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How to Do a Zebra Nail Art Design

Learn how to do a zebra nail design from Megan Toth in this Howcast nail art tutorial.


So we're going to do a zebra print nail. You start with a white base, just a simple white base, and I use acrylic paint for this. I like to use acrylic paint to do nail art, because nail polish dries so quickly, and it gets tacky and while it may be shinier, it's still just less manageable. So when you use acrylic paint, you can go to any craft store and buy these little tubes of acrylic paint, mix it with a little bit of water.

And again, just get a little tiny brush kit and you can also find those in any arts and crafts stores, and go from there. I got this one online. It came in like, a specific nail art kit with other dotting tools and things like that, but you can go to a craft store and just buy any sort of brush that you'd like, really. So we're going to start by just going and jumping right into it.

This is a very fine brush, I guess you would say. I mean it's not fine-tipped, because it's a little flat on the end, but it's very thin to kind of make that stripey look. So we're just going to start and just kind of paint some little squiggly lines. I like to kind of get them thicker in the middle and thinner on the end, and again, use those edges to make the design flow a little bit better. Just place them randomly. Nature isn't perfect and that's the beauty of it, you know?

What's fun about this design is that if your brush kind of slips and falls away from the line that you're painting, you can go with it. When you're doing a tiny nail art design like this, it helps to not drink too much coffee. I failed at that today. The nice thing about using acrylic paint is that if you get it on your skin, it's much easier to take off afterward than regular nail polish.

While you're going through, it really helps to kind of just dip your brush in some water and clean it off, so the paint isn't collecting. Just start fresh. When you dip your brush in between each nail to wipe it off just make sure that the water doesn't bead up above the bristles, because if you do that and then you go to paint, it'll just be a watered down mess.

I think this is kind of, I mean it looks intense, but I think it's a good design for someone to do who's just starting out using a brush like this, and acrylic paints to paint your nails, because it doesn't have to be perfect. You know what I mean? I mean a;ll these lines are messy and not in any specific order. You don't really have to follow a pattern, so I think it's a good thing to use if you're just starting out.

But as I go from nail to nail when I get to the pinkie, I like to kind of take the design and make it even smaller. I like the size of the pattern to match the size of the nail. I don't know why, but that's what I do. So once you have your acrylic paint on there with your design, put a top coat on it. Not only does it help the acrylic paint stay, because if you wash your hands it'll come right off basically, but it also evens it out.

It makes it nice and shiny and smooth. But a tip, when you are putting a top coat over acrylic paint, is to use a lot of it. You don't want to keep brushing and you don't really want the brush to even touch the acrylic paint, so put a big glob of top coat on there and spread it around as quickly as possible, because that paint will smear. So you just want to make sure you keep that in mind when you're putting on your top coat. But other than that, there you go, you have your zebra.

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