Totally Rad: How to Add Text to Your Nails

I was getting my fill of eye candy on Pinterest a few days ago and saw a cute manicure with some script on one nail. I love the idea of adding a textual element to nail art and knew I had to give it a try. It took a while to decide on the right word. I first thought of words like breathe, love, and smile, but I soon realized my nails are not that long! I chose rad because it’s a simple, three-letter word that’s, well… rad! Of course, any word you happen to love will do, as long as it will fit on your nail. Other ideas include wow, pow, bam, art, yes, hot, or kid’s name, nickname, or initials. Once you’ve decided on the text, follow the 5 simple steps in the slideshow to learn how to create your own rad nails.

  • Totally Rad: How to Add Text to Your Nails 1 of 6
  • Paint Your Base Color 2 of 6

    Apply a base coat and 2-3 coats of your base color.

    I used Essie Ridge Filling Base Coat and Wet n Wild Wild Shine Nail Color in French White Crème. Both can be found at Walgreens for $8 and $.99, respectively.

  • Create a Template 3 of 6

    After nails have thoroughly cured, use a pencil to lightly sketch your word on the desired nail.

  • Paint Your Word 4 of 6

    Now you will need to paint over your pencil guide with a contrasting color. You can do this with a nail art brush or a nail art pen, but I'm just using an old paintbrush with a fine point.

    I used Revlon Top Speed in Varnished, available at for $5.54.


  • Paint One Nail With Your Text Color 5 of 6

    For fun, I painted one nail on my left hand with my text color. This is optional but a nice way to complete the look.

  • Finish With a Top Coat 6 of 6

    Protect your work with a top coat and enjoy your fun new nail art!

    Essie Good To Go Top Coat can be purchased at Essie for $8.

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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