Can You Put Regular Nail Polish Over Gel?

Can you put regular nail polish over gel nail polish? There might be many reasons why you are considering redoing or changing your manicure.

Maybe your gel nail polish chipped after a hard day of work and you have a get-together that evening. A quick nail polish cover-up will let you enjoy your evening without being super aware of your gel manicure. 

Or maybe you tried the classiest nail polish color but you’re going for a night out on the town and want something a bit more extravagant. 

Whatever the reason, being able to paint over gel nail polish is a life-saving hack with endless nail possibilities. 

What This Article Covers

Can You Paint Over Gels Nails With Nail Polish?

Great news for all nail enthusiasts. You can paint over gel nail polish with regular nail polish. Not only is it possible, but it is frequently done. Many people paint over their gel nail polish to spice up their look or to hide a chipped nail from prying eyes. 

There are many ways of applying gel nail polish Gel nail polish is made of methacrylate compounds and photoinitiator compounds that harden when exposed to UV/LED light in a process called curing. 

Curing gel nails dry them down and make them flexible enough to handle everyday wear and strong enough to last for weeks on end. Gel nail polish won’t be affected when you put regular nail polish over it. This opens the way for tons of gel nail polish looks with minimal effort. 

You can apply glitter nail polish or draw your nails with it. Whatever look you want, you can achieve it by adding some nail polish over your existing gel nail polish. 

How To Paint Over Gel Nail Polish

can you put regular nail polish over gel polish

If you have a gel manicure, you can paint straight over it with regular nail polish. Gel nail polish stays wet until it is hardened by UV/LED light and won’t be affected by using regular nail polish, which dries over time when exposed to air. 

If you want to do a quick nail look, paint over your gel manicure with your favorite regular nail polish. When painting over your gel manicure, remember to keep the nail polish layers thin to prevent bulky and thick nails. 

Now, this next part is very important. 

When you want to remove the regular nail polish, do so with an acetone-free nail polish remover. While using a quick bit of acetone won’t remove your gel, it can cause warping, lifting, and other general shenanigans with your manicure. 

When you use an acetone-free remover only the regular nail polish will come off, leaving you with your original gel manicure intact. 

If you want a regular nail polish look that lasts a little longer and don’t mind damaging your original manicure, you can buff the gel. Creating this rough texture will give your polish more surface area to adhere to. 

The above information also applies to pedicures as the gel products used on toenails and fingernails are the same. When you choose the best toe nail polish, combine it with ORLY Won’t Chip for longer-lasting nails that won’t chip.  

can you put nail polish over gel nails

Perfect Your New Nail Polish Look

If your gel nail polish is chipped and you want to paint over it to salvage the look, make sure to buff the edges of the chipped bit. This will leave you with a smoother finish when you paint over the gel. 

Another option is to blend nail polish colors. Learn how to Ombre nail polish colors to create an awesome nail polish look that will make it hard to notice any chips or divots in the gel manicure underneath. 

Glitter nail polish is a great choice when covering up a gel manicure. The texture and finish of glitter nail polish masks gel manicure perfectly, leaving you with a sparkly nail look that tricks the eye into skipping over any imperfections. 

Glitter nail is notoriously difficult to remove but we know the best way to remove glitter nail polish

What Else Can I Paint Over Gel Nail Polish?

There are so many awesome nail products on the market, with more coming out every year. And while nail polish is great, many of you might be wondering if you can paint over your gel nail polish with other nail products. 

Being able to paint over gel nail polish with regular nail polish is already a game-changer. But if you can do the same with other nail products, then the possibilities really are endless. 

Gel Nail Polish

You can paint over gel nail polish with other gel nail polish. It’s how most gel manicures are done, with multiple layers of gel polish layered to create the perfect look.

A perfect example is a French Ombre nail. You can learn how to do French Ombre nails with gel polish to create a classic, professional nail look for everyday wear. Our gorgeous rose nude creme gel nail polish will be perfect for the job. 

can i paint over gel nail polish

Gel nail polish will stay wet until cured under a UV or LED lamp. When you paint over gel polish with other gel polish, remember to cure the gel nail polish before applying another layer.  

Regular nail polish can easily be removed with an acetone-free remover to leave your manicure intact. But adding a layer of gel to your manicure will be “permanent”. You won’t be able to remove it without soaking off the entire manicure.

When that time comes, use our Genius Remover. Gel soak-offs are notorious for leaving nails brittle but with our Genius Remover, your gel nail polish will come right off without stripping away all the moisture. 

can you use nail polish over gel nails

Dip Powder

Dip powder nails are created when a layer of resin is applied to a nail that is then dipped into powder. Dip powder allows for strong and natural-looking nails that can be lengthened with tips and a couple of layers of dip powder. 

Many nail enthusiasts use gel nail polish over dip powder, to create creative looks. But can dip powder be used over gel nail polish? Traditional convention says no.

However, some revolutionaries have found using dip powder with a gel gives their nails extra strength. 

Use your regular gel nail polish and cure it. With a brush, add a light layer of dip powder. This uses the tacky texture after the gel is cured as adhesive instead of regular dip powder resin. 

Apply another layer of gel nail polish and cure it again. Wipe off the excess and behold a gel manicure strengthened by dip powder. 


can you polish over gel nails

Acrylics are a combination of a monomer and a polymer. A powder polymer is combined with a liquid monomer to form acrylic, which is applied to nails and then filed down to the desired nail shape.  

Like with dip powder, using gel nail polish over acrylic nails is a great way to spruce up your look and strengthen your acrylics. 

On the other hand, using acrylic over gel is not something that is done often.

Acrylic dries very hard and adheres to the nail completely. Acrylic is also used to build a nail, a base for other polish to be added to. Using a gel underneath acrylic will probably result in it all peeling off. 

The only gel and acrylic combination that might work is using a hard gel and encapsulating it with acrylic. Hard gel is a gel polish that can’t be soaked off but needs to be buffed off. Combining these two will create something close to a polygel, a combination of acrylic powder and clear liquid gel. 

If you want to attempt it, make sure to thin out the layers are much as possible. The combination of acrylic on top of a hard gel could leave you with thick, clumpy, and heavy nails. 


Gel nail polish is versatile. Not only with other gel products but with nail products in general. It’s a strong, natural-looking nail polish that can be used in conjunction with regular nail polish to create awesome looks when you have gotten tired of your current manicure. 

There is no need to dread a chipped nail when you can cover it up with a cool glitter look or a gorgeous nude. And with a couple of bottles of regular nail polish, you can experiment and make those last few days before your next manicure as exciting as your heart desires.

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