Nail Stamping Pros and Cons

Here at Nail Art For Beginners we have a somewhat love/hate relationship with nail stamping. When it turns out good, it’s really good. But when it turns out bad, it is just frustrating.

If you are new to nail stamping, it consists of 4 things:

  • Image Plate
  • Rubber Stamper
  • Polish Scraper
  • Nail Polish

You simply choose the image you want, put a small amount of nail polish on it, use the scraper to move across the image to “smooth it out,” pick the image up with the stamp, stamp on the nail.

Here are some of our favorite (and not so favorite) things with nail stamping:


  • Allows for gorgeous, intricate designs
  • Relatively easy to do (once you get the hang of it)
  • Can be inexpensive (see con below)
  • Virtually every design you can think of can be found
  • Dries instantly
  • Allows for easy cleanup around nails


  • Takes some practice
  • Gets expensive when you end up wanting to order 100 plates
  • Cleanup of stamp set can get annoying
  • Stamping more than one finger ends up being an annoying clean up process
  • Not all polish works well as a “stamp” color

Now, lets touch on a few of these pros and cons.

Nail stamping takes some practice, but once you have it down, you are set.

We would highly suggest practicing on naked nails, because there is no point in ruining a new polish job 😉

Nail Art And Things has done an awesome blog post on some tips and tricks of nail stamping.

Once you really figure out nail stamping, the results are to die for! You will find you get a lot of compliments on your nails. We LOVE the results and it allows for so much creativity.

As you can see from our photo though, we are still working on perfecting our technique.  On the middle finger you can see that we didn’t quite get the stamp to the tip of the nail.

Nail Stamping

Can be inexpensive or expensive.

When nail stamping first came out, Konad was the go-to for stamping tools. However, they were relatively expensive (and still are). They definitely make some of the best plates we have ever stamped with though.

Since then, many companies have come out with some awesome, inexpensive plates and kits that work just as well. We have seen kits starting at $3; these are great if you want to get your feet wet.

Once you do get your feet wet, it is easy to want to dive right in and order more plates! This is when your nail stamping can get expensive. Not to mention, if you order the special stamping polish, it really starts to add up.

Unlimited designs

If you can think of a design, it is safe to say there is probably a stamp that exists out there.  The variety is virtually unlimited.  You can find stamps for every season, holiday, animal, pattern, etc.

Not all polish works well as a stamp color

It takes some patience, and trial and error to figure out what polishes work best as stamping colors. Generally, thicker polishes work best. Konad does make special stamping polishes, and they work wonders. Again, if you want more than just black and white, it gets expensive.

Stamping more than one nail ends up being a process

If you read Nail Art and Things post I linked to above (if not, here it is again), you will see that every time you stamp a nail, you have to clean up the plate, stamper, and scraper after. This gets especially frustrating when you want to do the same design on all of your nails.

One of our solutions for this? Have more than one nail stamper on hand. This way, you only have to clean up the plate and scraper.

What do you love (or hate) about nail stamping? We would love to hear in the comments below!

PS- If you’re looking for a great, inexpensive stamping kit, this Essence one isn’t too bad!


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