How to apply Water Slides and Decals

Basic Instructions to apply Water Decals and Water Slides

Prepare your nail by shaping, pushing cuticles back and removing all oils.

  1. Decide which design you want on the nail.
  2. Carefully cut it out. Cutting slits in the sides of decal will aid in a flush fit to the nail.   
  3. Some of the decals have got a clear protective layer on the top of the design.  Make sure you take it off before you put the decal into the water.  
  4. Put the decal into water upside down so you can see the white back, for a couple of seconds. Cold water works fine. (There are some decals only work with hot water.)     
  5. When you see the water soaked thru the white backside, then you can separate the design with tweezers, from the white paper easily. Carefully dab off the excess water.
  6. It is ready to apply on the top of the nail. Align the decal to the cuticle, providing a small gap to prevent lifting and gently slide the decal onto the nail in desired spot.
    1. Pre-Prep for Decal application:
    • Place it on a buffed nail surface 
    • or
    • Place it on a sticky layer top coat that requires a cleanser
    • or
    • Apply to cured base gel or foil transfer, leaving a tacky finish.
  7. Let the applied decal sit on nail a minute, before you start smoothing. Gently smooth decal to cover entire or partial of the nail. Cut off any excess of the decal or remove with acetone dipped brush or file off.
  8. Cover with 2 layers of top coat, gel or acrylic. 


Once applied to nail, limit moving and touching decal, to prevent damaging.

Decals with white background apply to white base on nail.

Decals with clear background applying to dark base , paint the underside of the decal with a thin layer of white polish to make the colors appear brighter.

Encapsulating decals with builder gels or acrylic. Before encapsulation apply a coat of cured layer gel or top coat to prevent color bleeding.