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Can You Paint Over Dip Powder Nails? [Is It Even Possible?]

The dip powder nail technique is a relatively new manicure method which is fast gaining popularity.  Unlike gel manicures, cured under a UV lamp, the dip method requires you only to dip your nail into a very pigmented powder. The pigment sticks onto your nail plate and lasts for up to three weeks. But, what are the options with this technique?

And more importantly, can you paint over dip powder nails? You can paint over dip powder nails, applying regular nail polish of any color to do so. You will only need to conduct some prep work beforehand, just like with any nail enhancement. This includes light buffing of the surface, followed by cleaning with alcohol or acetone to clean off remaining dust. After that, you can apply a base coat to smooth out the surface, if you choose so. Then, proceed to applying as many coats of the regular nail polish as you want.

The dip powder method is very quick and can be easily done even at home.

You do not need a lamp for UV curing and the result is the same – you will enjoy non-chipping nails for at least three weeks and a perfectly polished and shiny color!  

Let us know take a closer look at exactly what dip powder nails are so that we can understand how to work with them best. We will then be answering the most commonly related questions on the topic like, what happens if you were to paint over dip nows and a step by step tutorial of how to do this.

So, be sure to keep on reading until the end to get all the information you need!

What Are Dip Powder Nails?

Dip powder is a finely-milled, much pigmented powder, which leaves an even layer of color with every dip your nail takes.

Dip powder nails have been on the rise for the last few years. Even so, they are still not as popular as gel nails or acrylics. Seems like clients are starting just now to familiarize themselves with the technique!

  1. The first step your manicurist will take is to file your nails in the desired shape and remove the natural shine off the surface.  Then, a special clear base nail polish is applied. A small gap between the cuticles and the nail base is left free.
  2. After that, you dip your entire nail surface – to the edge where the base finishes-in a colored powder. The process is repeated several times until the desired color saturation is achieved.
  3. Finally, a sealer is applied. It protects the color and prevents it from chipping. The sealer is left to air dry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Your technician does the final touches and last shapings.

Dip powder nails usually last 21 days. However, if you take good care of your nails, such as moisturizing and preventing them from hitting hard surfaces, your manicure may last up to 4 weeks.  

This technique is good for you and your nails for several reasons. The manicure is long-lasting, takes less time to make, compared to gel or acrylics, and does not require any UV curing.

The powder does not damage your natural nail.

There are options on the market that are rich in minerals, vitamins and calcium, all healthy for your nails. Also, the method works on both natural and artificial nails.

Can You Put Regular Nail Polish Over Dip Powder Nails?

Yes, you can. You can safely and effectively apply any color of regular nail polish on your dipped nails just like on any other artificial nail enhancement.

For some clients, looking at the same color for a whole month may turn boring.

Also, the color you had chosen at the salon may not have turned as expected and you wish to change it.

Or you need a specific color for a special occasion. Luckily, it is very easy to apply regular nail polish over dip powder nails. We will be looking at how to do so in the next few sections so keep on reading!

What Happens If You Paint Over Dip Nails?

If done correctly, nothing damaging should happen if you paint over your dip powder nails. As long as you do the right prep work you will enjoy a manicure with a brand new color!  

Here are a couple of things to consider before moving towards painting:

1. Never use acetone directly.

Do not attempt to remove the colored dip powder, or another regular nail polish you have already applied, with acetone.

The chemical will irreversibly damage the outer layer of your dipped nails, will make them sticky and application of a new color will be impossible.

2. Opt for an acetone-free remover.

Acetone-free remover, on the other hand, will not impose any damages to your dipped nails. The powder remains perfectly untouched. 

The difference between acetone and acetone – free removers is in the chemicals that are contained in each.

Isopropyl alcohol contained in acetone is the actual substance that damages the powder. The acetone-free remover does not contain such type of alcohol.

The best acetone free nail remover that I routinely purchase is this one from Amazon. It has over 2000 positive reviews, smells amazing and works like a charm!

This is great, because it will not damage your powder dipped nails, will not dry your cuticles and will not compromise the nail surface in any way.

How Do You Apply Nail Polish Over Dip Powder?

Before you proceed, you need to do some preparation work with a couple of materials.

If the prep work is done properly, you will not encounter any problems applying a new color.

What you will need:

  • Nail file(s);
  • Soft brush;
  • Regular nail polish;
  • Alcohol or acetone;
  • Base coat;
  • Top coat;

Buff your nails.

Start by buffing your nails. That means you have to remove the first layer of your dipped nails, which will remove the color. 

You may need two types of files to buff – one with a rougher surface to begin with and another with a softer touch to remove any smaller details later on.

Start with the rougher one and file off the very first layer.

Keep going until you see the color being removed. Switch to the gentler one to finish off removing any remaining color.


After buffing, clean any dust leftovers from the nail surface and your cuticles.

Take the brush and swipe around. Whatever stays, remove it with acetone or alcohol.

As already explained above, you need to be extra careful when using acetone.

It is better to use it only to clear up your cuticles.

Never wipe out the surface of your dip powder nails directly with acetone. This will irreversibly damage the artificial enhancement.

Apply base coat.

Application of a base coat is optional. It is advisable to do so, in order to smooth out the nail surface.

Thus, painting over with the regular nail polish will be much easier.

My personal favorite that I get from Amazon is the Kiera Sky Essential Base Its a best seller in its category.

Apply Your Regular Nail Polish.

After completing the first three steps, you are all set to apply the new color!

Paint as many layers as you wish, until you reach satisfactory color saturation.

Apply Top Coat

Finally, if you choose to, apply a finishing top coat.

It will help against cracking and the color will remain longer.


Dip powder nails are a method for a long-lasting manicure that has been around for the last few years.

However, it is only now that it is starting to be more noticed.

Most clients still prefer more traditional options such as gel nails or acrylics.

The dip powder technique, however, provides just that same resilience and shine to your manicure without UV curing or the aggressive application of acrylics.

A manicure made this way lasts between 3 to 4 weeks.

In the meantime, some clients may get bored with the color and wish to change it.

The good news is, there is absolutely no problem painting dip powder nails with a regular nail polish.

You only have to do a bit of prep work: buff your nails and properly remove the color; shape into the desired way; apply base coat (optional but still recommendable) and then paint over with the regular nail polish.

Apply as many layers as you wish until you reach a bright and saturated color. Finish off with a top coat.

Remember never to use nail polish remover that contains acetone – it will seriously damage the powder, make it sticky and you will not be able to paint over it with a regular nail polish at all.

Instead, you will have to go for a new set. The only way you can use acetone is clean any remaining powder off your cuticles after buffing.

Instead, you can always opt for acetone-free remover.

It does not contain isopropyl alcohol (the substance that destroys the powder). It will take some time before the regular nail polish is removed but you will not risk any damages.

Dip powder nails are a great option for a long-lasting and sturdy manicure. It is very fast and easy to do and you can even do it yourself at home!

And if you are looking for my recommended brand, look no further than Dipwell.

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