VIDEO: Nail Art Stamping Basics

I’ve been promising to make a video about nail art stamping and it’s finally done!  The video is a little long, but I started by showing the basic technique and tools involved and then went into more detail about the different tools and some tips and tricks.  Let me know if you have any questions… and if you know how to resolve my XL stamper problem!

In case you’re wondering, the color on my nails is Gelish It’s a Lily. :)

These are the products discussed in the video:


  • Acetone or polish remover
  • Cotton balls, pads or swabs
  • Lint roller or tape
  • Credit card
  • Paper towels



Stamping Plates:

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57 Responses

  1. Hi! Great video, you really covered all the basics.

    I also had trouble with the XL Squishy stamper, the first one I bought from ebay would not pick a single drop so I bought a second one from Ninja Polish which worked just fine from the very beginning. They claim to test every batch because they are aware some silicones are “defective”.

    By accident I got the first stamper to work, after collecting dust/lint in my drawer I decided to clean them out. I let them soak for a few minutes in hot water and dish washer soap and after they were dry I used acetone. After this procedure both stampers picked up the design better (even the one that was defective and did not work at all), now I do this whenever they start misbehaving.

    Good luck!

    Good luck!

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the XL stamper. I bought one on ebay and one from Ninja Polish… both work the same for me, which is not at all. LOL I washed them with Dawn dish soap, wiped them down with acetone, filed them with a fine grit buffer, you name it. Neither will pick up a solid design.

  2. Jen says:

    Another fantastic tutorial! I wasn’t very keen on stamping until I watched your video – your blog is dangerous ;)

  3. Lesley says:

    Hi Andrea

    Love Chickettes – I stop by every few days to see what you have been up to.

    I’ve also had problems with my xl stamper – it worked at first but stopped! I found this tutorial

    Worth a try!

  4. Vanessa says:

    Hi there! I’ve just started with gel polish and would like to ask- after stamping (or any other nail art), do you use a normal top coat or a gel top coat?

    • Andrea says:

      Use a gel top coat for the longest lasting results. :)

      • Gail says:

        Hello there. I apologize if this is a repeated question (I did look & can’t seem to locate :) The Gelish Top it Off that you used, can I use that over regular polish after I apply a stamp? Or do I need a special kind of polish before I use the stamps that are compatible with the Top it off?

        • Andrea says:

          Gelish is a gel polish that requires a UV or LED lamp to cure (dry/harden). I don’t recommend using it over your regular polish unless it’s completely dry (after several hours).

  5. Traci says:

    I really enjoy your swatches and the different designs that you’ve come up with. Your nails are just beautiful! Mine tend to break after they reach a certain length, but they are getting better since I’ve started using gel polish. As for the xl stamper, I just received 3 from eBay and prepped one using the method mentioned on manictalons. I had to ‘file’ a few times for it to work. Also, I noticed that I needed less pressure than when using my Konad single sided stamper. From your video, it seems like it’s still a little too sticky so maybe prep a little more. Hope it works out for you and looking forward to your future blogs! :)

  6. Oksana says:

    Hi, love your blog.
    I can help you with XL stamper.
    Send me letter on email and I give you a foto “How to…”

  7. Maria says:

    Thank you SO much for this blog! You have re-inspired me to stamp the heck out of some nails! ;-D
    Thank you for the instruction, clarity, and product info – you’re awesome!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Hey Andrea – I stumbled on this blog and the author has a comprehensive post on stamping. I noticed she included a couple of tips for the squishy stamper and it reminded me of your troubles. Who knows if anything she suggests will help or not!

    • Andrea says:

      Thank you, Jennifer. I ended up buying a new stamping head for my squishy stamper and this one works perfectly. The other silicone heads were way too sticky. The new one that I got isn’t sticky at all and picks up images flawlessly. :)

  9. Kathy says:

    I love all your posts. Videos and ideas are great. I have the cheap stamper from Walgreens. I want to get some plates. Which ones would you recommend to start with? I like the over all designs. Paisley… swirls ….

    Thank you

    • Andrea says:

      Oh gosh, there are so many awesome stamping plates out there. I’m in love with the new 2013 Bundle Monster set, and I recently picked up a couple of really nice plates from Messy Mansion.

  10. Nicci says:

    Thank you so much for inspiring me to try stamping. Have just ordered everything I need. Now I can’t wait for it all to arrive :D I love your blog, it’s amazing!!

  11. Jackie says:

    Do you apply a top coat before you stamp (base, gel polish, gel polish, top coat -remove the tacky layer, stamp, top coat)? I’m still having problems with my stamps smearing. Thanks!!

  12. Suzanne says:

    What does everyone recommend as a stamper for small nails? I purchased a set of Bundle monster plates, the great case, Konad polishes, etc. but I can’t seem to get the stamps to transfer to my nails. I use all Gelish products too and followed Andreas video. I have only had one successful stamping manicure so far! I think the problem may be my stampers? help!

  13. Suzanne C says:

    OMG I just got the kleencolor metallic polishes and they worked perfectly. Maybe there was something wrong with my Konad stamping polish!! My stamper picked it right up. I got the 12 bottles for $14 from your link. What an excellent purchase! I am so happy!

  14. Kelsey says:

    What stamping plates work best in your opinion? Konad, Pueen, Cheeky, Mash, Shany, Bundle Monster?? Also, what plate did you use for your chevron image that you have paired with the new Gelish Trends multi-color dots?

  15. Anna says:

    I had the same trouble with the large sticky stamper. It wouldn’t pick up the image at all. I came across a tip on a site that suggested using a fine nail file and swiping it over the stamping pad several times, lightly. It worked! Also, do not use any type of remover to clean it. Just use scotch tape to dab any leftover polish or dirt off the stamper.

  16. ana says:

    I love chickettes, can you tell me what are the recommended stamping and if they are difficult to implement?

  17. Fania says:

    Hello! I bought the konad stamping polishes you show but the silver and gold one doesnt work for me. do you have the same problem too? thank you

  18. Nicole says:

    Hi. I’m considering buying the Bundle Monster stamping polishes. Have you tried them? Do they work good or would you recommend another brand?

    • Andrea says:

      I haven’t used that brand, but Bundle Monster makes great stamping plates so I would assume they would also make decent stamping polishes :)

  19. Mal Timmons says:

    Hi Andrea, I have the single, white ended pueen stamper that you have in your video, the very sticky soft one. I love this one, but want a larger version of this silicone material.? Can you suggest one for me? I have bought several lately, and they are all ok, but too hard, especially with longer, wider nails. I just bought the chez Delany soft rectangular one, from France. It is ok, but still has problems picking up images at times, especially the white konad polish, for some reason? And although it said it’s soft and squidgy, it’s not like that pueen one! It is soft, but hard silicone. If you know what I mean? Have you tried anymore lately? Also, best plates for bigger images for bigger nails. Many thanks…hope you can help. ?. Another stampers video required. Lol…Mal from the UK, where you can’t buy anything! !!!!!!!

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Mal – I haven’t purchased any new stampers since I made this video, but I did buy a new head for my XL squishy stamper and it’s my new favorite stamper. It’s much larger and because it’s squishy I can just press the image down over the nail and don’t have to roll it on. I think I put the link to where I bought my new stamper head in the post above. I think MoYou has some jumbo plates, and I have a collection of Cheeky jumbo plates that has really large images. A lot of them are actually too big for my nails. You might also like some of the Messy Mansion plates – the MM series plates have pretty good sized images.

  20. Charlie says:

    Hi Andrea. I have recently bought a konad stamping set and the full nail images seem really small! Do I have huge nails or do you have this problem?! Are any of the other brands any bigger for the full nail designs? Many thanks.

    • Andrea says:

      Hi Charlie – yes, some plates have very small images. I just commented on Mal’s post above with some recommendations for larger impressions. Messy Mansion, Cheeky Jumbo, and MoYou XL plates. I’m sure there are lots of others, I just haven’t branched out and tried many other stamping plates yet.

  21. Mal Timmons says:

    Hi Andrea, is that xl stamper exactly the same stickyness and softness as that pueen one? I found the link to it, not sure if I could find it in the uk. Do you know what make it is? Many thanks as always for your help.

  22. Christina says:

    unfortunately the link for the xl stamper just leads to a site that is under construction. don’t know if there is any way to know which one it is but it would love to find out if i could. thanks!

    • Mal Timmons says:

      Ohhh! The trouble I’m having finding a proper soft marshmallow xl stamper, like the pueen one Andrea suggested. Messy Mansion promised me one, then sent wrong one. Then said they’d send the right one to me, but never did. Now won’t answer my emails!, so still without one xl…

  23. Gail says:

    I am so sorry to ask another question. But I am new to this and want to make sure I understand correctly. When you say “cure for 30 seconds”, does that mean under uv lights?

  24. Sukhi says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the stamper.



  25. Veronica says:

    Hi, I’m new to your blog and quickly becoming a HUGE fan! Your posts and videos are wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

  26. Inci says:

    So You are supposed to use special polish for stamping? Hmm… But what if I use my usual gelish- cure for a min or 2 and top it off once more?

  27. Deb says:

    I noticed you used acetone after curing the stamp. You dont use alcohol to take the tacky layer off like normal?

  28. Mieke says:

    Dear Andrea,

    First of all, thanks for the many inspiring videos.
    I really like them and they are so helpfull so keep them coming please :)

    But I have some questions as well…

    After 4 years of getting my nails done in a salon, I started a few weeks ago doing it myself with gelpolish.
    Last week I wanted to stamp but I had some problems.
    After the second layer of color was cured, I tried to stamp on it but instead of getting the image on the nail, the color seemed to stick at the stamp (you could see fine threads between nail and stamp) and the image didn’t come off.
    I choose to first put a layer of top coat on, then cured it and then stamped on it. This worked.
    Because I couldn’t find a video where you explain how you stamp, I wanted to ask you here on which layer you stamp and if you do something in advance (like using a swipe with alcohol to clean it)

    Second, I wanted to ask you how you best combine stamping and usage of rhinestones without glue. I thougt to stamp on the topcoat (giving my previous experience) and use topcoat to put the stone in place, cure for fixing the stone and then a layer of topcoat on the whole nail? What do you think?

    Thanks a lot!

    (pardon my mistakes, but I’m not a native english speaker:))

  29. megan says:

    Hi! SO i just purchased and received my stamper. I got the pueen one sided one. When it came the actual squishy stamper part was not inside the pink holder and doesn’t stay in well. did yours come like that?

    • Andrea says:

      No, my Pueen stamper has a real firm grip on the squishy part. I have other brands that often fall right out of the stamper handle though, so perhaps they changed the design?