How to Paint Your Toes

When the summer weather signals you to get out your favorite flip-flops, sandals and open-toed shoes, that’s the sign that it’s time to pamper your feet. While there’s nothing like going to the salon to have a spa pedicure, sometimes a busy gal just can’t find the time in her day. Learning to paint your own toenails can save you time and money, while leaving your toes looking primped and professionally polished.

Step 1

Apply nail polish remover to a cotton round and vigorously rub each toenail to rid your nails of any color, being sure to get in the corners near the nail bed. It’s important that all previous color be completely removed before painting your toenails.

Step 2

Pour some rubbing alcohol on a cotton round and wipe across each toenail. The alcohol will remove any residue, giving you a super clean nail. The alcohol will also help the nails dry quickly.

Step 3

Weave a long, thin strip of fabric between your toes. Start in the space next to your smallest toe and when you get to the big toe, wrap the fabric around it and weave your way back. This will secure a space between each toe and make it easier for you to paint each nail individually.

Step 4

Paint each toenail with a clear basecoat. Using a basecoat will protect your toenails and provide a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. Sometimes nails will have small holes or nicks in them and the basecoat will fill and even out the surface of your nails. Let the basecoat dry for five minutes before applying polish.

Step 5

Shake your bottle of polish until well mixed and then unscrew the top. Carefully run the polish brush along the rim of the bottle to rid the brush of any excess polish. Begin with your smallest toe and apply two to three long, even strokes of polish to the nail, starting closest to the nail bed. Paint each toe using the same technique. Once you’ve painted all your toenails, let them dry for about five minutes. Apply a second coat of colored polish.

Step 6

Apply a clear top coat to the polish after your toe color has dried. A top coat will help set the color and will serve as a protective layer to your polish. Let your toenails dry for at least thirty minutes before putting on closed-toe shoes.


  • The fumes of nail polish and nail polish remover can be harsh. If the smell bothers you or those around you, paint your toes in a well-ventilated room or outside.



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