How to Stamp Nails: Tips and Tricks for Success

Have you ever tried nail stamping? It’s a fun and easy way to cute nails for those of us without a steady hand. I have just updated this post to add even more awesome tips and tricks after a year of doing my nails every week. Make sure to pin this post so since I’ll be updating it as I continue to learn new tips and find new awesome products.

Nail stamping can give awesome details to nails. These tips and tricks make it doable at home.

There’s just something about Summer that makes me want pretty nails. Maybe it’s the flip flops and all the exposed toes but the nieces and I love doing our nails together and one of our favorite things is Nail Stamping! Have you ever tried it?

Love these nails. Done with nail stamping and polish not nail wraps or jamberry. Fabulous step by step tutorial and resource guide.

If you don’t know, nail stamping is a way to get fun designs on your nails. I love it because it doesn’t require any artistic ability or steady hand. Plus as long as you get a design plate with small images it works great for tiny kid nails too!

Watch the video or read the steps below!

Step by step guide to nail stamping art and a huge list of resources for best products and supplies. Great beauty tutorial.

I’m sharing how to stamp nails and some of the tricks and tips I’ve learned from trial and error.

What You Need to Stamp Nails (you don’t need all of them I’m just giving options)

When you shop through my links I get a small percentage. The prices will always be the same as regular prices (or sometimes lower). These are what I use I didn’t swap any products for a cut but when they offered one anyways I linked it. Also note I have been updating this post as I learn more and find products I love so some of the pictures might not match my current favorite products. 

How to Stamp Nails

  1. Start with painted and fully dried nails. Start with a base coat and end with a top coat on top of your colors. Use a toothpick to take of polish that strayed into the side of your nail. This is also a good time to use the clean up brush and acetone to remove stray polish from your skin.
  2. Paint a coat of contrasting nail polish onto your design plate.
  3. Scrap excess off with scraper.
  4. With a rolling motion press the stamper onto the stamp plate to transfer the design to the stamper.
  5. Stamp onto the desired nail also using a rolling motion.
  6. Use tape to pull of any stamped polish that got on your skin (it works like magic).
  7. Use acetone with cotton pad to clean up your plate between each stamping.
  8. Allow to dry and top with a coat of clear polish make sure it is stamping friendly some top coats will smear nail stamping polish.
  9. Use your clean up brush to get any stray nail polish off of your skin.

Loving this nail stamping guide. It has everything trick and tips and where to find all the products. Great step by step tutorial

Some Tips and Tricks for Nail Stamping

  • Practice, practice, practice. This is definitely an activity with a learning curve. It takes time to figure out but once you do it’s really fun.
  • MOST IMPORTANT Use a nail stamping polish. You want your stamping polish to contrast with your base coat. I’ve found lighter colors tend to work better. You want a thick polish and metallic seem to be a little thicker and work better if you want to give regular nail polish a try. Some regular polishes will stamp (like Walmart’s Ice metallics) BUT the stamping polishes work SO MUCH BETTER and are way easier to work with. they are 100% worth the extra coast.
  • Be patient and paint your nails allowing them to dry full complete with a top coat. That way if your stamp doesn’t turn out you can quickly wipe it off. Be prepared to do this especially when you are starting out! It’s not you, it’s just a tricky thing to get down.
  • Have all your tools set up so you can move quickly. Once you scrap your place you want to move fast.
  • Consider just doing an accent finger. While stamping is really fun it is finicky. Sometimes I think trying to get 10 fingers perfect (or good enough) on 3 people (me and both nieces) just takes too long.  But a few accent fingers are just the right about of fun. UPDATE: now a year into it and exclusively using stamping polishes I can easily do all three of our hands without getting too frustrated and having to do too many re-dos!
  • Know that not all designs are created equally. Different plates and different designs work differently. Unfortunately there is not great way to know which will turn out but the brands I listed I have had great success with. Just buy a plate with designs you love and give it a shot.
  • Have fun!

Must try this! Tips and tricks to nail stamping success. Great detailed tutorial and resource guide.

I originally posted this as a part of Nap-Time Creations awesome Summer Fun Series, going up today!

summer fun part 1
Fairy Magic Fun on Nap-Time Creations by XOXO Grandma
Nail Stamping Fun by Rae Gun Ramblings
Mini Minion Bowling Set Craft by Boy Oh Boy oh Boy Crafts
Cookie Butter Ice Cream from Kojo Designs
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this is how I always do chocolate covered strawberries!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.



  1. Lisa Burda says:

    I read your suggestions for nail stamping & it sounds very easy to do. I bought the purple kit from Ebay that comes with the stamper, scraper, 4 stamping plates & holder (same thing they sell on tv or at Sally”s). I’ve tried using it a few time with no luck & also tried the other tips I’ve found on Pinterest with no luck either. I’m going to practice some more with the instructions your suggested. I have a lot of nail polish so hopefully one of them work. I want to get the hang of it before I buy any additional plates. I did buy the dotting tools & brushes from Ebay & am getting the hang of using those but am frustrated with the stamping. If you can think of any other advice I’d be appreciative.

    • So I’ve found that the metallic nail polishes work better. I have a hard time getting the white to turn out so for starters I definitely recommend using the metallic polish. hope that helps some these things are fun but definitely takes some trial and error to get the feel of it.

  2. Thanks for sharing here and on Facebook Live! I tried it for the first time last night. Some turned out great and others were only so so but I just went with it!

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