Can You Use Gel Polish on Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic extensions add strength, length, and thickness to your nails. But after a while, you may want to change your look and paint them, without going to the nail salon. And you need to know which nail polish you can use.

There are many advantages to using gel nail polish. It looks great, is long-lasting, and offers nails some protection as well. But can you use gel polish on acrylic nails? How long will it last? And what happens when you need to remove it? 

Our guide below will provide you with the answers to these important questions. It also contains other useful tips you need to make the most of your gel polish manicure. So keep reading for all the facts about using gel polish on acrylic nails.

What This Article Covers:

Can You Use Gel Nail Polish On Acrylic Nails?

When it comes to acrylic nails, many women are nervous about applying and painting them. How long do acrylic nails last? Can they be done at home? Can you paint acrylic nails with normal nail polish? These are the most common questions that arise. 

We will deal with all these issues, but first, let’s focus on the top question we’ve come across. Can you use gel polish on acrylic nails? 

can you put gel polish on acrylic nails

Yes, you can, and you can do it at home without having to go to the nail salon. But to understand the method, we first need to look at how acrylic nails and gel polish work.

What Are Acrylic Nails And How Do They Work?

Acrylic nails are artificial nails or nail tips, applied to your natural nails, and filled in with an acrylic formulation. We don’t want to weigh you down with too much science, so we’ll make it simple.

A combination of a liquid monomer and a powder polymer is used to form a paste, which is bonded to your natural nails. When the powder is mixed with the liquid, polymerization occurs. This is the chemical reaction that causes the acrylic nail to become one hard unit.

Your nails will then be filed into the desired shape, and the acrylic paste hardens in place. After your nails have been shaped, each nail can be painted with a base coat, nail polish color, and a topcoat. 

What Is Gel Polish And How Does It Work?

Gel nail polish will dry only under direct UV or LED light. And it takes only 30 seconds to dry. 

When it is cured under a UV or LED lamp, gel polish dries shinier and harder than conventional nail polish. As a result, it’s much more durable and longer-lasting than regular polish. 

Is It Safe To Use Gel Polish On Acrylic Nails?

But after a while, you want to be able to change your nail polish at home.“But can I use gel polish on acrylic nails?” you ask.

Yes, it is safe to use gel nail polish on acrylic nails. But the application process will be more time-consuming and challenging than using regular polish.

You will need to prepare your acrylic nails before applying the gel polish to ensure it adheres correctly. Let’s take a look at how that is done. 

Can You Do An Acrylic Mani With Gel Polish At Home?

If you have the know-how, it is possible to do it at home. 

It may take more time than an ordinary manicure, but it will be worth the effort. And you’ll be spoiled for choice with our range of stunning gel polish colors.

can you put gel polish over acrylic nails

Steps To A Simple At-Home Acrylic Nails Application

You Will Need The Following Items:

  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Nail Buffer
  • Emery Board, Nail File, Or Buffer
  • Nail Scissors Or Clippers
  • Cuticle Pusher
  • Primer
  • Artificial Nails Or Tips
  • Acrylic liquid
  • Acrylic powder
  • 2 Bowls And Paper Towel

Prepare Your Natural Nails

Remove any old nail polish. Wash your hands well and dry. You’ll want to work in an area that’s well-ventilated since the chemicals can be a bit overpowering. Ensure that your tools and work area are spotless.

Trim your nails if necessary, and buff them smooth to provide a better base for attaching the acrylic nails.


how to apply gel polish on acrylic nails

Gently push back your cuticles using our cuticle pusher. This will be a lot easier to do if your cuticles are soft and in good condition. Rough, dry cuticles can become more damaged otherwise, and lead to infection.

Avoid this problem by keeping our cuticles moisturized. Our Argan Cuticle Drops will nourish and hydrate your cuticles, and with regular use will make a big difference.

Is it Possible to Use Gel Polish On Acrylic Nails

Once your cuticles have been pushed back, apply a good primer to your nails, and shape them as desired. You are now ready to attach the nail tips and fill them in with the acrylic formulation.

can i put gel polish over acrylic nails

Attach The Artificial Nails Or Nail Tips 

Once you have prepped your nails, apply a dot of nail glue to the back of the artificial nails. Spread it from side to side, then carefully apply it to your natural nail. 

Because it only takes about five seconds to dry, be sure that you have the nail placed correctly. The proper placement is essential to avoid having to remove the nail tip and start all over again.

Apply The Acrylic Liquid And Powder With A Brush

Pour the liquid acrylic into a bowl, and then put some acrylic powder into a separate bowl. Submerge your brush in the liquid until no more bubbles appear. As you pull it out, brush off any excess against the side of the bowl. 

Then carefully run the brush through the powder until a small ball of powder forms on the end of the brush. Be patient. This gets easier with practice. Apply to your natural nail’s smile line so that you can blur the difference between your natural nail and the acrylic nail tip. 

Wipe your brush off on a paper towel after every stroke. Repeat with each nail, let dry, then shape your acrylic tips with a nail file or buffer. Well done. You’ve applied your acrylic nails. Now it’s time for the polish.

can I put gel polish on acrylic nails

Steps To A Simple At-Home Gel Polish Mani

Choose your gel polish. We have a lovely selection of nail gel colors to choose from. Then follow these simple steps when you are ready to apply the polish. 

Can I Use Gel Polish On Acrylic Nails

You Will Need The Following Items:

  • Emery Board Or Buffer
  • Base Coat
  • Gel Nail Polish
  • Top Coat
  • LED Lamp

Prepare Your Acrylic Nails 

Prepare your nails as you would for applying acrylic nails. But there is one crucial difference. Before applying gel polish, you need to rough up the acrylic or the gel will not adhere to the surface.

Gel polish won’t stick to smooth surfaces, so you need to remove the shine before applying. Use a fine-grit emery board or buffer to gently buff the acrylic until the shine is gone. 

can you use gel polish for acrylic nails

Our Buffer File is effective yet gentle around your cuticle area. Make sure that everything looks even as any smooth spots will cause the gel to peel off. Do this with each nail. And that’s it. Your acrylic nails are prepped for polishing. 

Apply The Gel Polish

Depending on the gel nail product, you may have to apply a base coat. First, make sure if you need it or not. Some gel products are an all-in-one polish without the need for a separate base coat.  

 Can I Use Gel Polish for Acrylic Nails

Paint on a thin layer of gel polish. be sure to coat the entire nail, but don’t paint it on too thick. If it is applied too thick it will not dry as effectively. After painting each nail, cure with an LED lamp for thirty seconds. 

Follow up with a top coat and once again place the nail under the LED lamp for thirty seconds. The top coat seals the layer of polish and helps your mani last longer. Do this with each nail. And that’s it. Your gel polish mani is done.

Can You Use Gel Polish Over Acrylic Nails

LED Lamp

Gel polish will not harden unless exposed to UV or LED light. If you do not have one of these lamps already, our rechargeable LED Smart Gel Lamp is portable and easy to use.

how can i put gel polish over acrylic nails

Is Gel Nail Polish Long-Lasting?

Gel nail polish has a lovely shine and is more durable than regular nail polish. That is why it lasts longer than normal nail polish. 

But exactly how long will the gel nail polish last? Will it last as long as your acrylic nails?

Which Lasts Longer? Acrylics Or Gel Polish?

Here’s where things get a little bit complicated. 

Because acrylic nails will last anywhere from six to eight weeks, depending on how they’re cared for. And gel polish can last approximately two weeks on both acrylic and natural nails. 

So your gel polish will need to be redone before your acrylic nails do.

Alternative Nail Extensions With Gel Polish 

Because the acrylic is longer-lasting than the gel polish, you may then ask, “Can you mix acrylic powder with nail polish”? Yes, but we have a simpler alternative for you. 

If you want long-lasting extensions and gel polish that are designed to go together, you may like to take a look at our GelFX Builder In A Bottle Kit

How Can You Use Gel Polish Over Acrylic Nails

This kit contains everything you need to sculpt beautiful gel nail extensions and is compatible with all our gel polish products.

Alternative All-In-One Gel Manicure Set For Natural Nails

Should you decide to remove the acrylics and go for natural nails, the gel polish will strengthen and protect your nails. 

If you want to give yourself a gel mani that’s quick and easy, consider our At-Home Gel Nail Color Application Starter Kit.

How Can I Use Gel Polish On Acrylic Nails

Removing Polish

When your polish is no longer looking its best, or you want to change to another color, how do you remove it?

Removing Polish Like A Genius

Removing the polish to reapply might damage the acrylic nail. Especially if you use harsh acetone-based removers. So what should you do?  

Don’t stress about how to remove polish from acrylic nails. Our Genius Remover will do the trick. It is an all-purpose remover that will remove gel polish, lacquer, and even hybrid nail colors.

How can I put gel polish on acrylic nails

But unless you are very careful, you will probably have to redo your acrylic nails when you remove your polish. So it’s probably best to time your gel polish mani with a re-application of acrylic nails.

Easy-To-Use Gel-Removal Kit 

When you want to remove gel polish from natural nails with the least amount of fuss, our At-Home Gel Removal Kit makes the task so much simpler.

how can you use gel polish for acrylic nails

How To Make Gel Polish Last Longer

Luckily there are a few things you can do to make your nail polish last longer. These tips will make a difference no matter if it is a gel polish or a regular kind. 

Don’t Use Your Nails As Tools

This might seem a bit obvious, but many women surprisingly forget this simple rule. Do not use your nails to open things, scratch at things, etc. You will inevitably damage your nail tips, and chip away the polish.

Depending on the activity, use your fingertips, not your nails. Or use an implement depending on what you are trying to do.

While gel polish is more resilient than regular polish, it can still be damaged.

Wear Gloves

Wear appropriate gloves when working in the garden, washing dishes, or using household detergents to do a bit of cleaning. 

Gel polish is hard-wearing and long-lasting. But continuous exposure to heat or chemicals will take its toll. 

Not wearing gloves to do these chores may cause your gel polish to erode. So if you want your gel mani to last longer, wear gloves and reduce your exposure to heat and chemical-based detergents.

Touch Up Regularly

If you’re ready to redo your acrylic nails, you can have a new coat of polish applied at the same time. But what if you don’t need to redo your acrylics yet, and just want to update your nails at home? 

Touch up your polish when you see that it’s looking worn. But do not trim nails or file the edges if you are wearing gel polish. It will cause it to lift and peel further.

Carefully touching up your gel polish can make it last a bit longer, but care is needed to prevent it from looking blotchy. So if it’s looking noticeably frayed, rather remove it and apply a fresh coat.

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