Can You Paint Over Gel Nails With Gel Polish?

A gel manicure is a popular way to get your nails looking great. It’s similar to acrylic nails, but it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals or adhesives. Instead, the nails are coated with a special type of polish that hardens beneath ultraviolet light.

One of the things that give a woman joy is seeing her nails looking so good and this is where your gel nails come in. However, what happens if you no longer lie to them, they are looking dull or you just want a change, what do you do?

Can you paint over gel nails with gel polish? Yes, you can paint over gel nails with gel polish. It is quite an easy process really. In this article, we will show you how to paint over gel nails with gel polish.

Can I Paint Over Gel Nails

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to paint on top of your nails. The only thing to keep in mind is that it could potentially alter the appearance of your manicure.

What Is a Gel Manicure?

Gel nails are a type of manicure that uses UV light to cure the gel. Gel manicures last longer than regular nail polish and creates a more natural look because they can be shaped. They are also stronger than acrylic nails and will not yellow over time. However, gel manicures are more expensive than regular nail polish and require maintenance appointments for upkeep.

Benefits of Painting Over Gel Nails

1. You can get a manicure in a short time

If you want to paint your nails a different color or design, but don’t want to spend an hour at the nail salon, painting over gel nails is ideal. You can also make your own manicure at home with gel polish.

2. You can choose any color or design you want

When it comes to choosing colors for your nails, there are so many options that it can be overwhelming. With normal polish you’re limited by what’s available in stores and online; however, with gel polish, there are endless possibilities when it comes to picking out the right shade of pink or purple for your next pedicure.

3. You’ll save money

It may seem like painting over gel nails would cost more because of all the supplies needed; however, this isn’t necessarily true, you simply need some alcohol wipes and regular nail polish remover. On top of that most salons charge an arm and leg just for getting nails removed so if yours has been on there longer than usual then this could even save you more money than originally intended.

Cons of Painting Over Gel Nails

  • Removing the gel first is a task in itself since you’ll need to use more product than normal. This means that your painting time will be extended and you may have to wait longer for your nails to dry.
  • It’s also time-consuming. In addition to removing the gel polish, you’ll need quite a bit of patience and skill when applying the new layer of nail polish over top of it. You can’t go too heavy with the strokes or else they will peel off easily (or worse: chip).

What You Need to Apply Gel Polish over Gel Nails

To start, you’ll need a few things:

  • Gel nail polish remover
  • Nail brush (the kind that looks like an angled paintbrush)
  • Gel nail polish brush (this won’t be used to apply the gel; it’s for removing any excess from your nails after you’ve applied it.)
  • Nail file (an emery board works, but you can use one specifically made for gel nails if you want to save some time and energy.)
  • Gel manicure stick (this will help keep your cuticles moisturized and clean while your nails are drying.)

How to Apply Gel Polish Over Gel Nails

1. Remove the top coat

Gel nail polish removers are a great way to remove your old polish. You can use the same one you used when you applied your gel nails, but there are also other options that may be better suited for this process:

  • Acetone-based remover is the most effective type of remover, as it dissolves both the gel and regular polish quickly and easily.
  • Non-acetone nail polish removers are typically less harsh on the skin than acetone-based ones, but they don’t work quite as well at removing your layers of polish, so if possible, stick with an acetone-based one instead.

2. Use a nail buffer to smooth the surface of the nails

When you’re painting gel nails with gel polish, it’s important to use a nail buffer. This is because the surface of your nails needs to be smooth in order for the top coat to stick properly. You can use a nail buffer to remove any rough edges or ridges in order to make sure they don’t interfere with the application of your next coat of paint.

You can also use a nail buffer on any bumps and ridges in order to make sure they’re smoothed out so that when you apply your first layer of polish, there isn’t any unevenness that could cause bubbles under the surface when it dries.

3. Apply a gel base coat

You’ll have the best results with gel polish if you apply a gel base coat over your natural nails. This helps to protect them, and also makes the colored coats adhere better.

Gel base coats are different from regular nail polish in that they’re much stickier, so it’s important not to use too much product at once, or else it will become very difficult to move smoothly around your hands. The good news is that this type of product goes on smoothly and dries quickly (about 30 seconds), so there shouldn’t be any need for multiple applications.

4. Apply two coats of gel polish

To apply two coats of gel polish, make sure your nails are clean and dry. Apply a thin coat of gel polish to each nail and allow it to dry in between coats. If you don’t have an LED lamp, use a UV lamp or place your hands under bright lights for 5 minutes.

Apply the second coat of gel polish in the same way as you did with the first coat: apply a thin layer of gel polish over each nail, then wipe off any excess with a lint-free cleaning pad before curing it under an LED or UV light until completely dry (this can take 3–5 minutes).

5. Apply a top coat

After your gel polish has cured for at least 30 minutes, apply a top coat. Top coats made specifically for use with gel polish are best for this purpose. Also, make sure that the top coat you choose is fast-drying and alcohol-free; this will help prevent the lifting of any layers underneath it.

Use UV light to cure the top coat as well as the base layer of gel polish that you applied earlier in this process. Once both have been cured, they should be ready to go.

How to Maintain Gel Nails After Painting Over Them

1. Use a good base coat

To maintain your gel nails after you paint over them, use a good base coat. You’ll want to make sure that the base coat is not too thick and does not have any rough edges. This will help protect your painted nails from chipping and peeling.

2. Use a good topcoat

The best way to protect the gel-polish manicure is with a good top coat. Topcoats help to seal in the color and protect it from chipping, as well as prevent the natural nail from drying out. Using only one coat of gel polish is a major mistake because it doesn’t provide enough protection for your nails or the color you’ve spent so long applying to them.

A good topcoat should be able to protect both your natural nails and your gel-polish manicure from heat and wear-and-tear damage. It should also be easy to apply without taking much time away from your busy schedule.

3. Don’t use your nails as tools

With gel nails, you don’t need to worry about breaking a nail when you’re doing the dishes. However, it’s still important to be careful not to use your nails as tools. The lacquer on gel nail polish is much more durable than regular nail polish and can last up to two weeks without chipping or peeling off if properly maintained.

4. Don’t scratch them

This is one of the most important tips of all. If you’re not careful, you could damage your nails and make them look worse than before. This is especially true if your gel polish already has some chipping on it. Even if you don’t chip or scratch your gel nails, simply scratching them can cause them to become dull faster than normal.

5. Don’t bite them

You may be tempted to bite your nails, but it’s best to avoid this. In addition to being unsanitary, biting can also cause your nails to break or become brittle. If you do bite them, or pick at them, this can lead to infection and further damage.

6. Don’t use them to open things

It’s best to not use them to open things or pry things apart. They don’t work well for that, especially if you want to keep your nails intact. Plus, it’s just plain better for the nails themselves if you don’t use them in this way.

Also, don’t use them to peel off stickers or anything else like that. This is because the gel polish will come off along with whatever sticker you’re trying to remove; then your nail will be exposed and damaged.

Can I Paint Over Gel Nails With Normal Polish?

Yes, you can paint your gel nails with regular polish. The process is easy and only takes 30 minutes.

First, remove the existing gel polish with a nail file or an acetone-soaked cotton ball. Then, apply one thin coat of clear base coat to all surfaces of the nail and wait for it to dry completely. Next, apply two layers of color and finish with a top coat or glitter top coat. You’ll want them extra shiny so that the colors really pop.

What Should You Not Do With Gel Nails?

Do not soak gel nails in water or any other liquid for too long. Doing so can cause damage to the nail plate, leading to peeling and chipping. Use caution when removing your gel nails; do not apply too much pressure on the nail plate as this can also cause damage. Do not use nail glue to remove your gel nails; this will likely make it harder for you to get them off without damaging them.

What Do You Do if You Don’t Like Your Gel Nails?

If you don't like your gel nails, you can remove them with acetone or another nail polish remover. You can also get a gel manicure to cover up the old polish. You can also use nail polish as a base coat and then apply regular nail polish over it to get a fresh look without going through the whole process of removing your current gel mani.


The answer is yes, gel nails can be painted over with gel polish. However, if you don’t do it correctly, the paint won’t look good and could damage your nails. As long as you do it right, your manicure can stay as long as you want.

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