Can Any Nail Polish Be Used For Stamping?

nail polish

But can any nail polish be used for stamping? You can use any nail polish for stamping, but the result will not be as good as stamping nail polish. Regular nail polish dries a lot quicker compared to stamping nail polish which creates difficulty when trying to do nail art. So we don’t recommend using regular nail polish for stamping.

Nail Art Stamping

This is the latest craze, a fashionable shortcut to nail art and manicure. There are parlors where you can get the stamping done, or you could get it done yourself. Hand-painted nails are getting replaced with this method since the outcome is much more detailed and exquisite.

You would require a base coat and nail polish, metal design plate, stamp holders, unique stamping polishes, and topcoat transparent polish. You will need wipes to clean the metal stamps and acetone to clean the stamp after every application, buds, and a scraper to clean the plates and polish application brush to apply the special polish to the engraved stamps.

The Steps Required

There are umpteen DIY ideas on the internet to get nail stamping done on your own, or you can get this done at the local nail salon. Let us look at some of the essential processes you must undertake in getting nail stamping done on your own. Speed is critical to get this activity done. For pricing information on nail polish click here.


Ensure that the nails, cuticles, and the skin around the nails get cleaned properly using good quality acetone or nail polish remover. All remnant traces of polish and pigments must get removed.

Moisturize your hand correctly, so that they are supple and soft. Buff all your nails so that they are in proper shape, and there are no chips or cracks.

Base Polish

Apply the base coat first, before you apply the base nail polish. Depending upon the nail design you propose to stamp and the colors you plan to use for this design, choose the base nail polish accordingly. Usually, you must get to choose a flat, or contrasting color for this, since it will help the design to stand out.

Use good quality nail polish, which will quickly spread evenly with a few strokes and dry soon, by the time you have completed application on all your fingernails. You must now apply a layer of top transparent coat and let it dry completely. This will help you do your stamping with lots of confidence.

In case you make any error while stamping, you can remove the design with tape or lint. You could also touch up the area with the base polish, to cover up the mistake, and allow to dry. This application of topcoat polish at this stage is optional.

The Metal Plate And Nail Stamp

Choose the nail stamp with utmost care. Ensure that you know the measurement of your nail. If you plan to grow your nail, keep your nail’s expected size as your basic configuration. Pick up a nail stamp to cover your entire nail with a single stamping. This is the best way to do nail stamping on your own.

Do not join designs on your nail initially. You can do all the experiments after you have mastered the necessary steps. Silicon jelly stamper head works best since they are sturdy and can get cleaned often, without losing its smoothness.

The design metal plate could have multiple designs. Choose the design which you wish to transfer to your nail. The quality of this metal plate with the design engravings must get chosen with care.

The etchings must be sharp so that the design transfer is immaculate. The metal should be hard enough to get used multiple times. Stainless steel is the most preferred plates available in the market. The plate must be sturdy and glossy, and the etchings must be deep enough to hold the polish for the transfer.


Keep in mind that the designs do not have vertical lines since it would be difficult to maintain symmetry between all fingernails. It is prudent to have different images on your metal plate so that you could use different designs on each nail, and thereby avoid mistakes to be visible. If you wish to overlap one design with the other, keep them near at hand.

Coat the design which you wish to transfer to your nail with the special nail polish. Use the scraper to ensure the coating gets evenly spread across the engraved design, and there are no blobs here and there.

Roll the nail stamp from left to right over the polish coated image to pick up the decorative details. Now roll the stamper over your nail, so that the design gets transferred.

Though you are using slow drying special nail polish for the designs, you still need to be quick. Use acetone to clean the polish from the metal plate. Repeat the process till all nails get covered.

You can use scrappers and laminated plastic cards to clean difficult to reach corners and crevices of the engraved designs. The plate must be devoid of all polish traces before the same design gets coated with special polish for use. For pricing information on nail polish click here.


Clean your cuticles using swab and acetone. Once the design is completely dry, apply a transparent topcoat to protect the design below. This covering must be completely dry before you use your hand for any activity.

Essential Tips For Proper Nail Stamping

  1. Stamping polish is one of the most critical ingredients in this manicuring or nail art process. You must choose a nail polish that covers your nail with one coat. Metallic and some matte polishes work very well for this activity. This polish must be thick, opaque, and must get dried slowly.

  2. You must clean the metal plate with acetone before and after every application. This will help you remove all traces of the polish, and provide you with crisp image quality. You can use the hard plastic scraper, or laminated card to reach corners and intricate curves, without damaging the engravings.

  3. If your stamper is not firm, but a little soft, you will have to firmly press your nails to the stamper, and not roll from side to side. This will help the transfer of the design to get done effectively.

  4. You must quickly clean your stamper after every use. Packing tape will help you remove small traces of polish from the surface.

  5. If you are new to this adventure, choose simple designs, to just create some accent for your nails. Next, identify designs without straight vertical lines, since it’s challenging to align your nails with the designs initially.

  6. You can turn the stamper in a different direction while transferring the images to your nails. This will give the nails varied looks, and you don’t have to focus on alignment during your novice days.

  7. You can have more than one impression on your nail by using additional colors. Another concept that gets used is reverse stamping. Here, we use a pointed brush and fill the gaps on you stamper directly, after the original design from the metal plate is dried. You must incorporate small motifs in this type of transfer. When you now stamp this design to your nail, you will get solid design forms. You can include other designs along with this, or let it remain on its own. Use your imagination.

  8. Keep in mind adding a top coat on your base nail polish before you start the stamping process. This step will help you with corrections if there is an error in judgment while transferring the designs to your nail.

Stamping Nail Polishes

This type of special polish is generally thicker, have denser pigments, so that they are opaque, and do not dry fast. They deliver better, sharper, and more precise images on your nail. The reasons for using different polish for stamping are:


These polishes are thick, so they stick to the metal plate engraving and don’t run away and spread across. Every ridge and trough would hold the pigments so that the transfer of the images are accurate. When the nail stamper transfers the images to the nail, they maintain their intricate patterns. For pricing information on nail polish click here.

Higher Pigments

The special polish has denser pigments and dye. This helps them transfer images from metal plates to the stamper, and finally, to your nail remains sharp and clear.

Longer To Dry

The polish has unique properties, which does not allow the polish to dry quickly. This helps the image to remain wet, till it gets transferred to your nails.

Gel Stamping Polish

Here are some reasons, people prefer gel polish over regular stamping polish:


Gel polish helps you to retain your stamped nail art to remain longer compared to regular stamping polish.


The design seems to have more sheen compared to the other.

Does Not Dry

The regular stamping polish gives you enough time to transfer the design to the stamper and your nail. You still have to be quite deft. Concerning get polish, you have all the time in the world. It does not dry. After you transfer the design onto your nails, you need to cure them under UV rays for the polish to dry.

Correct Mistakes

Since gel polish does not dry on its own, you can remove the design with cotton and alcohol if it is not liking. If you feel satisfied with the design, you can dry them using the UV rays. This is not possible with the regular stamping polish.

Nail Polish

Nail polish is a lacquer, varnish, or enamel, that gets applied to your nails, to protect and decorate them. They get made from organic polymers and various additives to make the product durable and deliver the promise. Ultraviolet components in the polish help it to remain intact, and the harsh sunlight does not affect the coating. For pricing information on nail polish click here.

Let’s look at some of these polishes and their roles:


This type of polish is transparent, or pink-colored, and gets used before the application of further coats of polish. They protect your nail from other harsh polish or nail art glue. Sometimes they get used as ridge fillers, and some polish has properties to get peeled without acetone.


As the name suggests, we use this polish as a final coating over your nail art, since it’s properties help harden the surface and deter from chipping and damage. This polish is transparent and quickly dries after application.

Gel Polish

Made from methacrylate polymer, this gets applied similar to regular nail polish. The difference is that it does not dry on its own, but requires to get cured using a UV or LED lamp.

This type of polish has double the life span from other polish and is equally hard to remove. You need to get your nails soaked with acetone for a few minutes before you can get the coating off your nails.

Matte Polish

Matte polish is similar to regular polish, except that the outcome is flat and not shiny like others. They get used in nail art applications since glossy designs on a matte surface stand out prominently. Over the years, these types of polish have gained wider acceptability and implementation. For pricing information on nail polish click here.

Some Prominent Finishes

Nail polishes these days have a different type of finishes, and you choose, which would complement your other nail art activities, and your outfit. Some of the nail polish finishes are:

  1. Glossy or shiny

  2. Glitter or dazzling

  3. Shimmer or shine with waveform

  4. Magnetic or textured

  5. Holographic or rainbow effect

  6. Frost or icy-toned

  7. Micro-glitter

  8. Micro-shimmer

  9. Lustre or reflecting light

  10. Crackled or crack effect

  11. Iridescent or color change from an angle

  12. Opalescent or dispersion of light as in opal

Thickening Your Nail Polish

You can thicken your existing nail polish by leaving it open to atmospheric air, especially in a warm environment. You can also add gum powder, which generally gets used as a thickener in food items. However, the two most essential aspects of stamping polish do not get addressed by these methods:

  1. It does not become opaque enough since it requires a higher quantity of pigments and dyes.

  2. Nail polish generally dries quickly, which is a deterrent for nail stamping. Hence, thickening the nail polish does not address this crucial aspect needed in designing your nails.

Regular Nail Polish For Stamping

As you can see, stamping requires a particular type of polish, which has denser color pigments and takes a longer time to dry.

Hence, the regular polish is not advisable for stamping. In case you have some gel polish, which is opaque, you could try them out, provided you don’t plan to use them as natural shades anymore.

Since stamping polishes are exclusive, it makes sense for you to invest on them separately, since all your efforts would come to zilch, if the design you wanted to transfer from the metal plates did not transpire.

When you use regular polish for stamping, the transferred impression is far lighter than the transfer made by stamping polish. For pricing information on nail polish click here.


Nail art has grown into a vast fashion movement over the years. Various forms of manicure have come to the fore, and experimentation continues with different media.

Nail stamping is one such branch of nail art, which requires special nail polish, metal plate with the engraved design, and stamper, which transfers the design from the plate to your nail.

The stamping polish has unique properties to ascertain the blueprint of the design to get printed on your nail surface as vividly as possible. The reason for this is that the polish has a high level of pigmentation of the dye, compared to ordinary polish, and it dries slower, so you have enough time to complete the transfer.

Your regular nail polish dries immediately after you apply them to your nails. Even if we try to use the regular polish for stamping, the image on your nails will be light and faint, since the dye concentration is less than the special polish.

The gel polish does not dry on its own, and needs to get cured using UV and LED lamps. Hence, if we use this polish to transfer the image from the plate to your nail, time will not be a factor. However, the brightness and vividness of the design will not be as sharp and well defined if we use the stamping polish.

It is not advisable to use other nail polish for stamping since we will not get the desired results. If you have some old polish, which has become thick and not usable as regular polish, you could experiment with them for nail stamping.

However, this gets done, knowing very well that you are not expecting great results. It can get used for small motif transfer, and later correcting the image using detail brush and polish!

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