How To Change Acrylic Nail Color [5 Steps]

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Acrylic nails are more popular now than ever before. However, they do require maintenance to keep them looking their best–and this maintenance costs money. One of the most popular maintenance requirements being a nail polish change, which can eat away at your budget. So why not do it yourself? We’ve researched how to change acrylic nail color to detail for you in this post.

Changing the color of your acrylic nails is a fairly straightforward process. Once you have an overview of the nail tools that you’ll need, you can get started! Here are the steps to change your acrylic nail color:

  1. Remove the old nail polish.
  2. Clean and dry the acrylic nails.
  3. Apply a base coat.
  4. Put on 1 to 2 layers of new polish.
  5. Apply 1 to 2 layers of a topcoat.

One of the most important things to remember when changing the color of your acrylic nails is that the removal process should be done with caution. The last thing you want to do is to accidentally scrape off the acrylic or damage your cuticles while trying to remove the current color. Let’s take a look at the process from start to finish to ensure that you know the proper way to remove it without damaging your fingernails.

A woman showing her violet colored vinyl nail polish, How To Change Acrylic Nail Color [5 Steps]

Steps To Change Acrylic Nail Color

Nail polish bottles spilled on a white background

Things you’ll need:

  • Nail polish
  • Nail top coat polish
  • Cotton swabs
  • Cuticle stick
  • Fingernail file
  • Acetone-free nail polish remover

1. Remove the old nail polish

You’ll need to remove the old polish first before polishing your acrylic nails with a new color. This only takes a matter of minutes and is relatively easy, especially when it’s already beginning to chip away. But know that even if the old nail polish has mostly worn off, you will still need to completely remove any remnants of polish to ensure a nice finish when you put on the new coat.

Start by dipping your cotton swab in the nail polish remover and then rubbing the swab on your thumb. It’s always good to start painting with the thumbs, as you’ll want them to dry faster to avoid nicks and dents. Vigorously rub the nail polish remover over each finger until the old layers of polish are completely gone. Once you finish with one hand, start on the next hand, going finger by finger, removing the old nail polish layers.

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2. Clean and dry the acrylic nails

After removing the old nail polish from both hands, clean your hands with baby wipes or wash them with a mild soap, such as Dove. Do not use any harsh solutions or chemicals on your hands before applying the new layers of polish. Make sure to dry your nails thoroughly after washing them, as you don’t want any moisture on the acrylic–it can affect the bonding ability of the new layers of nail polish. Moisture layers between the nail polish and the acrylic can also lead to infection, so don’t forget this step.

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3. Apply a base coat

Take your new nail polish bottle and gently agitate it to mix up the base coat. Next, dip the brush in the nail polish and apply it to the thumb of your other hand. Be sure to wipe any excess polish on the side of the nail bottle and apply a thin layer to your thumb (applying the base coat too thickly will cause it to create air bubbles and chip off prematurely).

Start the base coat at the back of the nail bed toward the cuticle and slide the polish stick to the top of the nail edge. Once you finish with one hand, start on the next hand, going finger by finger applying a single layer of base coat to each finger. Next, allow the first layer of polish to dry for 1 to 2 minutes, and then apply another coat to both hands in the same order as you did the first coat.

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4. Apply 1 to 2 layers of new polish

Wait about 5 to 7 minutes for the base coat to dry and ensure that it is not wet before applying the nail polish. Once it has dried, take your nail polish bottle and gently agitate it to mix up the solution. Next, start on the same hand that you first applied the base coat and apply a nail polish coat to your thumb.

Then work your way to the other fingers and eventually the other hand, applying a single thin coat of nail polish to each one. After 1 to 2 minutes, apply another thin coat of polish to both hands, making sure to avoid applying the nail polish on top of your cuticles.

This is a time when you can get creative with your nail designs, including painting the tips in different colors or using more than one color, or drawing eye-catching designs on your acrylics.

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5. Apply 1 to 2 layers of a topcoat

Lastly, apply a topcoat layer to your thumb and then to the remaining fingers on your hand. Next, apply the topcoat to your other hand and allow it to dry for one to two minutes before placing an additional coating on both hands. Topcoat adds extra shine to the acrylic nails and prevents the nails from easily chipping and developing dents.

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Can You Paint Over Grown Out Acrylics?

A beautiful woman showing her metallic golden acrylic nails

Yes. You can definitely paint over your grown out acrylic nails, except for colored acrylics. Be sure to remove any nail polish before applying a new coat to the acrylic nails. Your nails should be clean and dry before applying the initial base coat.

It’s best not to use any acetone-based nail removers, as they have shown to be fairly harsh on both acrylic and natural nails. You can also file down the acrylic nail’s top surface to help the nail polish adhere a bit better. However, if you are only looking to strengthen your natural nails, you can add a bit of acrylic over the nail polish–especially if you don’t want to file them.

How Long Does It Take For Nails To Get Stronger After Acrylics?

If your natural nails have become dry, brittle, or damaged from the overuse of acrylic nails, it can take them anywhere from two to four months to return to their natural healthy state. It also depends on how often you wear acrylic nails. Here are a few ways to help rejuvenate your natural nails when you take off acrylics in any event.

Apply nail strengthener

Applying a nail strengthener every one to two weeks can help your nails come back to life faster. You can apply it directly to the nails like a polish or apply it over nail polish to use it as a solid topcoat. It’s best to reduce your application of the strengthener to a weekly basis, at least for one to two months, for the best results.

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Cut them off

Once you remove your acrylic nails, you may notice that your natural nail is a bit thinner than normal. To keep them from breaking, it’s best to trim them down to a manageable length so they can grow back stronger. To do this, you can use fingernail clippers, but it’s always best to use a nail file to keep the edges as smooth as possible.

Hydrate them

Keeping your nails and hands hydrated is especially important when your nails are in a damaged or weakened state. When you put on lotion, make sure to rub it into your cuticles to help them stay moisturize–drinking six to eight glasses of water is also helpful.

Shape them

While it can be fun to shape your nails and fun or creative ways, the shapes are oftentimes pretty unnatural. The best way to shape your nails is in a way that allows them to grow out naturally and quickly without breakage and cracks.

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Buff them

Try to buff your nails every week. Start by removing oil from your nails using rubbing alcohol or a bit of acetone–you can also use distilled vinegar. Use small circular motions to gently buff the top of your natural nails until they are smooth. Be sure not to go overboard, as you don’t want to thin the nails during the process. Also, you’ll want to do this no more than once every one to three months, as doing it too often can remove some of your nails’ thickness, which would be counterproductive.

Buy a nail buffer on Amazon.

Will Acrylic Nails Fall Off On Their Own?

Yes, at some point, your acrylic nails will naturally fall off on their own. This is typically when the nails have been on for an extended period of time. Acrylic nails come with a given life span, as the acrylic glue will naturally become weak or dissolve at some point. The nails can also come off prematurely due to poor application, poor adhesion, poor maintenance, or poor glue quality.

Wrapping Things up

We hope that this post has equipped you with all of the details you need to apply a new coat of polish to your nails. Now that you know how to repaint your acrylic nails, what colors will you paint them? Remember, always remove all of the old nail polish before applying a new coat, or you may soon find that the new coat has a lumpy finish that chips off prematurely.

Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:

How Much Do Ballerina Nails Cost?

How Long Do Shellac Nails Last?

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