Pencil Nail Art Tutorial

Fancy nails are all the rage these days, and what better way to stay on-trend than with super cute pencil nails? Just follow the steps below! Disclaimer: This is my first attempt at anything crazier than making each  nail a different color, so bear with me if my results are a little on the messy side!

Six Steps to Pencil Nail Art

Step 1: Gather your materials
Pencil Nail Art
You will need tape (I only had packing tape, but scotch tape will do), a pencil, and nail polish. From left to right, I used: Nan by Julep, Treasure by SPAritual, Silver Sweep by Sally Hansen, and Orly matte finish topcoat. I also cheated and used white (Whirlwind White by Sally Hansen) underneath the yellow because it was super light. Don’t use a base coat, because the tape will strip it off.

Step 2: Tape your nails
Pencil Nail Art
Put strips of tape over your nails, covering a little less than half your nail with tape.

Step 3: Paint on the yellow
Pencil Nail Art
It’s okay to be messy, the tape will protect the rest of your nails. Leave the tape on until the polish is a little bit dry, but still soft and sticky.

Step 4: Remove the tape and push back the polish
Pencil Nail Art
Carefully pull off the tape. Then, using the wood side of the pencil, push back the stray paint (which should still be a little soft) to create a ridge in as straight a line as possible across your nail. It’s okay if it doesn’t look perfect – this part will be covered, but the ridge will create a textured line under the silver polish that mimics the texture of the silver band on a pencil. Wait for the polish to dry completely before moving onto step 5.

Step 5: Paint on the red
Pencil Nail Art
Using the ridge as a guide, paint on the red color. Once it’s dry, paint on the matte finish. It’s hard to tell in the pictures thanks to the awful lighting in my room, but I promise it makes a big difference in making the eraser part of the nail look more eraser-like.

Step 6: Paint on the silver
Pencil Nail Art
Make sure you get all of the excess polish off the brush before each nail, because this last step is tricky. Paint on a stripe of silver polish in one smooth, horizontal stroke across each nail. Let them dry fully, and there you have it – pretty pencil nails!

Planning to give it a try yourself? Share your tips, tricks, and results in the comments!

1 reply
  1. Rita Von
    Rita Von says:

    Those look great! I kept seeing them but never gave them a go. A nice tip is to take a q-tip with some Vaseline to your cuticles before paint them. It’s helpful in cleaning up excess polish from the cuticles.


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