How to Remove Press on Nails


We’d love to nail our at-home manicures every time but try as we might sometimes DIY polish and nail art gets the best of us. That’s where press-on nails come in ­– and they’re an ultimate manicure hack! Press-on nails are fake nails that mimic acrylic nails and are glued to your natural nail with temporary adhesive. They are customizable, easy, and cheaper than acrylics or gels — plus you don’t need to squeeze an appointment at the nail salon into your already busy life. You might be wondering if press-on nails are as easy as they seem— and the answer is a resounding yes! We’re here to teach you how nail this part of your beauty routine every time. Read on to find out how to apply and remove press-on nails for your easiest and most successful at-home manicure ever. 


How to Apply Press-On Nails

Press-on nails are easy to apply whether you’re a beauty novice or expert. A few simple steps and about ten minutes are all you need to complete your new nail look. Here’s what to do:


  1. Remove any remaining nail polish or adhesive. It’s important to start with clean, bare nails.
  2. File and buff the nails, then push the cuticle back with a manicure stick.
  3. Wipe an alcohol pad over your nails to remove excess dirt or oil.
  4. One nail at a time, apply a thin, even layer of glue making sure to cover the whole nail.
  5. Align the press-on nail with cuticle and apply at a downward angle. Press down firmly and hold for 5 seconds.
  6. Repeat for the rest of your nails.


How to Choose the Right Press On Nails

Most press-on nail kits come with all the tools you need to create your own manicure at home, so choosing the right nail kit comes down to the nail shape and nail art that suits your personal style. Some people choose a kit with vibrant nail art to stand out while others prefer a more subtle kit that works with their everyday style. For a classy and understated look, we love Pink Tips. If you’re going to a special event or want a bolder statement manicure, Wild Ones will make sure all eyes are on you — and your nails.


How Long Do Press-On Nails Last

When you want to refresh your nail game, the convenience of a DIY press-on nail kit at home can’t be beaten— but you might be wondering if giving up the nail salon also means giving up the salon quality and longevity. The answer is heck no! Press-on nails usually last two to three weeks before they need to be replaced — the same amount of time a gel manicure and acrylics last. That means there’s no sacrificing quality or aesthetics for convenience. The thing that gives press-on nails a leg… or a finger up is they’re reusable! This makes them not only a time saver but a more budget-friendly option than the nail salon.


How to Remove Press-On Nails

If you’re wondering how to take off press-on nails, it’s as easy as it is to apply them — but it does require you to take your time and gentle. Press-on nails are completely safe, but removal does require a bit of patience and TLC due to the adhesive. You want to avoid rips or damage to your natural nails. Have no fear, just follow the steps below and move slowly.


  1. Soak your hands in warm soapy water for 15 minutes or acetone-based nail polish remover for 5 minutes to loosen the nail glue.
  2. Apply cuticle oil — or any oil you have on hand just under the press-on nails and let the oil sink in for a few minutes. This loosens the press-ons and moisturizes your real nails.
  3. Grab a manicure stick and gently run it around the edges of the nail in a gentle rocking motion. Slowly work around the nail to lift the press-on nails from the nail beds
  4. Remove any leftover adhesive.
  5. File, buff, and push back your cuticles back on your natural nails. Take a break from press-on nails or pick out your next nail kit!


And just like that you have the perfect, easy guide to remove press-on nails. If you’re ready to give press-on nails a try, PaintLab’s sets include 24 gel-like nails with customizable sizing that makes them comfortable to wear and easy to reuse! The nail kits come in a variety of shapes and nail art with fun, vibrant color schemes and designs that range from sassy to sophisticated. Whatever style nail art you’re looking for, PaintLab has the press-on nails that will make your hands fresh, fabulous, and flawless.


Next: Why Nail Wraps Are the Perfect Quick Accessory