How To Buff Nails Without A Buffer

Do you want to smooth rough ridges and you don’t have a buffer? Worry not. You can still get it done with common household items like Flannel, Denim or by using plain paper. But that’s not all you need to know

It’s a well-known fact that a manicure is said to be incomplete without the aesthetic beauty of buffers. So what do you do when you don’t have one by your side? What do buffering nails mean to you? Can you try it? In this article, you will learn how you can buff your nails without a buffer.

Why Do You Buff Your Nails?

We often hear nail experts say that filing your nails is one of the best ways to increase your blood circulation. This may lead you to believe that the point of buffing is to improve the health of your nails, but it actually serves other different purposes too.

When you file, you’re removing all of the tiny grooves and imperfections in your nails, giving a smoother surface for your nail polish to adhere to. Buffing should really be called smoothing because when you do it correctly you’re taking out any minor ridges or bumps in your nails.

Does Buffing Nails Damage Them?

In as much as it’s good to buff nails to remove some imperfection or little ridges from your nails, polishing them now and then isn’t a good practice, to be honest with you.

How To Buff Nails Without A Buffer to a high shine

When you buff your nails too much, you’re reducing their thickness thereby rendering them thin, and when this happens, they’re likely to split.

Also, rubbing the tool-nail buffer vigorously on your nails may cause you to have a burning sensation down your nail beds. Just be careful while at it.

How Often Should You Buff Your Nails?

Ideally, there’s no specific time to buff one’s nails. It all depends on how often you wear polishes. But to be on the safer side, I recommend buffing your nails once a month.

How To Buff Your Nails Without A Buffer

If you can remember, I earlier said at the beginning of this article that it’s possible to buff your nail to a high shine without making use of a buffer right? Aside from nail buffers, you can use a lot of stuff to smooth or shine your nails.

1. Sandpapers

A buffer is great for smoothing nails, but if you don’t have one and need to buff your nails fast, try using sandpapers. This works best with a nail sander with squares of different sizes, but it can also work with a regular piece of sandpaper. The grits on sandpaper range from 60 to 1000. The lower the number the rougher the paper is. So repeat the following process until you get the desired shine.

2. Velvet

When you’re looking for a manicure that will last, nothing beats a good buff. But what do you do if you’ve got no buffer? Thankfully, there’s another solution.

As it turns out, old velvet fabric is an excellent substitute for a nail buffer, and it’s easy to find at home. To buff your nails with velvet, simply rub the fabric over them in strokes perpendicular to the direction of your nail growth. Repeat until your nails are smooth and shiny.

Afterward, use a base coat and then apply two coats of nail polish as usual. When it comes time to take off the polish, taking it right down to the natural nails should be easy because they will be so smooth.

3. A denim

If you have some denim on hand, you can buff your nails using even more familiar material.

Shake the denim until it’s almost entirely unfolded and most of the wrinkles have been smoothed out. Then start buffing away take care to buff in one direction only, as working back and forth will create ripples in the surface that make your nails look uneven. You’ll want to repeat this process until you’ve smoothed out all the imperfections. It may take a while, but it’s worth it.

4. Flannel

Flannel is soft and gentle enough to use on your nails and it’s also good for buffing out scuffs on shoes and furniture. Flannel works well with either hand but will work even better if you hold it firmly in one hand while buffing with the other.

Hold the flannel in your dominant hand and wrap it around the end of your finger so that all of your fingers are covered except the one you want to buff. Lightly buff each nail with small strokes, being careful not to push too hard.

 5. Chamois cloth

A chamois cloth is more commonly used to dry cars. It can also be used to buff nails. To buff your nails using a chamois cloth, take the cloth and rub it against your nails in one direction. After doing this several times, use a hand lotion on your nails for moisturizing.

6. Plain paper

All of the above can as well be used to give your nails that shiny look without having a buffer. Let’s quickly look at how you can buff your nails with paper.

How To Buff Nails Without A Buffer Using Plain Paper


Before I proceed, here’s a video I found pretty helpful. You really should take out time to go through it. But if you’re not into videos, kindly follow the below steps.

The first step is to ensure that there are no nail polishes on your nails; if they are, please do well to take them off. When you’re done removing the nail polish, it’s now time to scrub your nails. To scrub, kindly deep your nails in a solution containing mild soap then spread them over the table.

Walk your brush through each nail; I prefer using a toothbrush because it gives me a perfect job. Do this gently then rinse your nails with clean water after wish, towel dry.

Now it’s time to buff your nails. Take a piece of white paper; use it to smooth your nails. Do this in a circular motion until they’re no ridges or rough patches left. Now that you’re done buffing, it’s time to give it a final touch. Rub some essential oil or lip balm on your nails using a cotton bud.

Then use cotton wool to spread the oil over the nails, do this gently also, in a tiny circular motion as well. After which, you can decide to coat your nails with a base coat or leave the oil on them.

How Long Do Buffed Nails Stay Shiny

Buffed nails stay shiny for about 2-4 weeks. There’s no defined answer to this question, but on overage, buffed nails can stay shiny for as long as 2 – 4 weeks.

Should I Buff My Nails Before Polish?

Yes. When you buff your nails before coating them with polish, they tend to last longer. The reason is that buffing creates a form of adhesive for the polish to cling to.

Is Buffing Bad For Nails?

No, buffing is not bad for the nails. In fact, buffing is good for your nails because it helps removes stains and enables polish last longer. It's when you buff too hard that's when it's terrible for nails because it makes your nails thinner and very weak.

Can I Buff My Nails With A Piece Of Chamois?

Absolutely. You can buff your nails to a high shine without using the traditional nail buffer, but instead, you can make use of either a piece of paper, velvet, or chamois.


As you may already know, buffing nails is a very vital process to shiny nails for without it, no manicure is complete. When buffing, care should be taken not to go too deep. Buffing too deep may cause your nails to become thin and weak.

Aside from nail buffers, you can as well make use of chamois, denim, flannel, or plain paper to buff your nails to a high shine without a buffer.

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