Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to use Konad Stamping Nail Art

I get a lot of questions each day about Konad Stamping Nail Art. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this product,it is basically a nail-imprinting kit that allows you to create nail designs by stamping pre-designed images on your nails. A rubber stamper, a metal or plastic scraper, a metal image plate, and a special polish are the tools used to make the designs. If you scroll through some of my previous blog posts you will see examples of Konad-created designs.

The design process involves applying a special polish to the image plate, scraping off the excess, pressing the stamper onto the plate to pick up the image, and then applying the image to the nail. It sounds quick and easy, and it is once you practice a bit, but Konad can be a bit difficult to use at first. In fact, I was about to give up on my set after a week or two of struggling with it. However, I learned a few tricks that really helped:

1. Make sure that you are using a nail polish that works well with Konad. Konad has its own “special polishes” that work very well for stamping. They have a very thick almost plastic-like consistency. I prefer not to use them because they take a very long time to dry and often look streaky after I apply top coat even if I let the designs dry for a long time beforehand. I do think that they are great for people starting out with Konad though to practice with until they have mastered the process. So far I have found a few other polish brands that seem to work for stamping: Wet N’Wild Wild Shine polishes, Sally Hansen Chromes, Sally Hansen Insta Dry polishes, and polishes from Chine Glaze’s OMG and Up & Away collections. There are many other non-Konad polishes that work too. There is a blog the features a list of regular polishes that work with Konad. You can find it here:

2. Be wary of certain image plates. When I first started using Konad I only had image plate m3 which has a lot of tiny designs. I could never seem to pick up the images on this plate and even after lots of practice I still can’t get this plate to work even though I do not have any trouble using other plates. Therefore I would avoid this plate. Try plates with full nail images when you are first starting out. They are much easier to pick up.

3. If the image just won’t transfer to your stamper, try buffing the stamper gently with a nail file or an emery board to make the surface a bit rough so that it can more easily grip the image.

4. If you are going to stamp the same image on more than one nail, make sure that you clean the image plate between stampings with a bit of nail polish remover. If you don’t, nail polish will dry on the image plate, preventing you from getting a clean stamp the next time. I like to solve this problem by soaking a few cotton swabs in nail polish remover before I start Konading so that I can wipe of the image plate easily between stamps. I dry the plate by dabbing it with a tissue—never a cotton ball because it will leave little pieces of fuzz on the plate that will stick to the stamper. Also remember to wipe of the stamper after every use to prevent any polish that has been left behind from interfering with your next image.

5. You may want to also get a plastic image plate holder to keep the plate secure while you are scraping.

6. Do not use the Zoya Armour top coat on top of Konad designs regardless of which polish you create the design with, it will always cause streaking.

7. When scraping, hold the scraper on an angle. It will work much better. Also, metal scrapers leave less excess polish behind so try opting for one of these over a plastic scraper.

8. Use a rolling motion to apply the image to the nail rather than pressing it down flat.
Konad Stamping Nail Art kits can be purchased at,, and I usually purchase mine from because the shipping is only $2
Or, for a more affordable yet equally good option, you can purchase a set of 10 non-Konad image plates + a stamper and scraper for a little over $10! This is an amazing deal considering that each Konad brand plate is around $7. I bought this set too and love it. Shipping from here is also really inexpensive.