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How to Do Acrylic Nails at Home?

It may be possible that you are invited to a function but don’t have time to go to a nail studio for a manicure, or maybe you want to try your hands on acrylic nails. 

It can be a fun activity or a headache, depending upon how perfect you are at applying acrylic nails at home. 

Such a task comes with its pros and cons. 

On the one hand, where doing acrylic nails at home can save you money and time and provide you desired nail length and durability, whereas, on the other hand, your natural nail may get damaged to a great extent if you don’t look for a protective formula for your acrylic powder, acrylic liquid and other products required. 

Also, take proper care while removing them. 

This article will be a step-by-step guide with detailed instructions on how to do your own acrylic nails. 

How to Do Your Own Acrylic Nails at Home?

The utmost important step that needs to be followed throughout the process is taking your time. Don’t rush, or you may mess up a lot! 

Also, this will give you a nail technician-like finish at home. 

Purchase an Acrylic Nail Kit (or Shop for Supplies Separately) 

If you have never done acrylic nails on your own before, go for an acrylic nail kit that consists of everything required for an acrylic manicure. 

Such kits consist of an instruction manual to make everything easier for you. Make sure that the nail tip you go for is free from MMA (methyl methacrylate), as they are stiff, non-flexible, and may cause severe damage to your natural nail beds in the long run.

If you feel comfortable collecting acrylic nail supplies separately, that can be a great cost saver.

This is because you receive minis in most of the acrylic nail kits, whereas you can buy full-sized products if you shop for them separately and the best ones to that suit your nail type. 

Here is the list of all essentials(acrylic materials) that you may require while applying acrylic nails on your own:-

  • 1 Nail clipper
  • 2 Cuticle pusher
  • 3 Nail file
  • 4 Nail Dehydrator
  • 5 Nail Primer
  • 6 Nail Tips
  • 7 Nail Glue
  • 8 Acrylic Powders (clear and colored)
  • 9 Acrylic liquid
  • 10 Acrylic nail brush
  • 11 A glass cup (acrylic dish)
  • 12 A UV or LED lamp
  • 13 Gel polishes
  • 14 Cuticle oil
  • 15 Pure acetone
  • 16 Nail drill (electric nail file)
  • 17 Buffing block

Well, that’s a long list of items you may need (want) for the acrylic nail application.  

Thoroughly Prep Your Nails

1. Remove any old nail polish:

This is the most obvious step for starting your acrylic application. If you have gel polish, then take time and soak them off using acetone. If you have regular nail polish, they can be removed in no time by using a cotton ball dipped in acetone.

Removing old polish is necessary to protect your natural nails from further damage and give you a more professional look. 

2. Push back your cuticles:

Push back your cuticles to ensure that no dead skin is left on your nails. While cutting off the dead skin from your cuticles, you may end up cutting your skin which can lead to further infections.

It is recommended not to use any liquid to soak your cuticles in it because it will cause popping off of the acrylics.

Also, cut your natural nails short till the end of your nails (smile line) and file them. This is because we will be applying fake nails to your natural nails. Applying them on your long nails may cause falling off of your newly done acrylics.

3. Buff your nails:

After trimming them, file them to avoid any uneven areas. Also, filing them would provide a better grip on your nail tips to stay intact with your nails.  

Size and Apply Your Acrylic Nails Using Acrylic Nail Glue

As you do for the press-on nails, choose and select the nail according to the size, width, etc. that you want; the same is to be done with the nail tips that you either got in your nail kit or from the ones that you have bought separately.

You may need to go through several nail tips to choose the correct nail size and preferred length. If you don’t find the one that suits you best, you may file down that tip accordingly.

Also, make sure you opt for a manageable length so you can perform day-to-day tasks without getting disturbed due to your manicure.

After you complete the selection process, apply a small ball-sized amount of nail glue to the tip of your nails and stick the artificial nails on them. Put pressure for about five to ten seconds or until they stick to your nail properly. 

Shape Your Newly-adhered Acrylic Tips

After the tips dry, file and shape them according to your wish; some of you may want simple round or almond nails, whereas some may prefer new and different shapes such as a coffin or stiletto.

Filing can also help reduce the tips’ length, in case you want them a bit short.

Apply a Dehydrating Nail Primer

Now here starts the actual acrylic nail application process. A dehydrating nail primer is applied to nails to remove any moisture from the nails that could prevent the sticking of the acrylic mixture on the nails.  

Also, now you will need all the material you have collected for applying acrylic nails by yourself. Pour the acrylic liquid into the glass cup. Since acrylic has strong fumes, make sure you have a window open or a room with a proper ventilation system.  

Coat Your Nails With the Acrylic Mixture

First, dip your acrylic brush in the acrylic liquid and make sure that you remove excess liquid from the brush, and then dip it in the clear acrylic powder to get a perfect bead(neither too drippy nor too dry) for your acrylic manicure. 

Start by gently spreading the mixture to your cuticle area, covering the entire nail to the very tip. 

While doing this, ensure that you smooth out every nail’s edge and use a paper towel in between to brush off any clumps. Also, keep your acrylic brush flat while gently pushing the acrylic mixture throughout the nail bed.

To avoid any mess while you apply acrylic nails, it is advised to use a small ball of acrylic mixture. These would be much more manageable if you do them for the first time. 

Repeat the same process with colored acrylic powder covering the whole nail. Keep in mind to remove the excess liquid from the brush and apply acrylic nails every time. 

Let Your Acrylic Dry

Acrylic manicures generally dry faster in warm temperatures as compared to cooler spaces. This is one of the main reasons why a UV or LED lamp is used during the process. 

If you are doing these nails for the first time, ensure you sit in a cooler place. 

Generally, an acrylic nail requires 10-15 minutes to dry out completely. Once they are done, they would make a clicking sound when you pat them. 

Finish Off With Some Final Shaping

Once you are done drying your nails, e-file them to smooth out the nail bed, dust off the excess powder, and apply a top coat on them. You may also apply nail art by using regular nail polish and then apply a top coat to secure the newly done DIY manicure. 

How to Do Acrylic Nails Without Tips? 

Now that you know how to do acrylic nails at home, you may wonder if you can do your acrylic nails without tips. 

Acrylic overlay on natural nails is a technique in which an acrylic mixture is directly applied to the natural nail bed without using any nail tip or nail form. 

This method is not only easy and time-saving but also gives strength to your natural nails so they don’t break off easily. 

The acrylic mixture can be directly applied to your naturally grown long nails to provide them more support and strength, or it can also be applied to your natural short nails so that they won’t break off easily. 

If you want to provide a decent length to your nails but have short ones, then you may need to use nail tips for the same.

How to Do Acrylic Nails With Forms? 

Nail forms are another method to get the desired length for your nail without using any nail tip. 

Set the form under the nail and make sure there is no gap between them. 

Start by applying a small bead of acrylic mix to the nail and gently push it back to cover the entire nail.

Use a pinching tool over the acrylics to give them a curved shape, giving a natural-like finish. 

Spread the acrylic mix on the nail form to the manageable length that you desire. 

Cure it under a UV or LED lamp for 10-15 minutes. 

Reapply acrylic in the same direction until you reach your desired thickness. 

Once completed, gently remove the nail form, apply nail polish if you want to, or simply apply a clear coat. 

Use nail clippers to remove the unnecessary length to get perfectly done tips.


As we have reached the end of this article, you might have got the answer to your question, how to do acrylic nails at home? 

Applying acrylics by yourself is not a big deal. 

It will not only save you time and money, but you will also be able to select the best products according to your nail type. 

Ensure you use the correct amount of liquid acrylic (ethyl methacrylate) and acrylic powder. 

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