What Is Nail Stamping?

Nail stamping is a great way to express your creativity. You can add a personal touch to your everyday look by stamping designs on your nails using a few nail accessory tools.

But what is nail stamping? The short answer is that it’s a simple easy-to-apply technique that goes over your nail polish after a fresh manicure. 

So, if you love nail art, then you will adore nail stamping. It is still a new nail art technique, but it’s growing in popularity because of its simple application. 

Nail stamp designs are the perfect solution for anyone who is not skilled with freehand nail art. You can create beautiful DIY nail art right at home.

In this article, we will teach you everything you need to know to start your new nail art adventure.

What This Article Covers

What Is Nail Stamping?

Nail stamping is the process of using a nail stamper to achieve instant impressive nail art.

The process involves applying nail polish to the grooves of beautiful engraved designs. These designs are then transferred to the surface of each nail using your nail stamper.  

Using this technique, it’s quick and easy to achieve amazing designs on your nails. There are no limits to the types of designs you can explore for nail stamping. There are tons of designs available. Make sure you have all the fun nail polish colors that are trending if you want to keep up with nail art fashion. 

If you’re wondering what the best nail polish for stamping is, simply explore our best nail polish colors at Orly, such as Island Hopping.

stamping nail polish

Nail Stamping Tips

Use the Right Tools

To get started you will need to get your hands on the correct nail stamping tools. Here are the three basic tools you should shop for when beginning your nail stamping adventure: 

  1. Stamping plates
  2. A scraper
  3. A nail stamper

The stamping plates are made of thin steel and usually contain several images or designs per plate. These designs range from small intricate patterns to fancy French Tips. Some designs are very detailed to cover an entire nail, including the extended longer nails.

You can start out with a full stamping kit, and then add on more stamping plates as you widen your design options.

The bottom line is to choose the stamping plates that contain the designs that suit you best. But to keep your designs flawless and effortless, choose quality stamping plates with deeply etched designs and perfect detail to them.

When choosing a stamper the one that feels right for you is your best option. For example, you might prefer a jelly stamper instead of a firm rubber stamper.   

nail stamping polish

And finally, when choosing a scraper avoid using one with a blade. These scrapers will mess up the face of your quality stamping plates.

Choose the Right Nail Polish

The trick is to be creative when nail stamping. You can use regular nail polish for stamping because no matter which type you may opt for, the stamping technique remains the same for all applications of designs. 

You may want to go for creamier nail polishes that are slightly thicker. Most nail stampers prefer this.

This might narrow down your creative options when considering the question, can you use any nail polish for stamping?

Alternatively, you could learn how to thicken nail polish. Using a thicker nail polish will be much easier to use for nail stamping designs on your nails. 

Master the Process

Now to begin the art of nail stamping, grab a paper towel. Place the stamping plate over the paper towel to avoid nail polish messing up any of your surfaces. You also need some cotton balls or pads, polish remover, tape, and a quick-dry topcoat. Now follow the process below to achieve the best result in nail stamping.

  •  Polish your nails with the base color and apply two coats of a quick-dry topcoat. The topcoat makes it easier to fix any mistakes you might make when nail stamping.
  • Apply thick nail polish onto the design of your choice on the metal plate.
  • Use the scraper to scrape off the excess nail polish from the stamping plate.
  • After scraping, the wet polish should completely fill the grooves of the design.
  • Roll the stamper across the design in one smooth, firm movement. This will lift the image from the stamping plate.
  • Position the stamper over the nail so the design is aligned properly. Make sure to work quickly as the polish on the stamper will dry out within two seconds.
  • If any dried polish remains on the stamper or in the grooves of the plate, clean them before moving on.
  • Make sure you seal the design with a top coat once it is dry on your nails. Use a light touch when doing so.

That’s all there is nail stamping your favorite designs on your already manicured nails.

diy nail stamping

Reverse Your Stamp for More Creativity

Being artistic is all about breaking the rules to have more fun. There are so many ways to improve your nail stamping.

You can play with more colors by combining them and experimenting with new ways of bringing out the design more. 

You can also reverse the stamp or use a nail art brush to fill in the design with different colors. Nail stamping takes practice, but once you know what you are doing, you can play with new options to improve the creativity of the process and produce a new outcome.

The options with nail stamping are limitless so try something new whenever the creative bug bites. 

How to Fix Nail Stamping Mistakes

If you’re new to the art of nail stamping, you will naturally make some mistakes. But it can all be fixed up quite easily. Some of these mistakes include incomplete stamping, smeared nail polish, or crooked patterns that were not placed properly on the nail when stamping.

Relax and don’t stress, it's part of the fun of learning. It won’t always be necessary for you to re-polish your nails from scratch. Using a topcoat before nail stamping means the hard glossy surface makes it easy to erase the badly stamped design. 

You can use sticky lint paper to remove the stamped polished design by gently rolling it over the nail. If the mistake is stubborn then try lightly rubbing the nail with a lint-free pad soaked in a little acetone. Once the design has been removed, re-apply a top coat to the nail. 


Be patient with your first few attempts of nail stamping. Perfecting the art of nail stamping requires practice and concentration. Usually, after the first few attempts, you will be rocking it and improvising on ways to make the best of nail stamping.

do you know What Is Nail Stamping

If you get frustrated, take a break and try again later. Think of nail art stamping as a new hobby, especially if you are determined to find an easier more cost-effective way of enjoying nail art for any occasion. All it takes is a few, patient tries, confident applications, and creativity to be a pro nail stamper in you.

What Is Nail Stamping? FAQs

Should you always use a base coat?

While some people opt to use base coats, others prefer not to. The pros of using a base coat are that it reduces the chances of dark-colored nail polish staining your nails. 

Should I clean my stamping plate after each stamp? 

We highly recommend cleaning your stamping plate after each stamp. Doing so will yield the best results. 

Use 100% acetone to get rid of all the polish. You should also clean the surface of your nail stamp quickly after each use. To do this, use a scotch tape or alternately a lint roller. 

Why can’t I pick up designs properly with my nail stamper? 

Firstly, make sure that you are stamping on a hard surface. Do not stamp on a manicure pad. 

Also, when scraping the nail polish off make sure you are holding the stamping plate down firmly with one hand. 

Finally, make sure to apply a good amount of nail polish to the design. If you don’t then it will dry out quickly and it won’t pick up the designs from the plate. 

nail stamping tips

How long does Stamping Polish take to dry?

Usually, it takes one to two hours before the nail polish is completely dry. If you’re using a nail polish dryer then wait around 20 minutes. Many nail polish dryers allow you to use your hands 5 to 15 minutes after the nail polish is applied, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. The last thing you would want is for the nail art you’ve stamped onto your nails to smudge. 

What’s the best way to remove glitter?

Soak cotton balls in nail polish remover to remove glitter from your nails. Press the cotton ball to the nail that you want the glitter removed from, then hold for a few minutes before removing the cotton ball. The glitter should wipe off easily after this.

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