Can You Mix Acrylic Paint with Nail Polish?

Using acrylic paint on gel nails sounds like an acceptable option. But what about mixing acrylic paint with regular nail polish? Many people want to make custom colors and they try to change the color of nail polish by adding acrylic paint.

So, can you mix acrylic paint with nail polish? Does this experiment result in practical nail polish?

The answer is right below!

Can you mix Acrylic Paint with Nail Polish?

Mixing acrylic paint with nail polish isn’t a good idea. The components in both acrylic paint and nail polish are entirely different from each other and they aren’t compatible. The mixture won’t be homogenous and the paint will coagulate the nail polish. You will waste your money because the nail polish will be ruined.

Can you mix Acrylic Paint with Nail Polish

Today, we will discuss what happens when you mix acrylic paint with different nail polishes such as regular ones and gel ones. We have also discussed ways to make custom nail paints. So, let’s get started!

Is It Safe to Mix Acrylic Paint With Nail Polish?

Many nail technicians have been using acrylic paint for painting nails. One might think to mix acrylic paint with nail polish to change its color. It may seem like a fool-proof idea but that’s not true.

The thing is:

Mixing acrylic paint with nail polish isn’t recommended at all.

Both acrylic paint and nail polish consist of different chemical components. They won’t mix to form a homogeneous mixture.

Chemical Composition of Acrylic PaintChemical Composition of Nail Polish
Polymethylmethacrylate Dibutyl Phthalate
Acrylic AcidFormaldehyde
Polyacrylic AcidMethacrylic Acid
Cadmium PigmentsNitrocellulose 
Heavy MetalsAcetone

As you can see in the above chart, the chemical compositions of both are entirely different.

If you are expecting a beautiful new color with a proper consistency by mixing acrylic paint with nail polish, you are going to be disappointed. The mixture will turn out to be a mess. 

The acrylic paint will cause coagulation of your nail polish. You will end up ruining your nail paint as well as the acrylic paint.

The nail polish will turn into clumps. Both sets of components will probably stay separated and this mixture consists of some toxic substances that can react together. If you apply it on your nails, there is a high chance you will damage them and your skin. There won’t be any way to get your normal nail polish back.

If you want to use acrylic paint on your nails, it is suggested to top it off with clear nail polish. The clear nail polish seals the acrylic paint and makes it long-lasting. Otherwise, the design can get smudged or chipped off.

bottle of nail polishes being poured out to mix

Can You Mix Acrylic Paint with Gel Polish?

Gel polish is famous for its long-lasting and shiny properties. But what if you add acrylic paint to gel polish? Will the properties of gel polish enhance or will it become a disaster just like the mixture with normal nail polish?

The polymers in gel polish and acrylic paint are both different. They won’t be compatible with each other either.

You won’t be able to get a homogenous and practical mixture by adding acrylic paint to gel polish. In fact, your gel polish will be too ruined, as the acrylic paint will coagulate it.

Can You Mix Different Nail Polishes Together?

a mixed colored polish nail set
Mixed-Colored Nail Set done by Jane

If you can’t add acrylic paint to nail polish, what can you do to make a custom color? Well, try mixing different nail polishes. They will mix easily as all the chemical components will be the same.

I have a dedicated article about mixing gel polish colors, so make sure to check that out if it’s what you needed. Below, I’m gonna go over mixing regular nail polish.

Mixing polishes is a great way to make a custom color. Many people add white nail paint to other colors to lighten them. Meanwhile adding black nail polish will darken the colors. This way you can get a gradient manicure without having to buy different shades of the same color.

Here’s how you can mix different nail polishes and achieve a beautiful gradient manicure!

  1. Choose a color you want a gradient of. It can be any color such as purple, pink, blue, red, etc.
  2. Put a drop of your chosen color on a glass plate. 
  3. Add a drop of white nail polish to it and mix them. This way you will achieve a lighter shade of the same color.
  4. Apply your new nail polish shade to your nail.
  5. Add more white to the glass plate and mix the nail polishes. You will get another, lighter than the previous, shade of the chosen color. Repeat this step until you have all five nails painted in a gradient!

Note: You will have to mix and apply the nail polish quickly otherwise it will dry up. As the quantity of the nail polish is less, it will take just a few seconds for it to dry up.

Is Acrylic Paint Harmful For Your Nails?

You should only use non-toxic acrylic paint on your nails. Otherwise, acrylic paint consists of heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, manganese, cobalt, etc. If you apply it to your nails, it can get into your body through your skin and damage different organs. 

Heavy metals interfere with cellular activity such as growth. They disrupt enzymatic activity and bind to macromolecules. They also affect the normal function of organs like the brain, heart, kidney, liver, and glands. 

Toxic acrylic paint is also harmful to your nails and cuticles. Usually, it is mentioned on the packaging whether the paint is toxic or non-toxic. So, always check for such labels.

Moreover, inhaling acrylic paint fumes leads to respiratory problems. Heavy metals can cause irreversible damage and stick to your cells. They disrupt your normal body functions.

Use safe products on your nails only. There are many acrylic paints designed for nails specifically. You can go for those if you want to try using acrylic paint on your nails.

Final Thoughts

Mixing acrylic paint with nail polish isn’t a good idea. Both consist of different molecules that aren’t compatible with each other. If you want a custom nail polish color, you can always mix different colors of nail polish with white or black nail paint. The same components will mix properly and you will achieve beautiful new shades..