Can you paint over gel nails without ruining them? | you have style (2023)

Can you paint over gel nails? Yes you can, this is how.

Gel nails have been popular for a while, but if you're one of those people who likes to change up your nails regularly or your nails get ruined easily, it's probably one of the hardest manicures to change up.

One of the most popular questions I hear is: Can you paint over gel nails?

Yes, you can paint over gel nails, either with another gel or with regular nail polish. It is very easy as long as you prepare the nail correctly and then paint it again with the correct method.

In this post, I'll give you some simple steps to follow when you want to paint over gel nails and a quick guide on how to remove them.

What is a gel manicure?

Gel manicure is a gel-based nail polish that requires a UV or LED light to cure the nail polish so that it adheres to the nail and dries.

The finished product looks very similar to regular nail polish, but gel nails are much stronger and last longer. They can last up to two to three weeks without chipping, whereas regular nail polish would only last a few days.

Because they are so strong, it is difficult to change or repeat them on a regular basis; This made many people wonder if it was possible to paint over gel nails.

The answer is yes, and it is a very simple process.

Before you go ahead and paint over your gel nails, make sure you have a gel manicure and not acrylic nails. While they are not much different and you can also paint over acrylics, the process is slightly different.

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Acrylic nails are made from an acrylic powder mixed with an acrylic monomer liquid that solidifies on the nail and cures to the desired shape.

An easy way to tell the differences is that acrylic nails are finished with a more natural look and then painted. By contrast, gel nails are often applied like colored nail polish.

Another thing to keep in mind is how long you wear your gels. Gel nails should only be worn for about two to three weeks. So if you've had fillings a few times or your gel nails have been worn longer than recommended, it's best to get a new set.

If you do not repeat them and continue to paint over them, it can lead to severe drying of the nails or damage to the nail bed and cuticle.

Can you paint over gel nails without ruining them? | you have style (1)

How to prepare a gel manicure for repainting

First, start by gently buffing the top coat so that the shine is removed from the nail and you get a matte texture.

Next, take a file and gently file the gel to blend with your natural nail to remove any ridges from the gel. You don't have to file too much as you don't want to file the actual nail, just the gel coat.

Clean your nails so that there is no dust on your nails. Make sure nothing is left over, as it could get into the new polish and end up ruining it.

Apply a base coat of gel to the nail to prepare it for the color; Only one layer is required. Be sure to cure this layer before painting over it.

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Once it's settled, wipe off the sticky layer, making sure it's gone; Otherwise, the nail polish may be damaged.

At this point, you are ready to start painting your nails. Cover the nail in two coats, being careful not to get too close to the cuticles, as you don't want them to soak up.

If you refinish your nails with a gel polish, be sure to cure it in the proper type of light for the recommended amount of time.

Finish with a top coat to add extra shine and protection to your new manicure.

How to remove a gel manicure.

If you want to remove gel nails but don't have enough time to go to a nail salon, or if you want to save some money by doing it yourself, here is a quick and easy 5 step guide to gel removal - manicure at home.

  • Start by filling in the top of the nail polish to allow the acetone to soak into the gel and make it easier to remove.
  • Soak cotton in acetone and apply to each nail. Cover each nail separately with aluminum foil.
  • After leaving the nails wrapped for 15 to 20 minutes, remove the foil and cotton. Run the cotton over the nail to remove the top layers of gel.
  • Use a cuticle pusher to gently push the gel off the nail. It should come off pretty easily; If it still feels quite stiff and hard to push, repeat the second step for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Once all the gel has been removed from the nails, buff the nail surface until smooth. Apply oil to restore and hydrate your nails.

You can repaint your nails afterward if you'd like, but if you're grooming them often enough, be sure to give them a break to strengthen and rehydrate them.

frequent questions

Can you paint over gel extensions?

You can paint over gel nail extensions; If you use regular nail polish, you can paint over it as many times as you like without having to prep each time. If you're using gel polish, you'll need to file down the first few coats of existing gel to prevent buildup.

Can regular nail polish be applied over gel base coat?

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Yes, you can apply regular nail polish over a gel base coat; The base coat acts as a protective layer that prevents the polish from discoloring your natural nails. I advise against putting a gel top coat on top of the nail polish.

Regular nail polish takes a few hours to dry completely while gels can take a few minutes to set and dry completely. Mixing the chemicals with regular nail polish and gels doesn't work when both are wet and will end up ruining your manicure.

If you want to use a gel top coat because you think it gives you a better finish, it is recommended to wait 24 hours to make sure all parts of the polish have dried as it dries on top but inside can be mid coats, you can not be.

How many coats of gel nail polish should I apply?

When doing gel nails, you should apply a base coat to protect your natural nail and provide a better base for the gel.

Then apply two coats of gel color and finish with a coat of top coat. Each layer needs to be cured to dry and have a better finish.

What is the difference between gel nail polish and regular nail polish?

The main difference between gel polish and regular nail polish is that gel polish is light cured while regular nail polish is air dried.

There are small differences, such as gel nail polish, which is much stronger and lasts much longer than regular nail polish.

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A gel is a much more permanent type of manicure in the sense that it is more difficult to change, as it is a long process to remove, whereas regular nail polish is much easier to remove, so it can be changed. more frequently.

Does gel polish dry without UV light?

It is possible to dry gel nails without ultraviolet light. However, the other gel drying methods are very long and complicated and do not give the best results.

There is also no guarantee that the other methods will completely dry gel nails, while a UV light will definitely harden your nails. So if you want the best results, you'll get them with a UV light.

What happens when you have overcured gel nails?

There are two possible results of over curing gel nails; lose their shine or discolor. The effect differs depending on the type of light, either UV or LED, and the type of gel.

To prevent this from happening, maximum 60 seconds when using LED light and maximum 2 minutes with UV light.


I hope this was helpful and you were able to find an answer to your questions. It's important to remember that you can paint over your gel nails without this if you're in a hurry or need it temporarily, but it may not look your best.

Following these steps will give you the best possible look for your new manicure. This is also the best way to keep your natural nails protected and healthy, especially when removing your gel manicure.

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