Is It Safe To Use Acrylic Paint As Nail Polish?

Nail design trends come and go, but sometimes a simple nail polish is all one needs to feel stunning. However, not all paints and polishes are made alike, and the acrylic paint, for example, that you see at your local Michael's (or other craft store) may or may not be the ones for which you should grab.

This may sound confusing at first because acrylic nails are already a staple in the manicure world. Acrylic nails are different from gel nails but aren't the same as acrylic paint. Rather, acrylic nails refer to nails made from a mixture of powder and liquid monomer that is then shaped onto one's nails (via InStyle). They're excellent at elongating one's nails or changing their shapes completely, and they air dry rather than requiring a UV lamp or other heat source. They can be pricey, but their looks alone are often worth the price tag.

Acrylic paint, on the other hand, refers to actual paint that you can buy at a craft or hardware store. Acrylic paint has been used in popular DIY glass painting videos on TikTok, for example, and it can also be used for easy Halloween decorations that won't hurt your home's aesthetic. Now, it's time to settle once and for all whether this paint can be safely used on your nails.

You must ensure you're using a non-toxic paint for your nails

Using pretty shades of acrylic paints could potentially save you money if you've already got them laying around the house, but one must first investigate whether these paints are safe for our nails or not. Then there's the matter of their pigmentation. Nail polishes aren't meant to last forever, but traditional paints are manufactured to last.

According to Painting With You, many acrylic paints are non-toxic, meaning they won't harm you if put on your nail or skin. If you can find non-toxic varieties, acrylic paints should be fine to wear. In fact, they simply recommend always putting on a coat or two of a clear base before the paint to ensure it comes off easily and doesn't stain your skin or nails. They further note that acrylic paint is cheaper and comes in larger containers than most nail polishes, so you can save money.

If you don't choose a non-toxic variety, you could expose the body to lead, copper, cobalt, manganese, and chromium, among other toxic metals (via PaintTopics). So pay special attention to the paints you're buying if you're using them for this purpose. Moreover, since they're not made for nail use, they may not apply evenly. With some work, they typically smooth out.

So using acrylic paint is perfectly valid, and PaintTopics even notes that this type of paint is great for nail art. Have fun with it (and be safe)!