Nail Polish?
January 21, 2012 10:02 AM   Subscribe

What's the best non-nail-stamping nail polish to use for stamping nails?

I just bought a nail stamping kit, which I'm pretty excited about! But I've realized the nail polish I own isn't the right kind for it: I need something thicker with a higher viscosity, apparently (I looked it up). So I want to pick up something that will work better when I go to work tonight. I work at Walgreens, which has a pretty large selection of nail polish but doesn't carry anything specifically for nail stamping.

Brands we carry: Lots of Sally Henson, Wet n Wild, Sinful Colors, Revlon, Rimmel, Essie, Maybeline, and Milani. (I know we carry those; might have some other brands I'm not remembering, so if you think of some other semi-common brand that's cool too.)

I could buy the special stuff somewhere else, but I get a discount at Walgreens and it's way more convenient, so if there's anything that will work I'd prefer it.
posted by kittenmarlowe to Shopping (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I have a nail stamping kit and I found China Glaze worked better than the stuff that came with the kit and that isn't thick at all, in fact I find thinner polishes work better for the finer detail stamps. I think being able to work quickly is more important than the specific polish you use.
posted by missmagenta at 10:18 AM on January 21, 2012

This website shows the difference between one of the major stamping brands and wet n wild.
posted by royalsong at 10:20 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here's a great list of regular polishes that work well for stamping. At Walgreens you should definitely be able to get the Wet & Wild black creme, which a lot of people use successfully.

As stated upthread, working quickly is also key.

BTW if your kit came with a steel scraper, you may find that using an old plastic gift card as a scraper, or a plastic scraper (obtainable online) may work better when you are just beginning.

Enjoy your new kit!
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 10:28 AM on January 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

The spreadsheet created by the owner of the blog that royalsong linked to above is pretty informative! (I believe the K is for Konad in the opacity column)
posted by ArgyleMarionette at 11:39 AM on January 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I can't do much more in the line of specific nail polishes than those above me (although I was suprised that there weren't too many Sinful Colors polishes listed, most of them are just the right consistency and they're cheap and plentiful). I can add, though, that metallic polishes are often said to work better- not glitter, but anything with a metallic-y sheen- and I've definitely found that to be true. Metallic color stamped onto another metallic/solid always works better than a solid stamped onto a metallic/solid.
posted by kro at 1:51 PM on January 21, 2012

Yeah, the thick nail polish that never dries means you don't have to work as quickly, but if you can get the hang of stamping with normal nail polish, then just use anything that's opaque in one coat. The more opaque, the better - that's why the WnW black cream is so great. So, look for two things - dries slowly, and opacity. Happy stamping!
posted by R a c h e l at 1:51 PM on January 21, 2012

Have you tried a bunch of things that you already own? What kind of problems were you having? Pretty much every polish has worked for me so far, with the exception of sheer polishes (which still work, except you can't really see them). Every other time I had a problem, it turned out to be user error.

Make sure you remove the protective plastic film from your metal image sheets (sometimes it is blue and obvious, other times it is clear and not so obvious).

You need to press hard to get good results. That means the image plate needs to be on a flat surface that you can put weight on. You need to scrape firmly to get a clean scrape, press as hard as you possibly can when you roll the stamp across in order to pick up the whole image, and then press hard again when you roll it onto your nail.
posted by anaelith at 1:35 AM on January 22, 2012

Thanks for the help everybody! I went with the wet and wild black creme and some sally henson white on, and it's working much better than what I was using before! Still need to refine my technique a bit.
posted by kittenmarlowe at 8:43 AM on January 22, 2012

I recently joined a facebook stamping group Adventures in Stamping and found the following advice in their 'learn from our mistakes' doc to be really helpful especially the bit about pressing lightly, I got much better results when I made an effort to use a light touch.

Push the stamp directly down onto the image plate in order to pick up the image, do not roll it across, as this can warp the image.

Don't press extremely hard onto the plate to pick up the image, because this can cause the image to be warped and mush all the polish out of the image.

I suggest to not even think very hard about getting the image off of the plate, just touch the stamper down lightly, and pick up the image and it should pick up.

Do not press down to hard on the image or on the nail, this will smudge the image and the lines will not come out very crisp.

Do however roll the image across your nail in order to put the stamp on your nail.

posted by Ness at 8:42 AM on January 23, 2012

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