Primer - what is it for and how to use it?

Nail Primer is one of the most important substances that effects the longevity of gel, gel polish and acrylic nail designs. It removes grease and changes the pH of the nail which enhances the adherence of the product. It prevents air bubbles and helps to stick a design to a problematic nail plate.

There are two types of primer - an Acid Primer and Acid Free primer. What's the difference? How and when to use them? In today's entry,  we will try to elevate any doubts.

Acid-Free Primer

Acid Free Primer is the most universal and common substance used for enhancing the adherence of the nail plate. It should do great in most cases if the client doesn't have a problematic nail plate. Primer's formula has a scent-free and gentle formula, it doesn't sting and irritate. It is safe for nails and won’t damage them. After the application, it doesn't evaporate or leave a sticky residue on the nail.

Acid Primer

Acid Primer is a substance for special tasks. You should reach for it when you work with a problematic nail plate on which a manicure tends to lift and chip. This can happen when the client has a problem with hormones or hyperhidrosis. Changing the primer for Acid Primer should resolve the problem. It is a stronger substance that etches a nail plate and sticks it to the base or acrylic. If the cuticle area is tender, then Acid Primer can create a burning sensation.

How to use Primer?

  1. Prepare the nail plate as always
  2. Degrease it with Cleaner
  3. Drain off the brush and apply Primer on the natural nail plate and avoid getting any on the cuticle area.

Acid Free Primer- put a thin coat just like nail polish. Wait 40-60 seconds for it to dry. This Primer won’t evaporate completely, so leaves a sticky residue on the nail.

Acid Primer - put 1-2 small dots on the nail. It should spread by its own on the plate. Wait for it to evaporate completely.

  1. Apply a gel polish base or acrylic.


  • Choose Primer based on a type of nail plate, not on a type of design. There is a belief that with an acrylic method you should use Acid Primer. It's not true because on normal nail plates the acrylic should hold on as well with Acid Free Primer.
  • If you are filling up outgrown UV gel or an acrylic design you need to put Primer only on a natural plate.
  • Remember to close the cap on the bottle because Primer will evaporate and loose its properties.

If you are pregnant and worry about using the Acid Primer we advise contacting your doctor.