Nail Stamping, Tips & Tricks

Non-Konad Polishes that work for Nail Stamping

April 18, 2012

When I first starting nail stamping, I only used the Konad Special Polishes. Granted, I started out with only black and white, but they seemed to be the best options. Since then I’ve learned that there are some other polishes that work, too. :)

Metallic Polishes

Chrome or metallic polishes. Most silver polishes like Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Silver Sweep, or China Glaze Millenium are great examples. Also, all the polishes from China Glaze’s Romantique collection from a couple years ago stamp very well. I picked up those from a seller on a while back.

Opaque Quick Drying Polishes

Sometimes regular old polish will work. When I discover that a polish I already own will stamp sufficiently it’s like finding buried treasure! :)

Most of the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polishes will work. There are just a few that I’ve found that do not (Going Grape, for example). And the best part is that the Insta-Dri line of polishes is sold in drug stores and what I lovingly call “The Mother Ship” aka Ulta Beauty. ;)

Sometimes darker Zoya or Essie polishes will work. Really, the best thing to do is to just try polishes out.

Your Online Nail Buddies to the Rescue!

I came across this list not too long ago. A bunch of avid nail stamping fans have been compiling a list of non-Konad polishes that work for stamping. It’s definitely worth checking out, even though it hasn’t been updated for a while. :)

New to stamping? What to get first…

For brand new nail stampers, I would suggest the following polishes:

  • Konad Special Polish White (haven’t found a white as good)
    Konad Special Polish Black (many blacks work, I just use this since I have it)
    Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Silver Sweep
    Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Presto Pink

Those are my most used stamping polishes, although I do have a few more that I love to use.

All in all, it’s really about trying out different polishes to see what works for you. I’ve read on some nail blogs that they’ll find an old dried up polish, try it out with stamping, and it will work beautifully. So don’t be afraid to do some experimenting on your own. :)

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  • Joy Taylor April 18, 2012 at 6:43 am

    I love that you have started this blog, love love love everything, hugs!

    • kristina April 18, 2012 at 7:46 am

      LOL! Thanks, Joy! :)

  • Stephanie April 18, 2012 at 6:51 am

    great post! thanks for the tips on which ones work for stamping.
    I checked with Caitlyn and we actually have quite a bit of Konad plates and polishes. Yay!
    Now I just want to get the acetone pump. Love that thing! :-)

  • Zarna April 18, 2012 at 6:54 am

    I discovered recently (after you recommended chromes & metallics to me) that an old Revlon polish (top speed, chrome punch) works really well, it was a polish I bought about 8 years ago, and is still a really good consistency, but I didn’t wear it much as it was really bad at chipping, so I’m excited to find a good use for it as it was a nice colour

  • Kay April 18, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Yea, yea, yea a Kristina nail polish blog!!!! I love the Sally Hansen Insta-Dry polish for stamping!!!

    I love you!!! :)

  • Sandi Neumann April 18, 2012 at 7:33 am

    thanks for posting this! I need to order some plates and supplies and get to stamping this weekend! thanks again for spoiling me:)

    • Kay April 18, 2012 at 8:01 am

      where do you buy your plates at Sandi?

  • Nichole April 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    What top coat do you use? After nail stamping for the first time a few weekends back, I used an OPI top coat after letting my nails dry for almost 20 minutes and my design smeared! :(

    • kristina April 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      I use Seche Vite Dry Fast Top coat. It’s a thicker formula so the brush won’t drag and smear the stamped design. :)

  • Posh Teal Rays « Carmen's Polished Nails May 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    […] I forget, one of my favourite papercrafting ladies who is also a polishaholic wrote an entry about non-konad polishes that work for nail stamping. Make sure you check it out! She’s also got some other very cool entries. I just love […]

  • Holly Jackson June 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

    All I can say is I love you blog and all your tips! I have ordered the stamping supplies from amazon and am hoping it arrives today. I wouldn’t have know about you unless I heard it on Paperclipping round table’s podcast !

  • Michelley September 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    That’s crazy! I just bought Going Grape because I figured it was a Insta Dri so it should be good and it looked so pretty. Then when I went to use it to paint my daughter’s nails I realized it would totally suck at stamping. Boo. Hahaha. Oh well. It’s still really pretty.

    • kristina September 14, 2012 at 11:39 am

      Yeah, I found that out the hard way, too. It’s too bad. It’s so pretty in the bottle!

  • Carly October 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I’ve had a hard time working with the Sally Hansen Insta-dri polishes for stamping. Granted, I’m brand brand new to stamping so I might be doing it wrong… they seemed to dry too quick, by the time I put the polish on the plate and scraped, the stamper wouldn’t pick up the polish, even when I went as fast as I possibly could… I was assuming the Insta-dri was just setting too fast?

  • Shruti December 15, 2012 at 4:36 am

    Kristina….I,m really inspired ! I love all your cards & now I,v fallen into love with your FAB nail-art ! I actually live in India & I’m a teen girl but, when I came to kin ow about you,I mostly sit online just to visit your websites! U ROCK !! Hugssss……!!!!:);)

  • Ruth December 18, 2012 at 8:34 am

    I have tried almost every polish I have and I have a problem with getting the polish to stay in the etching of the plate, I got a free Hello Kitty plate from Born Pretty, what am I doing wrong?

    • dawn January 6, 2013 at 5:06 am

      @ruth remove the blue film.

    • Melody June 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      If you use pure Acetone not the colored kind and also make sure your nails don’t have any oils or lotions on them. Stamping is a breeze

  • Angela March 5, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Just wondering if you could give a suggestions about what type of clear base coat is a good one? I have had trouble in the past with darker polishes staining my nails. Any suggestions?

  • Serra Clark July 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    great post thank you!

  • Amrita July 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Kristina,
    Love your blog !!! Can you suggest me about black polish other than Konad. I have Revlon one but my stamping doesn’t come out good!!!

  • Amy July 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I have found Wet N Wild’s “Ebony Hates Chris’ to be a good substitute for black, and Milani’s high speed fast dry “white on the spot” for white, and Milani’s “Aqua Brisk” for turquoise. As mentioned, most of the opaque Sally Hansen Insta-Dri’s work well, too.