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How To Thicken Nail Polish For Stamping?


Nail polish is an essential element in stamping. Some people prefer to apply thick nail polish whereas some people prefer the way it is. But since you are here, you definitely want to know how you can thicken the nail polish for stamping.

So, how to thicken nail polish for stamping? You can thicken your regular nail polish by exposing them to air and heat. You can also add thickener to thicken the nail polish. Both of them are useful, but the only drawback is once you thicken the nail polish it will be hard to apply. You will more than usual to cover your nails. 

Little Bit About Nail Stamping

Nail stamping has been in vogue for quite sometime now. Nail manicure and nail art are a thriving fashion business today. There are professionals and salons, where you can transform those dull nails to work of art. In the earlier days, you used to get your nails buffed and apply a fresh coat of nail polish to look prim.

A few years back, you would be happy to pick-up those nail shades to complement your skin type. You would be careful about the quality of this nail polish and prefer to look at reliable suppliers and well-known brands. Even the nail polish remover or acetone must be right so that your nail, cuticle, and skin around your nails do not get damaged.

Nail manicure or nail art is a vast industry where rhinestones have got introduced to give you the bling look. Nail attachments and extenders are passe’. Fashion-conscious individuals are now focusing all attention on their nails. They are looking at nourishing them, keeping the cuticles clean, and their fingers, and hand moisturized.

Nail Stamping


You would require a base coat and nail polish, metal design plate, stamp holders, special stamping polishes, and topcoat transparent polish. Also, 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. For pricing information on nail art products click here.

The Steps Required

There are umpteen DIY ideas on the internet to get nail stamping done on your own. You can also get this done at your 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.


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 properly, 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. For pricing information on nail art products click here.



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 design to pick up the decorative details. Now roll the stamp 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.


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.


Decals are unique films that get used to transfer designs, motifs, and artwork to the required surface. Decals can get made up of plastic, ceramic, paper, cloth, or a film of polish. This decal technique gets implemented to your nail-art too. Let’s understand the process:

  1. When you have a large image that you wish to transfer on to your nail, the decal technique works well.

  2. Take a polished plastic surface. Apply clear topcoat coating, with a size little bigger than your nail.

  3. Once the surface gets dried, transfer the design outline, using your stamper on this surface.

  4. Use pointed brush, make touch-ups, fill up the required spaces, and add required colors to the design.

  5. Allow this to dry. Remove this completed film from the plastic surface gently. Trim away any additional bits of smudges, other than the design.

  6. Apply a thin layer of clear polish on your nail. Place the decal design over the nail and smooth on all sides towards the edges of your nail. There should not be any trapped air bubbles under the decal film.

  7. Once you are ready, apply the top coat over the designed decal to have a unique piece of artwork on your nail. Apply a thick coat, so that you should be able to cover the nail with minimum strokes. Let this cover dry completely.

  8. Repeat this process for all your nails. Start cleaning your cuticles with swab and acetone with the already dried first 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 that they stick to the metal plate engraving and don’t run away and spread all 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 art products 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 on to 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 to your liking. Once you are happy with the design, you can dry them using the UV rays. This is not possible with the regular stamping polish.

Stamping Polish For Standard Nail Shade

Stamping polish has a higher density of pigments and dye. Also, this polish takes longer to dry. Following are the reasons for not being suitable for standard nail shades:

Leaves Stains On Nails

Since the stamping polish has a higher dye concentration, they leave a yellowish stain on your nail, even after acetone cleaning. However, this happens if you use stamping polish on your nails directly over some time. For pricing information on nail art products click here.


Stamping polish is not as durable as your standard nail polish. The properties of your nail polish allow them to stay on your nail for a more extended period. Stamping polish tends to peel and chip away quickly.

Longer To Dry

Your regular nail polish dries quickly. However, the stamping polish has properties for slow drying. This is another reason for not using stamping polish for usual nail shades. For pricing information on nail art products click here.

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 is 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.


Nail stamping is now in vogue since this nail art form can get undertaken by you at home. You don’t have to visit a salon for your manicure, and the nail beautification process. This nail art form requires base nail polish, transparent topcoat, good quality metal plates with design engravings, sturdy nail stamper, stamping polish, hardened plastic scraper, laminated card, cotton, swabs, acetone, and rubbing alcohol.

The polishes must contain the colors required for your nail designs. You can also use gel stamping polish for its durability, luster, and dried only with UV rays, thereby providing you enough time for the design transfer. You can also make corrections in the design on your nail, till you have the surface cured.

You can thicken your regular nail polish by allowing the solvent to harden, by exposing them to atmospheric air and heat. You can also add thickener to the polish. It does make the nail polish a little dense, thereby not allowing it to spread when it gets applied on the metal design plate. The polish’s opacity does not change much; hence, the impression is not dark enough, compared to stamping polish.

The transfers from plate to the stamper, and then to your nail, must be deft and quick. Thickening the nail polish will make it dry quicker due to the evaporation of the solvents. You can try this process with gel nail polish since it requires curing with UV and LED light. This will give you enough time to transfer the design, but the images’ density and sharpness will not change much.

Than wasting your regular nail polish for stamping without significant results, you should pick up the best stamping nail polish. This will offer you satisfying results, in your endeavor, and determination to add that zing to your sparkling nails. To add more life, sheen, and window of opportunity for experimentation, choose gel stamping polish!

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