Nail Stamping, Tips & Tricks, Video

How To: Nail Stamping

February 5, 2012

Hi all! I’ve had a lot of questions about Konad nail stamping, so I thought I’d make a video sharing what I’ve learned over the last couple months.

Konad nail stamping is what allows me to get super detailed images and patterns on my fingernails. It looks a bit intimidating at first, but it’s actually super easy. Like these examples…

To get started with Konad, you really only need 3 products: the stamper (I suggest the double-ended stamper), an image plate ($4-7 online), and the Konad Special Nail Polish (or a metallic/chrome nail polish–just experiment). Everything else I mention in the video is in addition to those three things, but can be swapped out with whatever you have on hand.

You can get all three products from websites that sell Konad. I ordered from and they had great customer service. They even offer a kit–which is what I ended up doing–where you get three polishes, the stamper, a scraper, 5 image plates of your choice, and the plate holder. I don’t even use the plate holder or scraper, so I don’t know that I would recommend those products, but they did come in the kit. You can order the same products from, although I don’t think they have them in a kit like that.

OR, you can go to Amazon and find the same products for less. :) Here’s a link to some over at Amazon. I’ve since ordered some of the image plates from Amazon sellers and it was a great experience. Less expensive for the polish and image plates. An all around good experience. :)

Also at Amazon, you can get the knock-off brand image plates. These “fake” Konad plates are sold under a few different names, but the ones I bought are from Bundle Monster. 21 image plates for $17.95! Hello?! Such a good deal. You can get them here. I’ve used them and the results are very similar to the Konad brand plates. The full pattern images tend to be a bit smaller (won’t fit on longer nails or large nail beds), the edges are sharp (watch your fingers!), and there is no paper backing on the pates, but other than that, they are awesome!

EDITED TO ADD: Bundle Monster now has a second set of plate which have paper on the back and larger designs for full nail stamping. Check them out HERE.

NOTE: In the video, the blue nail polish I used as a base color is Slushied from the Sephora by OPI Glee mini kit. :)

Anyhow, enjoy!

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  • Beth R April 20, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Thank You ! I just asked a question on one of your other posts , looking for this exact info.
    Daughter is excited to get started, love this new blog.

  • howdyheidi April 25, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    There is a youtube video out there using the nail polish stampers to stamp on brads for paper crafting. I got the kit to try, but I need a different polish, I think, for the stamped part….it was too light…

    It’s funny that I first heard about nail stamping for brads, not nails. I’m gonna try it though…

  • Allison April 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Kristina!!! How are you?? It’s been a LONG time! I just found your new nail blog and I LOVE it! I’ve been stamping my nails for awhile now… so fun! But… Do you have any tips on stamping your thumb? I can’t get the whole stamp on my thumb (or big toe) and i don’t know of a good way to match up the stamps.

    • kristina May 12, 2012 at 9:48 am

      I generally stamp a smaller image, or even do the full patterns at a diagonal. Make it look purposeful. :)

  • Bonnie S April 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    You are amazing. Even though my nails don’t grow very long, I’d like them to look nice. You’ve given me hope!

  • Jessica April 27, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Kristina. I’ve been a big fan of your card making blog for say three years now (!!!) I just discovered your new nail painting/stamping blog and have to say – love it!

    I think I may have a new hobby :D

    Thanks so much for the great tutorial – you’re awesome!

  • Nancy Hoetker May 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Kristina,
    I’ve been following your papercrafting blog for several years now, and recently found this one. I’ve tried the nail stamping a couple of times now, most recently with the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in 230 Silver Sweep over a deep purple metallic. It looked great until I put the Seche Vite top coat on…then the purple “bled” through on top of the silver. Did I do something wrong?

    • kristina May 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      I have noticed that with silver stamping in particular that sometimes the base color comes through. For example, I stamped Silver Sweet over green polish and then the silver looked more gold and yellow than silver. You might try a different topcoat. Or perhaps maybe waiting a little bit longer before applying the topcoat?

      • Nancy Hoetker June 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm

        What about a layer of clear or topcoat before stamping the silver…then the final topcoat?

        • Twinkler June 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm

          a layer of tc before stamping is always good because you can remove the stamping without destroying the basecolor if you don’t like it. ;)

          • kristina June 24, 2012 at 10:40 am

            I generally don’t do this because it makes the polish on my nail pretty thick and more prone to peel off in large chunks. Also, if you use Seche Vite for both the pre-stamping top coat and the finished manicure top coat, there is a lot of shrinkage. I always see the very tip of my nails when I do that. However, perhaps other combinations of top coats would work better? Definitely something to explore. :)

  • Twinkler June 17, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    sorry, but oh wow, what a waste of polish and q-tips. Oo otherwise nice stamping. ;)

    • margaret ann chamblee November 7, 2013 at 5:02 am

      fyi – not really. i use one-two q-tips, and only enough polish for each nail that i’d already be using.

  • Betsye Rose June 28, 2012 at 10:07 am

    wow! I came over here after listening to PRT, and have now spent too much time discovering this! I’ve GOT to try it. I love to stamp, so it shouldn’t be that hard, right?

    f.y.i. I called Sally’s and they do have a nail stamping kit for $10. I did a little research on it, and it looks like it would be a good deal for experimenting, from what others have posted online, they include konad plates in the kit.

  • Taylor July 5, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Hi! Great video! I’ve been wondering about stamping for so long and this was so helpful! I did have one question though about the paper on the back of the plates. With all the use of the polish remover and multiple uses (of possibly different colors!) does that paper wear out or get crappy after a while or has it held up pretty well?
    Thanks again for the great nails! :)

    • kristina July 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Mine seems to be fine. The paper is coated so it doesn’t absorbs the polish or remover.

  • Perla July 7, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Hi Kristina,
    I was sooo excited to get my stamping kit yesterday and when I started stamping I couldn’t get the color to transfer from the plate to the aplicator :(

    • Jen July 15, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Perlal, try running a nail buffer or smoother nail file over the stamper and then cleaning with polish remover. This seems to help the polish stick on some stampers. :)

      • Lainie September 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        Jen, thanks for the tip! My stamper is actually working now! :)

  • Carol August 19, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    do you remove the paper backing from the new nail plates?

    • kristina August 20, 2012 at 6:35 am

      No, the paper backing makes the plates less sharp on the edges. You only want to remove the plastic film on the top of the plate.

  • Laura Bloomfield August 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm


    I just got a bunch of stamping stuff yesterday for my birthday (ooooh Happy Birthday to me!!!) and I LOOOVED it!! Thank you so much for the tutorial. I did have trouble with a few of the designs, though. It seemed like the designs with more details wouldn’t transfer to my stamp, like on plate M63, the only design that transfers is the houndstooth design, and I’m having a hard time getting the Zebra and cross hatch from M57. Any suggestions?

    PS – I’m so glad that my sister, Kelly (your long ago roomate) clued me in on your blog and thus stamping. Seriously so cute!!!

    • April February 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      Haha it just so happens that I am trying to use plate m63 and can’t get the patterns to transfer onto the stamp! I was getting frustrated because I thought I was doing something wrong or that the black special polish was bad but then I read your comment and it made me feel better lol. Did you ever figure out how to get these patterns to transfer? I love this plate but am about to give up on it! {=0)

      • kristina February 14, 2013 at 12:37 pm

        Try using a credit card or old gift card as a scraper instead of the Konad scraper. Maybe that will help? Also, be sure to use 100% acetone remover to clean the stamper, scraper, and plate. If you use a remover with moisturizers in it, it won’t work. Hope that helps!

  • Sherry September 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Can you stamp over Gelish Nails?

    • kristina September 14, 2012 at 11:39 am

      Yes. I’ve done that for a friend. The best part is that if you mess up, or you just want to change the design, you can remove it with non-acetone remover. Then you can stamp again. :)

  • Christy October 2, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Hi, I just love this. It looks sooo cute! I have bought two different stamping sets and they don’t work. They just won’t transfer from the metal plate to the rubber stamp? Any advice? What brand do you recommend?

  • Julie December 3, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Hi There…I was just wondering if you can do the konad stamping after gelish top coat once you wiped the stickiness off …then do another gelish top it off coat on top to seal it? THanks, Julie

    • kristina March 6, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Yes, you can!

  • lindsay December 18, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I have a question about which nail polish you recomend for stamping? Most of the polish I have is sally hansen, and its really thin polish. When I stamp with it I get very light transparent images that aren’t true in colour….any recommendations?

    • kristina March 6, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Check out my post about non-Konad nail polishes that working with stamping.

  • nail designs February 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Thanks for supplying this information.

  • Lynn February 12, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Very Helpful!! Thank you!!

  • Renee March 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    Love your video! I get my nails done at a salon & do the gel polish. I was wondering if I could do this after I get my gel polish nails, will it still work?

    • kristina March 6, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Yes. Just use an acetone-free polish remover to remove it later.

  • Luanne March 2, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Thanks for the video! I’ve been wanting to try this and you make it seem simple! Just one question though…how do you make sure the stamp is turned in the right direction when stamping so all your nails are uniform? Especially when changing the stamper from one hand to the other?

    • kristina March 6, 2013 at 7:45 am

      A quick glance at the image on the stamper should solve that issue. :)

  • RobertsMom March 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Great video. Very informative. Thanks for posting it

  • Tara (aka Craftilicious) March 27, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I’ve just bought a plate and had a go after seeing your video (using pearl black polish from konad) but when i put the top coat on the black streaked – any tips for where I went wrong?

    • Rema April 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Use allot of top coat & do not drag it more than once :)

  • Rema April 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    It is still not clear from any web site I have read ! After I have just polished my clients nails how long do I wait till I can stamp them ? Thanks

    • kristina April 10, 2013 at 11:48 am

      It has to be completely dry.

  • Alisha April 24, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I am trying to find the Konad BM 201 plate, and can not figure out where to buy it, any suggestions?

  • Annie May 8, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Really helpful tips, especially using Q-tips and the credit card as a scraper! (I was disappointed my plates were getting scratched!) The Q-tip really cleans the plate so much better than cotton pads/balls that I was using, and causes less mess to your hands / manicure. Also really glad I discovered that Sally Hansen Insta-Dry polishes (the ones with a sticker on top in particular) work great as stamping polishes! Good to have something that is more readily available than Konad.

  • Robin May 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Bought everything needed & was excited to start stamping. Guess my big mistake was to sit in the garage with the wind blowing. Just couldn’t get this to work for me. Looked so easy & i waisted half a day trying. Guess i will need to stay inside next time i try??

  • Kathy July 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    I just started stamping this week and I’m finding that the image does not cover my entire nail. Do I just have unusually large nails? The only nail that is completely covered by the image is my pinky. Your video shows the image covering your nail completely with a lot going over onto your skin. I wonder if my images are smaller than normal. I bought a kit at Sally’s Beauty Supply and it’s by Salon Express that came with a few plates.

    • kristina October 23, 2013 at 12:20 am

      Most likely the images are smaller. I sometimes have trouble getting the image to cover my thumbnails, though. The rest of the nails aren’t too big.

  • Jaz August 9, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    What gold stmaping color did you use?

    • margaret ann chamblee November 7, 2013 at 5:06 am

      hi – i stamp with gold a lot and use two polishes: the sally hansen complete manicure polish in “gilty pleasures” and another SH Insta Dry gold. they both work great.

  • Pame November 19, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I’m really frustrated cause I bought the whole set, I was sooo excited to design and stamp a lot of things on my nails, but my stamper isn’t working. I mean, I press it on to the stamp and the image doesn’t print :(
    I have stamps from the brand “gals” (
    and Konad special polish.. I don’t know why it won’t print the image on the stamps :(
    What do you think I’m doing wrong? I thought maybe my nail polish remover is the problem.. I’ve cleaned my stamper with that.. have i ruined it?
    Hope you answer back, when I see you do it, it just looks sooo easy!

  • Karen L K March 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Great video! I had not even heard of this before. I don’t really paint my nails but I still find it interesting.