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Airbrush Nails – A Comprehensive Airbrush Nail Art Guide

airbrush nails

With an airbrush gun, you can create impressive works of art on canvas, coat entire walls, paint cars, and all sorts of everyday objects. But did you know that you can also create tiny details with an airbrush – for example in an airbrush nail design? In this article, we will tell you how you can create a great nail airbrush and which characteristics the best airbrush set for nails should have!




What are Airbrush Nails?

With airbrush nail art, the nails are not painted with a brush but sprayed by using an airbrush gun. There are no limits to your imagination: From French Nails to neon pink painted nails to tiny detailed works of art, you can create anything you imagine. What matters most is the right airbrush equipment – and your skill.

Even in our high-tech world, a nail studio that uses airbrush technology to work on fingernails is unfortunately more of a rarity than the rule. That’s why you might want to consider doing it yourself because you can easily design great airbrush art too! All you need is the right airbrush equipment and a little practice.

nail airbrush machine



Why Do Nail Art With an Airbrush

When airbrushing nails, as with any method, there are various advantages and disadvantages. We have outlined these below:


  • You can use stencils, which is, of course, a little easier, or you can create your motifs freely
  • With the help of stencils, the application of an airbrush on the nails is also suitable for beginners
  • Of course, you will have to invest a little money to get the basics for your nail airbrush, but you will save a considerable amount of money over time if you consider that you would normally go to the nail studio every four to six weeks
  • There are many different color shades available and these can also be mixed so that you are in principle completely free in your design
  • Why don’t you organize an airbrush nail party? You can invite your friends and let off steam creatively with a glass of champagne and nibbles


  • Airbrushing nails is precision work and requires patience, so if you are not very detail-oriented, another art form may be more suitable for you
  • Cleaning of the nails, as well as the application of the paint, are quite time-consuming
  • The airbrush set must also be cleaned after each application, which means additional work
  • When airbrushing, you must always think about your safety and should wear a mask when airbrushing nails; this could interfere with the detail work

If nail airbrushing is the right thing for you, is something you have to decide for yourself. If you like to be creative and you like beautiful nails, we would definitely recommend this art form!

airbrush nailart



Finding the Best Airbrush Set for Nails

An airbrush set for nails should have certain characteristics that are quite particular. You have to pay attention to the right nozzle size because you work with tiny details. This, however, has an effect on the color used, because in general, the smaller the nozzle, the more fluid the paint needs to be. If you use paint that is too thick for your nozzle size – i.e. too low-pigmented – your gun will quickly clog. You can mix low-pigmented paint with a dilution medium to make it compatible with the nozzle size.

An airbrush set for nail art generally contains all the basics that a normal airbrush set should also contain. Basically, these are an airbrush gun with different nozzles, a compressor, hoses as well as suitable threads, and a cleaning set. With some airbrush kits, the right colors are also already included.

With the compressor, there are several things to consider, such as volume and the equipment with a water separator and a pressure reducer. Whether you want to use an oil-free compressor or an oil-piston compressor is a matter of taste. We would recommend the oil-free version, as it requires much less maintenance and does not dirty the colors during work. Most airbrush kits for nails have a handy little compressor that works without oil anyway.

A double action pistol allows the user to spray very fine details. This gun needs a little more practice and sensitivity than a Single Action, but it is definitely worth buying. Especially for nail design it is very important to be able to evenly spray very small details.

Often the parts are changed with the airbrush nail art, so that the work is more effective and that different colors can be applied faster. To make this possible, some nail airbrush guns have a quick coupling. With this, you can change the gun with one hand without risking a drop in pressure. If you are advanced in your airbrush nail art, you should think about buying such an accessory.

airbrush nail art


Recommendation: AUTOLOCK Upgraded Airbrush Kit

It is not easy for beginners to find their way through the maze of airbrush sets for nail design. This is because airbrush sets for nail art should have some features that set them apart from other airbrush kits. A huge, bulky compressor will not be of any use to you in nail design, nor will giant nozzles, which can be used more for painting cars.

That’s why we provide you with a recommendation, the portable Autolock upgraded airbrush kit. This contains everything that the airbrush beginner needs and offers many advantages for the application of the nail airbrush.

AUTOLOCK Upgraded Airbrush Kit with Air Compressor
  • A compact and fully portable airbrush kit
  • Uses a mini compressor that charges with a type C cable
  • Includes a precision double-action airbrush gun
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  • The Double Action pistol offers high precision through optimal regulation of paint supply and airflow
  • The compressor is compact and easily portable
  • Various precision components are used to ensure perfect atomization and spray control
  • The operation is simple and intuitive
  • The pressure is adjustable in three steps
  • Fine airbrush nozzle for creating detailed work
  • Not only airbrush nail design is possible with this kit, but also various other applications, such as photo retouching, temporary tattoos, and cake design
  • Excellent value for money


  • Colors and cleaning fluid must be purchased separately
  • It can only hold a small amount of paint at a time
  • Not the most powerful airbrush as it uses a mini compressor

This fully portable airbrush kit is ideal for doing nails, thanks to its convenient size and simple use. You can get fine details and a great result from it. The set is ideal for any beginner airbrush nail artists.




The Right Paints for Airbrush Nails

The paints or varnishes for your airbrush nails should be acrylic-based, as these are compatible with water. So you can mix them with water if necessary – but we still advise you to use a suitable thinning medium. However, acrylic paints are very durable and almost indestructible – even in more ruthless everyday activities such as gardening. They are also odorless, which makes them much more pleasant to use.

As far as the design with the airbrush paints for nails is concerned, you are completely free. There are endless possibilities, because the colour palette is not only gigantic, but can also be mixed with each other. So you can decide completely for yourself how your airbrush nails should look like.

airbrush nail designs



Instructions for a Successful Nail Design

Beautiful airbrush nail pictures are not witchcraft. They only require a little patience and practice and the right preparation.

  • The first step is to degrease your nails using a cleaner. This will make the colors more adhesive, which means they will last better. Once you have prepared your nails for airbrushing, it is important not to touch them with your fingers anymore, because the skin’s own oil film will settle on your nails and you will have to clean them again.
  • Now follows the primer; this is always white to ensure a better brilliance of the colors.
  • A stencil, also used in the nail gel technique, is now applied to the nails and protects the front area.
  • Now it starts: Use your gun to create great airbrush nail designs – this is done either freestyle or by using templates.
nail airbrush kit
  • After the application of the nail art colors, a sealing follows. For this, a topcoat is applied, which protects the airbrush nails against damage, for example by frequent hand washing or garden work. In addition, the topcoat gives the nails a long-lasting fresh, and shiny appearance.
  • The next step is a matter of taste: Now you can use a special gloss gel that protects the nails even more after airbrushing and gives them a special shine. This step is not a must, just like the use of nail jewelry. Of course, colors for airbrush nails are compatible with it, so that you can decorate your nails with small stones or similar jewelry.
  • Now you can remove any excess color or cleaner that remains.
  • Your nails are now ready and look totally professional!


Now you see that you too can airbrush really great nails. This allows you to get creative and use your artistic energy. With a little patience, you too will soon be doing nail airbrushing like a pro!


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