D.I.Y.: What Do You Need for Acrylic Nails?

by | Dec 3, 2017 | Nail Care Product Reviews, Nail Care Tips | 0 comments

Who doesn’t love the look of a fabulous set of nails? On the other hand, who really has the time and money to pay for fills every two weeks? There is another way: Doing your own acrylic nails is not as difficult as you might think. What do you need for acrylic nails?

Well, one thing is for certain, you’ll need good quality tools and they’re not too difficult to find. Just be sure to clear an easy to clean, well ventilated spot in your home and follow these simple instructions. You should be good as gold, and rocking a fabulous set of durable, shiny, acrylic nails!


First things first, what do you need for acrylic nails?


You will need the following equipment and liquids to enable you to fit your own acrylic nails:


– Cuticle pusher

– Cuticle remover

– Nail file

– Buffing block

– Nail prep / dehydrator

– Acrylic nail brush

– Dappen dish

– Acid free nail primer

– Acrylic liquid

– Acrylic powder

– Lint free wipes

– Top coat


Optionally you may also need:


  • Nail glue
  • Cuticle oil
  • Pure acetone
  • Manicure brush


What do you need to do to put on acrylic nails?


Preparation of the nail bed


  1. First, you need to prepare the nails. Use the cuticle remover to the cuticle of the nail and then use the cuticle pusher to push it off the nail bed. The nail won’t stick to the cuticle so this step is absolutely necessary for a well done job.
  2. You then need to buff the nail using the buffing block to remove all shine from the nail. This will improve the adhesion of the acrylic nail.
  3. Remove all dust from the surface using a dry tissue.
  4. You can then apply the nail prep / dehydrator to the whole of the nail.
  5. Wait a few seconds to let it take effect.
  6. The final stage of preparing the nail for the acrylic is to apply the acid-free nail primer to the whole of the nail. This is to make it take the acrylic liquid and hold the nail as strongly as it can.


Putting the acrylic on


Pour your acrylic liquid into the dappen dish and then dip the acrylic brush into the dish. Push it down to get rid of all air bubbles.

  1. Take the bush tip out and remove the excess acrylic liquid on the edge
  2. Dip the brush into the acrylic powder and drawing it towards you create a ‘golf ball’ of acrylic. If the brush is too wet or dry then this won’t happen so clean the brush and do stages 1 and 2 again.
  3. Using the brush, place the ball of acrylic near the cuticle and pull it back to the tip, sculpting the acrylic as you do so. Smooth the surface. Keep the brush clean by regularly dipping into the acrylic liquid.
  4. Repeat steps 2-4 again until you are happy with the appearance of the nail.
  5. Wait around two minutes for the acrylic to dry and then tap the nail to see if it is dry. It will sound hollow if it hasn’t dried but will ‘ting’ when it has.
  6. File the nail until it is smooth. As a tip, the finer the grade of the nail file the higher the number, so a 220/220 nail file is smoother than a 100/100 nail file.
  7. For first timers it makes sense to use an air dry top coat for the nail. Apply it to the whole of the nail to protect the nail for several weeks.
  8. Add cuticle oil to the cuticle to finish!

This 14 stage process should explain what you need for acrylic nails and hopefully give you confidence to do it yourself.

Good luck!


Sassi Professional Acrylic Kit

Everything you need for a salon quality acrylic set, from the comfort of your own home!


Further Reading


Check out our guide to artificial nail types.

You may also be interested in how to remove SNS nails.

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