How to Fill Acrylic Nails

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Getting acrylic nails is not enough, their regular maintenance is also required. One of the major task to do every 2 to 3 weeks is getting your acrylic nails filled in. Visiting the nail salon biweekly just for filling the gaps may cost you much more than your expected budget. In some cases you may even want to get them removed as they are putting a lot of burden on your pocket. Fortunately this guide comes as your savior which will teach you step by step how to fill acrylic nails yourself at home without any need of nail expert.

Before we move ahead with the procedure, first of all let’s build the list of supplies we are going to need for the purpose:

  • Nail File
  • Nail Buffer
  • Acrylic Liquid
  • Acrylic Powder
  • Acrylic Dish
  • Acrylic Brush
  • Non Acetone Nail Polish Remover
  • Nail Primer

If you did acrylics yourself, then you should be having these already and if not, then you can check my recommended nail supplies which are affordable and the best quality product one needs.

Get the above mentioned nail supplies from here:

Suggested Nail Supplies for Filling Acrylic Nails

Please note in above supplies guide, i have suggested “acetone based nail polish remover”.

However for filling in acrylic nails, you will need to use “Non Acetone based nail polish remover“, I highly recommend this product which gives me the best result always:

Organic Lavender Nail Polish Remover

Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover

 So we are now ready with the supplies in hand, now its time to start with the process.

Step by Step Guide for Filling Acrylic Nails

Step 1: Remove Old Nail Paint

Start by removing the old nail paint. Use cotton balls soaked in Acetone Free Nail Paint Remover only for this purpose. The reason is that if we use acetone based remover, then acrylics will be damaged and will start getting dissolved along with the nail paint. Since we are not removing the acrylics but only the nail polish so it becomes essential to use acetone free nail polish remover only.

Once you have removed the nail polish off your 10 nails then wash them with water and soak them dry with a soft cotton pad or towel. You want a complete clean surface before we go ahead with filling the gaps. Any leftover dust or bacteria may infect your nail bed later on.

Step 2: Buffing the excess Acrylic

Because of your nail growth, some of the acrylic at bottom edge might have been lifted up. Also there can be rough surface if you got the acrylic damaged due to any accident. Use a rough nail buffer to remove the lifted or excess acrylics.

Warning: Do not use buffer on the natural nail bed on which no acrylics exist. Rough buffer is meant only for cleaning the lifted acrylics and not for natural nail.

Step 3: Using Nail Primer

Now apply a drop of nail primer using a brush on your natural nail (the uncovered portion). For better results, apply 2 to 3 coats of nail primer. Be sure that you let the previous coat to dry before you move on to the next coat.

Warning: Nail primer should be applied on your nail only. Do not apply it on finger or even the cuticles.

Step 4: Prepare & Apply the acrylics

How to fill acrylic nails

Now take a glass dish and prepare the acrylic mixture. For this, you will need acrylic powder and acrylic liquid (monomer) to be mixed together. For detailed guide on how to prepare the acrylic mixture, please refer to an another tutorial of mine.

Refer to step 4 of the below tutorial to learn how to prepare and apply the the best acrylic mixture:

Preparing Acrylic Mixture at Home

Please refer to step 4 only of above guide and not step 5 (as that is for fresh acrylic application).

When you have prepared the perfect bead of acrylic mixture on the brush following the above guide, then apply it on the natural nail first evenly. Apply only the amount required to bring the surface equal to the rest of the acrylic nail. Thereafter apply one or two coats of acrylic mixture on the full nail to get the even surface for the entire nail.

Step 5: Dry, File & Buffer

  • After applying the acrylic, leave your hands still for the next few minutes and let the acrylic dry completely.
  • If you want, then you can file the nail to reduce the overall length as your nail grew over last 2 weeks.
  • Buffer the entire nail using the soft side of the nail buffer to make the overall texture smooth and shiny.
  • Keep filing and buffering until you get the desired shape for the nail.

Step 6: Finally Paint the Nails

Your nails are ready and you can move forward to the paint job. Use a base coat, then the main nail polish and finally the top coat to give your acrylic nails the best look in the town. Please follow the detailed tutorial on how to paint the acrylic nails the best way below:

How to Paint the Acrylic Nails : Best & Easy Method

 Sources used: ehow, wikipedia

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4 thoughts on “How to Fill Acrylic Nails”

  1. On step one you mention soaking the nails- this is unadvisable with acrylics or gels because it adds moisture to the nail and causes the nail to swell, and acrylic to adhere improperly and lift. Many salons are even ditching soaking nails with procedures like a regular manicure because it can cause nail polish to lift and damage to the nails (wet nails are soft and more prone to damage.) Also nail bowls and brushes can be hard to disinfect or expensive to replace (nail brushes) with each client.

  2. Is there a “kit” of some sort that we can purchase all supplies to do this in an emergency (like quarantines because of a pandemic)?

    • I brought Mia Secrets kit, and Melodysusie nail drill. Being that salon is closed had to do something. Hope this helps.


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