Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Nails? (Get the Right Ans)

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Have you ever looked at varieties of acrylic paints and wondered if you can apply them to your nails?

Or, perhaps you suddenly have the itch to make your nails look glamorous; yet all you have is some acrylic paint and not the typical nail polish? If your answer is yes. Then, you need not worry.

To answer the question,”Can you use acrylic paint on Nails?”, here’s my professional opinion:

Acrylic paints are effective for your nails. Its colors are vibrant and bright and are cheap to get at a local store. Besides, they are convenient to use and can replace typical nail polish. So, can you apply these paints to your nails? Is it safe to apply them? Let’s find out in this article.

Is Acrylic Paint Toxic on Nails?

The toxicity of acrylic paint depends on the ingredients used for the production of the paint. Acrylic paints are toxic and harmful when they contain heavy metals that serve as colorants. These metals include chemical components such as zinc, cadmium, manganese, lead, cobalt, strontium, and more. When accumulated, these heavy metals cause severe health complications such as organ failure and death. Besides, it is best advised to avoid nail polishes that contain these five ingredients – toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, and camphor. While some of these ingredients are potential cancer-causing substances, others are relatively harmful to the human body.

Is Acrylic Paint Toxic On Nails

However, non-toxic acrylic paints are not harmful to the body. Unless you are allergic to some of the ingredients, you shouldn’t have any problem when using the paints. You can identify a non-toxic acrylic paint through its label or by identifying the ingredients used in producing the paints. These sets of acrylic paints are examples of non-toxic paints that you can apply to your nails. They come in varieties of colors which allows you to try different options thereby leaving your nails shiny and beautiful.

Can you Use Acrylic Paint on Nails?

Although acrylic paints are not specifically designed for nails, you can use them as a substitute for nail polish. They come in varieties of vibrant colors and are easy to apply. Besides, they are very affordable, get dried quickly, and are convenient to use.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint On Nails

However, there are some guidelines to follow if you want to achieve the best result from the nails. As stated earlier, acrylic paints aren’t specifically designed for nails. As a result, some of these paints may not go smoothly or thinly when applied to your nails. Also, ensure that you do not apply toxic acrylic paints as they can become dangerous to your health. Instead, get non-toxic acrylic paints that are relatively safe to use and prevent health complications. Finally, you have to apply a base coat to your nails to protect their surfaces from the chemical composition of the acrylic paint. Besides, it helps in preventing your paint from getting stained during application. This base coat from Beetle is a perfect example.

Types of Acrylic Paint

Different types of acrylic paints exist. You just have to find the perfect one that suits your nails. Here are some types of acrylic paints.

Types Of Acrylic Paint

Heavy Body Acrylic

Heavy body acrylic has a thick and heavy texture. They are the most popular and are efficient for artists who want to retain brush marks.

Heavy Body Acrylic

Soft Body Acrylic

Unlike its heavy counterpart, soft body acrylic is smoother and has a low viscosity in terms of texture. Its low viscosity and rich pigment enable the colors to become bright, vibrant, and smooth during application.

Soft Body Acrylic

Acrylic Gouache

This is one of the latest additions in the acrylic world. Just like a typical traditional gouache paint, it offers similar benefits and promotes the use of acrylic binders. When applied, it gives off a matte finish that doesn’t retain brush stroke.

Acrylic Gouache

Acrylic Ink

Acrylic inks are the most fluid of all types of acrylic paints. They are made from ground artist pigments through an acrylic emulsion. They are easy to apply, efficient for artworks, and produce the right artistic effect.

Acrylic Ink

Is it Possible to Mix Acrylic Paint on Nail Polish?

The answer to this question is no. It is not advisable to mix acrylic paint with nail polish. Why? The different chemical components contained in the paint and polish will not result in a smooth mixture. Instead, the mixture tends to coagulate as the nail polish will result in clumps that create globules in the acrylic paint.

Mix Acrylic Paint On Nail Polish

However, you can mix two shades of nail polish with a different hue. In a similar vein, you can mix two different shades of acrylic paints to create another custom color. When you combine the different shades of the same products, their composition can blend easily and give you a smooth mixture. You can then apply the crafted hue on top of a base coat before you seal everything up with a clear topcoat. Besides, you can store the custom chase into a new container and use it for another time.

Related: Is Acrylic Paint Permanent?

How Long Does Acrylic Paint Last on Nails?

Non-toxic acrylic paints are water-based products. Hence, it is not very durable as you may think it is. However, there is a way by which you can prolong the longevity of the paint before it completely washes off your nail surface. To do this, ensure that the acrylic paint on the nails is completely dried. Next, apply a clear top coat to protect your acrylic paint and make it last longer. If you do not seal your acrylic paint with a clear top coat, you may risk having it washed away within a day or two. Besides, if you are the type that puts your hands in water a lot, your acrylic paint can wash off within hours. Hence, apply a clear top coat on top of the acrylic paint to make it last longer and give your nails a glossy shiny look.

How to Remove Acrylic Paint from Nails?

When you want to remove acrylic paint from your nails, you have to determine the state of your nails. Is it wet? Is it dry? Knowing the state of your nails enables you to understand the removal process that you can apply.

If the acrylic paint is wet, all you need to do is to wash it off in warm water. However, you can’t dispose of the used water anyhow especially if the acrylic paint is toxic. If you are washing off toxic acrylic paints, do not wash them off in a sink to prevent environmental hazards. Instead, wash off the paints in a bucket, allow the paint residue to settle, remove the water, and take the residue to a local waste collection site.

How To Remove Acrylic Paint From Nails

However, if the acrylic paint is non-toxic, do not wash it off in a sink. Instead, wash it off in a bucket, allow the paint residue to settle, carefully remove the water, and dispose of the residue.

If the acrylic paint is dry, you will need a traditional nail polish remover to do the trick. Here, you can get an acetone, cotton balls, or cotton pad to wipe it off. Take a small amount of this cotton ball, soak it in the acetone, and press it on the nail for about one or two minutes. The nail polish remover allows the dry paint to break. Once breaking occurs, you can wipe the paint off. Then, you can dispose of the used cotton balls in your trash can or a waste collection site.

What Kind of Acrylic Paint to Use on Nails?

The best kind of acrylic paint you can use is non-toxic acrylic paint. Non-toxic paint is harmless to the body and doesn’t cause any severe health complications such as cancer, organ failure, or death. Unless you are allergic to some of the ingredients of the paint, it is relatively safe for you to use. If you want to get a non-toxic paint, ensure that you check the label as it specifies whether the paint is toxic or not. If the label doesn’t specify, then you can check out the list of ingredients used in producing the paint. If the paint contains heavy metals such as zinc, camphor, manganese, cobalt, or more, you do not have to buy it.


So, if you are wondering whether you can apply acrylic paint on your nails, then the answer is “yes.” In case you are short of nail polish, acrylic paints are a good substitute and are relatively safe to use. As long as you do not use the toxic components, then you won’t have any issues applying to your nails. Hence, get those acrylic paints and show off your creativity by creating beautiful artwork on your nails.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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