the edges of my designs. MAC make up do the perfect one.
4. Dotting Tools
5. Base Coat
There’s no escaping it, I still advise you use a base coat to protect your nails even for an acrylic paint design. I’m using a Kale base coat by Nails inc. which I got at a recent UK Nailartists Meet up. It’s wonderful and feels really luxurious on your nails – like you’re doing them a favour with an enriching spa treatment.
6. White Nail Varnish
Regardless of the fact you’re doing acrylic painted nails, you’ll still need a white nail varnish to use as a base to allow for the fact that acrylic paint is rather transparent. I use White on White by Revlon.
7. Top Coat
More so than when you’re using nail varnish, you will most certainly need a top coat to protect your acrylic paint design as it won’t be resistant to water without a top coat. I’ve just started using a top coat by Nails inc. which dries in 45 seconds. I mean what’s not to love?! It literally takes away the sticky feeling in less than a minute. You’ll find that with acrylic paint, your top coat will dry faster than with nail varnish but you’ll probably need more than one layer of top coat.
8. Jar of Water
As acrylic paint is water based, you’ll need some water to clean your brushes. I use an old jam jar for water as it tends to get a bit dirty from all the paint.
9. Nail varnish remover
I find it’s still helpful to have nail varnish remover for an extra cleanse of my brushes between colours.
10. Kitchen Towel
You’ll want a few sheets of kitchen towel within easy reach to help clean your brushes and soak up any excess water from your brush.
That’s it! Now you’re ready to try an acrylic paint nailart design. Make sure you’ve got lots of light so you’re not straining your eyes with the detail. You might want to check out my gallery for some inspiration, or have a look through my tutorials to help you get started. Now go and enjoy the wonders of acrylic paint!