Water Marbling Tutorial

Wow, I can't believe I've hit 100 followers! I guess another giveaway should be in order, but I don't really want to hold one when my other giveaway isn't even over! I think I'm going to hold tight until that one ends, but no promises! Thank you so so so much everyone! :)

Now here's the tutorial I promised you! Below is what my water marbled manicure looks like. I used China Glaze OMG, Wet n Wild French White Creme and China Glaze 2NIGHT.

The tutorial is long, so please view it after the jump!

So here's what you'll need to water marble:

  • 2-3 nail polishes
  • A base color (white is my favorite)
  • A bowl filled with room temperature water (doesn't have to be exactly room temperature, just not boiling or freezing)
  • Tape
  • Toothpicks or unbent paper clips
  • Pure Acetone or any nail polish remover
  • Qtip or a cleanup brush
First paint your nails with your base color. I painted mine white. It doesn't have to be perfectly painted, it just has to be even so there won't be any bumps later on.

Wait for the white to dry completely. I applied a coat of Seche Vite to make mine dry faster.
Next I taped around my fingernails. This helps with cleanup because water marbling is messy!

Then I started putting my nail polish in my bowl of water. I drop it into the bowl in drips - I make sure there is a lot of polish on my brush and just wait until it drips off the brush into my bowl. The nail polish should expand. If it doesn't, your water is either too hot, too cold, or you waited too long and the nail polish dried on the water.

Here comes the fun part - swish the nail polish dots around with a toothpick or unbent paperclip. Work fast because the polish dries fairly quickly!

When you've finished your pattern, choose a the part you like the best and dip your finger into it. DONT lift your finger directly after this because the polish still in your water will lift with your finger and mess up the design. Take a paperclip and while your finger is still in the water trace around it and pick up all the polish around your finger. The picture below is what the water should look like before you've taken away the nail polish. I couldn't get a picture of me lifting away the polish because it takes two hands to do it :(

Now lift your finger up! You should be able to see the design of the nail polish on it. Peel off the tape and repeat this process for all of your fingers. This is what it should look like:

This of course is BEFORE cleanup, which is vital for water marbling! To clean up your fingers take a brush or Qtip and dip it in nail polish remover. I prefer pure acetone because it's quicker. Now, clean up all the spots where nail polish touched your skin.

...Now you're done! Seal your manicure with a topcoat and you're good to go.

Good luck! I'd love to see your water marbled manicures!


  1. Thank you! I hope it's helpful!

  2. do you clean up your nail with a q tip or a brush? can you please give some details because your manicures are seriously perfect! even the white base was perfectly shaped!

  3. Haha thanks! I clean up with an angled shader brush that I bought from Michael's dipped in pure acetone. Qtips don't really do it for me :p

  4. ok i'll try that! is it synthetic or natural hair? and is it a makeup brush or an art brush? thanks!!

  5. It's actually a watercolor brush I think. I'm pretty sure it's natural hair but I'm not really 100% sure, the label melted off when I dropped it in a bottle of acetone :d


I love reading comments -- thanks for commenting!