Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Nails?

acrylic nail paint

Acrylic paint comes in a variety of colors and considering it is a lot cheaper than the regular nail polish, it can be tempting to try it out on the nails sometimes. The only thing stopping a lot of people is they are not sure if using acrylic as nail polish is safe. We will be providing an answer to this question in our article. So, if you want to know if it is safe to use acrylic nail paint, I suggest you keep reading to find out.

Is Acrylic Paint Safe On Nails?

First, you should know, that it is possible to use acrylic paint on your nails. However, there is a condition to it because not all acrylic paint is safe for use. You will need to choose carefully the right type and also apply it the proper way. There are toxic acrylic paints and you don’t want them getting anywhere on your skin. To be safe, we suggest you always have a clear base coat applied before the acrylic nails.

One thing you should know about acrylic is that it is used to paint several surfaces. Ideally, it would stick on basically any surface you paint on including your nails. You can apply it over your natural fingernails, plastic-based nails, or the acrylic nails you get in the salon. The only thing is not all acrylic paint solutions should be on your nails. Even though acrylic paint is water-based, applying some of the formulas may be dangerous for you.

Why Should You Be Concerned About Toxic Acrylic Paint?

The toxic agents in some acrylic paint types are dangerous and should not make contact with your skin. Normally paint like this contain heavy metals and it is these components that pose problems to the body. If you get any contact with these heavy metals, they will penetrate your body and build up over time. If it continues to build up, you will be at risk of complex health issues affecting your kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, and skin.

These chemicals can cause vital organs in the body to fail and could eventually cause death. Some of the harmful chemicals found in acrylic paint models include copper, lead, zinc, chromium, cobalt, and strontium. Some acrylic even contains cadmium which is not only heavy metal but also listed as a possible carcinogen. When you get exposed to this substance, it puts you at risk of cancer. Cadmium is also one of the causes of organ failure as well as the other heavy metals we already mentioned.

Another harmful substance you will likely find in acrylic paint is Manganese. It is used as a colorant in acrylic paint. Although it is said to be good for a person’s diet, manganese however will casual damage to the nervous system if inhaled.

You will be putting your health at risk when you expose yourself to toxic acrylic paint and that is why we will suggest you not apply them on your nails. The safest solution will be to use only acrylic nail paint that is without these toxic elements. The non-toxic version won’t cause damage and the only thing you may likely worry about it is if you are allergic to the paint. Other than this, it is safe to use them.

How Do You Know Which Acrylic Paint is Safe?

One way to identify non-toxic paint is by going through the label. Ensure you look through all the ingredients present in the acrylic paint. In the absence of any toxic ingredient, you can safely apply the paint.

However, you should know that even some nail polish contains toxic chemicals. If you read through the label of some, you will notice that they contain ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, or even triphenyl phosphate which are all harmful. Nail technicians are not usually at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals in nail polish because they inhale a lot of these chemicals constantly in the course of their work.

Just like there is non-toxic acrylic paint, there are also non,-toxic versions of nail polish.  You should be careful when reading the label, some brands will mislead users by labeling the paint as non-toxic. It is only when you go through the ingredients that you can determine if it is truly non-toxic.

Can Acrylic Paint Damage Your Nails?

Apart from the issue of safety, most people have asked if acrylic paint will damage their fingernails. This also depends on the type of ingredients contained in the paint. Normally, non-toxic acrylic paint will also be safe on your nails. The ingredients are considered safe and besides, since it is water-based, it can easily be cleaned off. However, the same cannot be said for the toxic variety and we don’t recommend you use them on your nails.  Even if the chemicals don’t damage your nails, the odds are high that the chemicals will poison your system.

Another thing you should know about applying acrylic paint to your nails is that it may likely stain your nails. This paint type usually contains pigments that can be absorbed in the nail. So, even if you clean off the paint, there will still be traces of the color on your nails. That is why you need to apply a clear base coat before applying acrylic paint over your nails. This will reduce the chances of staining after you clean off the paint.


Now that you know the answer to the mind bugging question,  “can you use acrylic paint as nail polish? You can go ahead and make beautiful nail art with acrylic paint. Just remember to use a clear base paint over your nails before applying them. Also, read the label carefully and note the chemicals contained in the acrylic. Even if you choose to use a regular polish, it is always important to know what chemicals are present in the polish. Even when the labels claim to be non-toxic, ensure you confirm this yourself.

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