How To File Down Acrylic Nails At Home?

Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by SulaBeauty Staff

After having acrylic nails done, filing them down is a big concern, especially for first-timers. They are worried about whether they will be able to do it in the right way or not. Will they end up damaging their nails if they do somewhere wrong? 

We understand all your worries. Since you have come to this article, you don’t have to worry anymore as here you will get the complete solution to how to file down acrylic nails at home. You will get the answer to each of your questions. 

Keep reading further to know everything about acrylic filing in detail.

Can You File Acrylic Nails Down?


Well, the answer is yes, you can slowly file them down with the help of an e-file or normal nail file to reduce their length, but you cannot trim them down with the help of nail clippers.

If you use nail clippers to trim your acrylic nails down, you might end up cracking them, and they will also not be trimmed evenly.

An e-file will help file them down quite conveniently as compared to nail clippers, whereas you will require a coarse file to finish the finishing touches.

Can You Reshape Acrylic Nails at Home Yourself?


There are a lot of acrylic nail shapes like squoval, almond-shaped, pointy stiletto shapes, which look like claws, and so many more. 

So you want to know whether you can get any of these shapes by yourself from your home or not, right? As the cost of getting them done in the nail salon might be bothering you.

Well, yes, you can. You need to first file down your acrylic nails to the length and thickness you want. Then you can start to give them the shape of your choice.

What Happens If Acrylic Nails Are Too Thick?


There is unnecessary stress on the natural nails when the acrylic nails are too thick. Because of their thickness, there are even very high chances of acrylic nails lifting easily from your natural nail.

Some nail technicians apply too many products around the whole acrylic nail surface. A nail technician might think that he can remove them while filing the acrylic nails down.

It is just a waste of time and effort to apply so many products on the acrylic nail’s surface. It also causes unnecessary pressure on your natural nail when the acrylic nails have to be filled down later. That is why choosing the right nail salon is extremely important.

How to File Down Thick Acrylic Nails At Home?


Thick acrylic nails cannot be filed down using a regular or normal nail file. The easiest way to file down thick acrylic nails is using an electronic e-file or a nail drill.

A regular nail file will not work here. You must use coarser nail files and those specifically used for filing down acrylic nails. 

First, you will have to use a nail file of 100 grits to thin them down. A 180 grit nail file is perfect for smoothening them out. Then finally, you can eliminate the scratches by using a 220 grit nail file if you want to file your acrylic nails at home.

How to File Acrylic Nails Without Electric File?


Having an electric file to file down your acrylic nails is unnecessary. You can follow the below-mentioned steps to file acrylic nails without an electric file:

Make the rough edges of your new nail file soft:

The sides of your new nail file are sometimes quite rough. The most important thing to do is first to soften them down to avoid slicing your finger’s sides.

Figure out the free edges of your acrylic nails:

Free edges are generally at the side of your acrylic nails, where you can file up and file down. You can file down your acrylic nails back and forth, which you do not want to do will your natural nails. 

You will be very easily able to file back and forth once you get a good grip by holding your finger bottom. The more you will file your acrylic nails, the shorter they will become, making them quite thick. 

The shorter they will be filed, the thicker they will become. If you are aware of them thickening, it’s a sign that you are doing it correctly without even going to a nail salon.

Decide the length of your acrylic nails:

You have to decide the desired length which you want to keep. Because once you start filing them, you cannot go back. It is always advised to begin filling small so that there is still an option to reach your desired shape.

But if you will file them too much, then obviously, you cannot get back to what you had, Right? As acrylic nail is fake nails that don’t have natural nail growth.

Start to file from the top of your nail:

To save your skin from any sort of damage, make sure to start filing around your nail cuticle gently. After this, before you reach the middle file on each nail side.

Slowly you will notice that the thickness has started to reduce. So you will have to keep filing it further until you get the desired nail shape.

The more the nails curved at the end, the stronger they will be when you need to rotate your finger while filing. Don’t be afraid to do so.

This is a little time taking process, so you will have to stay patient and not rush. Before finishing, just go over the whole nail to smooth things out.

Finish your nails with the help of a smooth grit:

Before wrapping up things, finish off your nails with the help of a smooth grit. Just once, go over the entire nails to ensure you didn’t miss any part of it.

Your nails might still be rough even after following this step. But don’t worry, the final step will sort everything out.

Make your nails shine:

Get done with your nail filing with all the four ports buff, file shine, and polishing. Do all these steps in this order and finish your fourth side, thus making your nails shine finally after smoothening all the rough edges and reaching their perfect nail shape.

Make sure that end of your nails is not too thick, but they are even. At this stage, if you still see any unevenness or roughness on the edges, just file them down further to reach your desired length, shape, and look.

Filing acrylic nails is not that simple; it needs practice. You will have to do many touch-ups before reaching where you want.

Clean and Dry Out Your Hands:

Finally, properly wash your hands to eliminate all the dust that was present after filing your nails. This step is extremely important to keep your nails healthy. Make sure to properly dry your nails after washing them before you apply your nail polish.

If you don’t dry it properly, then your natural nail underneath might get some moisture trapped, which might cause nail infections later. Always apply the nail polish once your nail is completely dry.

Also, don’t forget to wear the mask during the entire process of filing your nails as the dust contains chemicals from the acrylic nails, and it is best to protect yourself from inhaling them.

Thin Vs. Thick Acrylic Nails


The thickness of the acrylic nails is not the same on your entire nail. It varies in different places of the nail. The acrylic nail should be thinner at the cuticle area to blend easily with the natural nail.

Then the middle should be comparatively thicker to help deal with the stress on the nails. Then coming to the free edge, it should be as thick as two to three business cards.

Long nails end up being thicker to help them deal with all the stress and thus prevent them from breaking. Longer nails bear more stress because of their weight and because people always keep smacking them on their free edge all the time.

If you opt for a good nail technician, they will always discuss your lifestyle with you before recommending you the right nail length or thickness. If your daily activities involve a lot of wear and tear, then they will keep your acrylic nails thicker to help your nails bear all the stress without breaking easily. 

The best nail thickness is 1 mm, not more than that. This is slightly thicker than the thickness of a credit card.

Can You File Acrylic Nails After Getting Them Done


There is a piece of good news here. Yes, you can file down acrylic nails after getting them done. Most of the time, what happens is you don’t realize what will be the comfortable length for your acrylic nails when you get them done.

You just go for the long nails because it makes your hands look pretty. But the length starts troubling you when you return to your everyday life and day-to-day activities the next day.

So this problem can be resolved as you can easily file down your acrylic nail length even at home just by following the above-shared tips and thus get your comfortable length.

Final Words


Thus to conclude, getting long acrylic nails is sometimes a problem for some people. But fortunately, this problem comes with a solution as well, like every other problem. The only thing is that you have to be aware of the correct procedure to do it.

We hope this article will help you get the right acrylic nail length, increasing the life of your acrylic nails. We wish you to have pretty, healthy, and happy nails. All the best!

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