Acrylic nails that have grown out can look really untidy. But getting an acrylic nail fill-in from a nail salon can be costly both in time and money.
So in this article, I am gonna guide you through the different methods you can use to DIY Fill in or Refill your acrylic nails at home.
1- How to Fill in Acrylic Nails Using Acrylic Powder
You shouldn’t be intimidated to use acrylic liquid and powder. It’s easier than you think to use and is the best way to fill in your acrylic nails.
- The first thing that you need to do is remove any nail polish on the nails – you can use either a nail file or a non-acetone nail polish remover.
- Next, file your acrylic nails to reduce the length and to shape the nails to your liking – you can use a 100 grit nail file or an E-File.
- Then you need to file down and remove the areas on your acrylic that is lifting – look for spots that are white, flaky and peeling.
- Once your nails are filed you then need to push back and align your cuticles.
- Next, clean your nails with either rubbing alcohol or acetone and then apply a nail primer.
- You only need to apply the primer to the nail areas that are exposed not on the acrylic.
- Next, you need to apply the acrylic mixture – take your brush and dip it into the acrylic liquid and then dip the wet brush into the acrylic powder to make a bead.
- Then apply the bead into the gaps on your nails and then sculpt it out.
- Once the acrylic has dried you can buff them out using a 180 grit file to make them nice and smooth.
- Finally, you can apply nail polish onto your nails.
You can check out the video below for a step by step guide
Video of How to Do an Acrylic Fill In
Tips To Fill In Acrylic Nails
- Practice is key – try making some beads and applying it on fake nails before trying them out on your nails.
- Never use acetone to remove the nail polish the acetone will weaken the acrylic nails, instead use non-acetone remover or a nail file.
- Invest in an E-Nail File to make you work easier.
Tools Needed When Doing Acrylic Fills
1- Acrylic Liquid and Powder – Kiss has a really affordable yet effective acrylic set. That is ideal for a beginner.
This set comes with an acrylic liquid, powder, a brush, nail tips, and even a superglue.
2- Nail File – For a nail file you can use either a manual one or an E-File. If you are going for a manual one I recommend a 100/180 grit file.
The 100 grit is used to file away the acrylic and the 180 grit to smooth it when the acrylic has hardened.
Now if you want to make your work easier I highly recommend investing in an E-File.
3- Nail Primer – primers are used to reduce lifting they work by firmly bonding the acrylic to your natural nails.
I highly recommend Young Nails Primer, it is by far the most effective nail primer I have ever used.
How to Fill In Acrylic Nails Without Acrylic
Using acrylic is the most durable way to fill in your acrylic nails but they are other methods that you can use.
There are 3 main ways you can fill in acrylic nails without using acrylic, these are:
- Dip Powder
- Gel Nail Polish or
- Regular Nail Polish
2- Use Polygel
Polygel is a relatively new nail product that makes really nice and durable manicures. And it can be used as an alternative to fill in your acrylic nails.
Now, in my opinion, Polygel is easier to work with especially if you are a novice. And at the same time, it will still give your nails a nice smooth look just like acrylic would.
How to Use Polygel to Fill in Acrylic Nails
- The first thing that you need to do is prep your nails.
- Start by removing any nail polish, pushing back your cuticles and then filing away any lifting and excess length on the acrylic.
- Next, clean your nails by wiping them with either rubbing alcohol or acetone
- And then apply a coat of dehydrator and then a nail primer.
- Once your nails are prepped squeeze out the Polygel from the bottle and apply it to the gaps in your nails
- Then slowly apply more of the Polygel to cover the rest of your acrylic and sculpt the Polygel to your liking.
- Now, once your nails look good you can cure it with a UV Led Lamp for 60 seconds.
- Finally, file your nails to your liking and then you can proceed to apply your nail polish.
Video of How to Use Polygel to Fill Acrylic Nails
Pros of Using Polygel as an Infill for Acrylic Fills
The main advantage that Polygel has is that it is easier to work with – This is because:
- Polygel comes premade so you won’t have to get the right liquid to powder ratio like when working with acrylic.
- It only cures under a UV Led Lamp so you can take your time to sculpt out the nails.
Cons of Using Polygel as an Infill for Acrylic Fills
Acrylic is heavier than Polygel. And what this means is that the tips of the nails which are made mostly of acrylic will have more weight than the back of the nails which will cause an imbalance.
This uneven weight distribution can lead to lifting since the tips of the nails are heavier.
Recommend Brand Of Polygel For Acrylic Fills
Makartt has a really good clear Polygel that can be used to fill in your acrylic nails. You can click here to see the current price for one on Amazon.
Now if you don’t have a UV Led Lamp I recommend getting a 48watt lamp that will cure your Polygel in 60 seconds.
3- Use Dip Powder to Refill or Fill in Acrylic Nails
Dip Powder is a manicure system that uses highly pigmented powder which is very similar to acrylic but it doesn’t use the acrylic liquid. Instead, Dip Powder uses a base also known as a bonder to hold the powder in place and a sealant to cure and harden.
Now Dip Powder can also be used as an alternative fill-in for acrylic nails. But just like Polygel, it won’t be as durable as using acrylic since dip powder is even lighter and will lead to a weight imbalance which can lead to lifting.
How to Use Dip Powder to Fill in Acrylic Nails
- The first thing that you need to do is remove any nail polish on the nails you can file it off or use a non-acetone nail polish remover
- Secondly you need to prep your nails by pushing back the cuticles and filing away any lifting and the excess length on the acrylic.
- Then you need to clean your nails by wiping them with acetone or rubbing alcohol.
- Next, apply your dehydrator and nail primer to the part of the nails that are exposed
- And then you can apply a coat of the dip base at the gap of the nails and then dip into the dip powder.
- I recommend doing this so that the gap will get more of the dip powder and thus the nail will be more even
- Now you can apply the dip base over the entire nail and then dip your nails into the dip powder
- You can apply as many coating of the dip powder till you reach a opacity that you are ok with.
- Once your nails look good you can apply a coat of the dip activator also known as a sealant and then buff your nails with a fine grit nail file.
- Finally, you can apply a top coat or if you didn’t use a colored dip powder you can finish by applying a nail polish and then a top coat.
Video Of How to Use Dip Powder as a Fill in For Acrylic Nails
Recommended Dip Powder Kit
4- Use Gel Polish to Refill Acrylic Nails
Some brands of Gel Polish can be used to fill in acrylic nails since they tend to be thicker than regular nail polish and can fill the growth gap.
But Gel polish won’t be as durable and effective as Polygel or Dip Powder but it will fill the gap and make your acrylic nails look better.
Just file off the acrylic as needed and then apply as many coats of gel polish as needed to make your acrylic nails look smooth and normal again.
5- Use Nail Polish to Fill in Acrylic Nails
Regular nail polish can be used to temporarily hide and cover up the growth gap on your acrylic nails but it won’t work as a very good fill-in.
This is because nail polish’s thin consistency makes it terrible as a fill-in, instead, it can just provide a superficial cover-up.
Additionally, regular nail polish isn’t very durable and won’t last very long thus won’t help to prevent your acrylic nails from lifting.
Other Resources & Articles on Acrylic Application