Can I Use Acrylic Nail Primer for Regular Nail Polish?

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Learn about how to use acrylic nail primer for regular nail polish. And, alternative methods.

Nail primers are one of the most essential parts of doing your nails as it protects your natural nail from damage and helps your finished nails last so much longer.

A question that many people have is, can I use acrylic nail primer for nail polish?

The answer is, yes, you can use an acrylic primer, however, it is something that is not needed for regular nail polish, and here’s why.

In this post, I will explain why an acrylic nail primer is not necessary for nail polish and what you can use instead.

What is a nail primer?

Nail primers are used to treat your nail bed to help the nail adhere better and provide a protective layer to the natural nail. They dehydrate the nail so that all-natural oils are removed and then act as a glue by applying a thin, sticky layer to strengthen the acrylic or gel nails.

When it comes to using regular nail polish, a primer isn’t necessarily needed. Regular nail polish doesn’t need as much assistance in adhering to the nail and needing more grip as it is a lot thinner than an acrylic or gel nail. For a better outcome of regular nail polish, it would be better to use a base coat.

What is a base coat?

A base coat has very similar qualities as a nail polish, but they contain plasticizers to make them more flexible. They have a higher level of cellulose chemicals to make them adhere better between a nail polish and nail. It provides a transparent sticky type layer between the natural nails and the nail polish to help it adhere longer rather than being stronger.

With regular nail polish, a base coat would work better as its flexibility allows it to move with the nails’ bends, which will prevent it from peeling. Compared to a nail primer, a base coat has less harsh chemicals that don’t benefit from regular nail polish.

In that sense, I would only advise using a nail primer with regular nail polish if you continuously have issues with the nail polish lifting or chipping. But, in general, a base coat would work better for regular nail polish.

This being said, there are still so many benefits of both nail primers and base coats, so you need to use one of them.

Learn about how to use acrylic nail primer for regular nail polish. And, alternative methods.

Benefits of nail primers

1. Removes oil from a natural nail

Natural oils on the nails give them a smooth, shiny finish, making it hard for acrylic or gel to adhere to the nail. So when you use a nail primer, it dehydrates the nail by removing the moisture and oils and gives a matte type finish to the nail, which is a better surface to put acrylic or gels on.

2. Prevents air bubbles

Primers add an extra layer on to the nail by creating microscopic holes on the nail, and when the acrylic or gel is applied on to it, it works its way through the hols to adhere better to the nail. This whole process eliminates the air out of it, which means you’ll end up with having any air bubbles.

3. It protects the natural nail

Yes, primers do have chemicals in them, but they are a lot less harsh than acrylic or gels. So, by applying a primer first, it just lessens the number of chemicals put on to your natural nail.

Benefits of a base coat

1. Protects natural nail

Protects natural nail – As a nail primer does, a base coat provides a protective layer on top of your natural nail. In addition to that, many different base coats have ingredients in it that benefit the nail. They include many other vitamins and minerals, which could help solve nail issues you may have or make them stronger and thicker.

2. Prevents staining and peeling

Some nail polishes can stain your natural nail; this is caused by a chemical reaction between the ingredients in the nail polishes and your nail. Using a base coat will provide a layer that acts as a defense to stop this from happening.

3. Gives nail polish a more even texture

Your natural nail may have bumps or ridges in it that are hard to notice, but visible when you put nail polish on top. Adding a base coat will help even it out and give your nails a more smooth finish.

4. Makes them last longer

A base coat gives the nail polish a better foundation to adhere to, which will help your finished nails last longer without chipping or peeling. Especially if you have daily activities that will cause your nails to break more, a base coat can help them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is acrylic primer the same as gel primer?

Although they do the same thing and achieve the same outcome, the acrylic primer is not the same as the gel primer. Acrylic primers are acid-based and give a chalky matte type finish so that the acrylic nail has a better surface to adhere to, whereas a gel primer is more of a shiny, tacky feel to it. It acts more like double-sided tapes, and the gel sticks on to it rather than helping it stick to the nail.

What is an acrylic primer for nails used for?

Acrylic nail primer is used to help provide a better surface for the acrylic to adhere to. This helps your nails to last longer and helps them to be healthier. If used correctly and your acrylic nails are maintained, it can also protect your natural nails from being damaged.


I hope this has been helpful and has helped you find the product that’s more suited to what you need.

When it comes to doing your nails, as long as you have a protective product to use, your nails will have a better finish and last a lot longer.

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