07 June 2009

How to: nail art using painters' tape

After the success of yesterday's nail art I thought I'd do some on myself today and blog it as a tutorial.

First up, assemble your items. You'll need a base coat, your chosen colours, top coat, scissors and of course painters' tape.

The polishes are Creative Stickey base coat, O.P.I. No Room for the Blues, O.P.I. Dating a Royal and Seche Vite top coat.

Next, cut your painters' tape into strips. It's best to do this before you start painting your nails, to lessen the chances of smudging your polish. I've used straight edge scissors but I've also seen it done with craft scissors (the type used to cut wiggly designs in paper) and even craft stamps.

Excuse the hair on some of the tapes, the dog got a little close!

Now paint your entire nail, first with the base coat and then with the first of your chosen colours. It's best to do the lightest colour first because the darker colour layered over the lighter colour will show up better than vice versa (especially with some of the sheerer light colours). Apply as many coats of the first colour as you need to achieve a good colour density (in this case it was two coats of No Room for the Blues).

Apologies for the quality of the picture, I think it's time to invest in a new camera. Oh and apologies also for the state of my nails - I'm growing them out post-acrylic damage, and my fingers are a lovely shade of pink because it's cold dammit!

At this stage you want to wait a good few minutes for the polish to dry well, otherwise it will tack up when the painters' tape is applied.

Now apply your tape to the first nail, whichever which way you want. I decided to go for a straight vertical line so my finished design would be a vertical half-and-half.

Make sure the edge of the tape is sealed all the way along where the second polish is going to be applied, otherwise the polish will seep under and ruin the design. (All these things I learn by experience so you don't have to!)

Now apply your second colour. Do one nail at a time, applying the tape, then your second colour and then gently removing the tape straight away - the longer the tape is left on your nail the greater the chances of it damaging the first colour. For this reason you want to choose a polish for your second colour that is as close as possible to opaque in one coat (in this respect Dating A Royal wasn't the greatest choice). Also make sure that your application isn't too thick, especially along the edge of the tape, otherwise when the tape is removed you're likely to get polish bleeding over the first colour.

In hindsight choosing a first colour that is identical to the painters' tape, and a second colour only a little darker than it wasn't such a great idea from a photographic point of view! That is really a photo of Dating a Royal, you may have to trust me on it.

Repeat the tape-polish-remove routine for each nail then apply your top coat, which will not only protect your polish but will also make the ridge between the two colours appear smoother and less obvious.

Et voila, decorated nails.

Yep, most definitely time for a new camera. However, enjoy and please share your pics of your own designs with me.

EDIT: I finally remembered where I saw the painter's tape idea, it was over at The Hungry Asian. She did a series of them, so I've linked to the post where she used a craft stamp, which I haven't tried on myself yet - enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Considering I am still learning the basics of nail maintenance (a month ago I was using TOE NAIL clippers on em) I have much to learn from you oh wise one!