Marbling Nails: How to with Videos

by sheilamarie

Marble fingernails are stylish and fun. Here's how you go about marbling your nails.

Come explore with me how to marble your fingernails with some video tutorials and expert instructions.

On this page, you can see the methods and results of several different women who give their advice on how nail marbling is done.

You'll also find links to the supplies you will need should you decide to try nail marbling yourself.

Marbing Nails -- Should I Try It?

Nail Polish Gone Wild

I have to admit upfront -- I've never marbled my nails. I've seen them and find them quite striking on younger women, but I've never been really big on cosmetics for myself.

However, I marble paper and have been fascinated with that process. If marbling works so well on paper, why not on fingernails? 

I thought I'd look into the nail marbling process to see for myself how it is done. Whether I decide to try marbling my own nails or not is still up in the air, but it would be fun and might even shock my granddaughters. Why not? Shake everyone up, at least once a year. We are all entitled to be fancy and stylish once in a while, no?

Come learn about the marbling nails process with me. Maybe we'll try it for the first time together. I promise if I decide to go for it, I'll post pictures of my own marbled nail results. It just might be fun.

Water Marble Nail Art

Simple Directions on How to Marble Your Nails

Helpful Nail Marbling Video

Simple to Follow and Covers All Bases

The above video is a carefully designed step-by-step tutorial on how to marble your nails. Now, I've watched many of these tutorials and have found this particular one simple enough and thorough enough to give you confidence to try it yourself.

There are several key ideas the narrator introduces that make this tutorial an excellent introduction. First she stresses the need to use scotch tape around your nails to minimize clean-up of excess polish that is inevitable, given the process. There's nothing worse when polishing your nails than to have oodles of polish left on your skin after the process is finished. Not only is it bad for your skin, but it's difficult to remove the excess without disturbing the polish you want to remain there on the nail itself.

Second, she emphasizes that you need to use new nail polish as polish that has been sitting around for a while tends to thicken and will not swirl as well on the surface of the water.

Third, she suggests that you begin and end with clear nail polish in order to protect your nails and to give the final product an attractive sheen. She also recommends covering that first application of clear polish with a couple of coats of white polish as a background on which the colors will really stand out.

If you only watch one of the videos I have posted on this wizzle, watch this one.

The Attraction of Marbled Nails

Nail Polish with Swirling Colors

From my experience of marbling paper, I've learned that the marbling process is something you can influence but not totally control. Expert marblers actually do develop their technique to the extent that they know what types of actions produce what kinds of results, but even so, there's a certain amount of chance and variation in the marbling process that can affect the final results. This is part of the attraction of marbling in the first place -- you are working with the interaction of water and paint -- or nail polish -- and you, as the artist, are only one of the participants in this exchange. It almost feels like a dance of forms. That's why people who begin to work in the medium get captivated by it and want to do even more.

Nail polish, however, can be tricky even when put on straight. Whenever I've tried to beautify my nails in that way, I have more often than not ended up with clumps and muck that I end up peeling off. I guess I'm no manicure expert. But I'm still fascinated enough to give it a try.

Nail polish comes in such a wide range of colors these days, that it's no wonder that people have taken to becoming nail artists, using fingernails as a canvas and nail polish as a palette. Lots of different types of nail art have become popular of which marbling is just one. And unlike tattoos, nail art can be changed or even removed without a second thought and certainly without pain. A person can express creativity in appearance and know that even if dozens of their friends choose to do the same thing, none of the results will be identical. This is not true of a tattoo.

Maybe You Only Want to Marble One Nail

Another Marble Nail Art Tutorial

Different Tutorials on Nail Art Give You Different Tips

Nail Polish Recommendations and Techniques

One reason for posting several different tutorials on how to do marble nail art is that people often have slight variations on how they do things, and sometimes you can pick up something from one person that another has left out.

Also these different tutorials use different kinds of polishes and colors, and you can observe how each one looks and can decide for yourself which combinations you like best.

I have tried to include links to some of the nail colors and recommendations that appear in each video to help you in case you want to recreate something you see.

This One Has a Beat with Its Step by Step Instructions

A Different Design on Each Nail

Perfect Water Marble Nail Art

Do You Think You'll Try Marbling Your Nails?

Are You That Adventurous?

No, It's Just Not My Style!
Marie on 06/10/2012

I think it's fun and something I like to see on other people (like tattoos too) but not something I'd bother to do myself because I enjoy being make-up free :)

I'm Going to Give It a Go!
HollieT on 11/19/2012

I think it looks lovely.

Angel on 06/10/2012


One More! Hunger Games Nail Art

Flame Marble Tips

Okay, So I've Ordered My Nail Polish and I'm going to Give It a Try: Guess Which (Main) Color I Plan to Use:

When They're Done I'll Post a Picture

Nail Art Polish Stamp Manicure Image Plates

Set of 25 pieces with Instructions

Marbling Nails: Why Not?

Are You Going to Join Me?

So I've done my research and I think I'm going to give it a go. After all, even if they come out awful, all I'd have to do is swish my nails with a little nail polish remover and start again, right?

But maybe instead of looking awful, they'll look awesome.

I've ordered my supplies and when they come, I'll spend a rainy day swirling nail polish on water and dipping my fingers into it. It should be fun.

When I'm done, I'll post the photos here on this page. And I promise I'll show you the results no matter how messy or sparkling they turn out. I'll probably keep trying until I get it right, so I'll show you my mistakes as well as my successes. That way, we'll see how long it takes to get nails as nice as those in the videos.

Please check back and see my results! And please leave a comment below to let me know whether or not you'll join in on my nail marbling adventure.

So, will you try it?

My First Attempt

My First Mistake
My First Mistake
Quick! Get the nail polish remover!

Well, I tried it.

Not too crazy with the results!

My first piece of advice: Expect to do this process a few times before you get it right.

My second advice: Think carefully about which colors you choose before you commit to them. I was trying to match an outfit I wanted to wear when I chose the purple and pink polish. Unfortunately, the purple came out to look almost black. Really ugly! Next time I will choose colors that are lighter -- maybe two primaries. Or maybe not, but lighter anyway.

Updated: 10/22/2016, sheilamarie
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


sheilamarie on 11/19/2012

Thanks, Hollie! I hope she enjoys the info.

HollieT on 11/19/2012

My daughter is also going to love this, she's always getting her nails done and loves vivid designs and colours. I've bookmarked the page, she'll be so into this. :)

sheilamarie on 06/19/2012

Great, Katie! I hope they take advantage of your willingness, too.

katiem2 on 06/19/2012

This nail marbling is AWESOME, my daughters are going to love this. My youngest daughter has most of the products you've offered here today and let me just say, they are a great value and last, plus the bottles are easy to refill and use again. Hopefully they will need a hand and foot nail model to be their canvas, I'm in!

sheilamarie on 06/10/2012

I hear you, kinworm. I'm sure to shock everyone when I do it!

Marie on 06/10/2012

Fun article, Sheila! I love marbling paper but nails I would see as a waste of time for me. Looks like lots of fun and I think it would be a laugh for you to try it - maybe do it for Halloween or something and surprise your family :)

sheilamarie on 06/10/2012

I'm glad you're joining my experiment, Angel. Sounds like you and your girls are in for some fun.

Angel on 06/10/2012

This is amazing! I will also try this and see how my nails turn out. I think I may turn it into a little project and opportunity to spend time with my girls and do their nails too. Thanks for sharing what you found on this.

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