How Long Does It Take To Do Acrylic Nails? How Long Does It Take To Do Acrylic Nails?

How Long Does It Take To Do Acrylic Nails?

The application of a full set of acrylic nails without tips generally takes 40 minutes to 1 hour, while with tips, it may take up to 2 hours. This process involves prepping the nails, applying primer, buffing /filing, and waiting for the nails to dry.

Welcome, ladies, to the world of acrylic nails! If you adore beautiful/elegant nails and always on the lookout for ways to keep your nails looking fabulous, acrylic nails are what you should get. But, one question that comes up time and time again is, “How long does it take to do acrylic nails?

The application of a full set of acrylic nails without tips generally takes 40 minutes to 1 hour, while with tips, it may take up to 2 hours. This process involves prepping the nails, applying primer, buffing /filing, and waiting for the nails to dry.

Today, I will give you the lowdown on this glamorous beauty treatment. From the application process to the drying time, I’ll cover it all so you can strut your stuff with confidence and flaunt those gorgeous acrylic nails. So, grab a cup of tea, sit back, and let’s dive in!

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Understanding the Time It Takes to Complete Acrylic Nails, From Prep to Curing( Full Set)

It can take around 1 hour to 2 hours to complete a full set of acrylic nails. This includes the preparation of the natural nails, the application of the acrylic, shaping and buffing the nails, and finishing with polish or other nail art. Let’s look at how long each application step/process takes;

1) Prepping Nails

Nail prepping takes 15-20 minutes as it is an essential step in the process of applying acrylic nails. It involves preparing the natural nails to ensure that the acrylic adheres properly and lasts as long as possible. Here are the steps involved in nail prepping:

  • Cleaning the nails: Thorough cleaning your nails is a must if you want your acrylics to adhere properly. If you are getting acrylics by your self at home then you must clean your nails with nail polish remover or alcohol to remove any oil or dirt. ( Same applies if you are getting them done at the salon)
  • Trimming and shaping the nails: Next, trimming your nails to the desired length is done to sculpt into perfect shape. Some people love oval shapes while others love box/square shapes. This takes about 5 minutes.
  • Buffing the nails: If you visit the salon to get your nails done, the nail technician will then use a nail buffer to gently buff the surface of the nails. This will remove any roughness of the nails and create a slightly smooth surface that will help the acrylic adhere better. Buffing nails takes about 10 minutes
  • Pushing back cuticles: Nail technicians often use a cuticle pusher or orange stick to gently push back the cuticles. This will remove any rough edges and create a clean, even surface for the acrylic to adhere to. ( I recommend using Rui Smiths Professional Double Ended Stainless Steel Metal Pusher if you getting your nails done at home,
  • Remove excess moisture: You should use a lint-free pad or paper towel to remove any excess moisture or debris from the nails.

Note: It’s important to give your nail technician enough time to properly prep your nails to ensure that the acrylic will adhere well and your nails will look their best.

2)Primer Application

Applying primer on nails typically takes about 10minutes plus drying time. Primer is an important step because it helps to prevent chipping and extend the life of your manicure. Priming also makes sure your nails do not pop up. To apply nail primer;

  • Apply a thin layer of primer to each nail, being careful to avoid the skin around the nail.
  • Allow the primer to dry completely before applying acrylic/gel nails.

It’s worth noting that ladies apply a primer. However, if you’re experiencing issues with your nail polish not staying on or chipping quickly, adding a primer to your routine may be helpful.( I recommend Morovan Professional Natural Nail Prep Dehydrate and Acid-Free Primer). If you want to know more on why your acrylic nails may pop up, this article lists all the reasons and solutions for long lasting acrylics.

3) Tips Application ( Optional)

The time it takes to apply nail tips is 30 minutes to an hour . This process involves sizing, shaping, and attaching the tips to your natural nails before applying acrylic or gel to create a longer, more uniform nail. Importantly, applying nail tips can be beneficial if you want to achieve a longer nail look quickly without having to wait for your natural nails to grow out. They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can choose the style that works best for you.

If you’re getting acrylic nails, you may not necessarily need to apply nail tips( it is optional). Acrylic nails involve applying a mixture of liquid and powder to your natural nails to create a durable and long-lasting nail.

4) Acrylic Application( Liquid and Powder)

Acrylic application (liquid and powder ) is a nail enhancement technique where a mixture of acrylic liquid and powder acrylic is used to create a hard and durable layer on the natural nails. This can take 1 to 2 hours. If you visit the salon, the nail technician will start by preparing the acrylic mixture by pouring liquid monomer into a small dish and then adding acrylic powder. Next, using a small brush, the nail technician apply it to the natural nail, starting at the base and working towards the nail tip. If you getting acrylics at home, the process is similar.

However, you should continue to add layers of acrylic until the desired length and shape is achieved. The finished result should be a hard, durable layer that can be customized with a variety of colors, designs, and finishes.

5)Drying Time

Acrylic nails dry in about 10 minutes. Keep in mind that the drying time of acrylic nails depend on factors such as the temperature, humidity of the environment, the amount of liquid used in the mixture and the thickness of the acrylic layer. It is important to allow acrylic nails to dry and harden completely to avoid breakage, lifting, or chipping.

6)Buff, Polish and Finish with Nail Art

Buffing, polishing are essential steps in the process of applying acrylic nails while finishing is the final step in the process of applying acrylic nails and involves applying a topcoat or sealer. This step not only helps to prolong the life of the acrylic nails but also gives them a glossy and polished appearance.

Reasons Acrylic Nails Take Time to Apply?

Here are factors can impact the time it takes to apply acrylic nails;

1)Prepping the Nail

One of the first steps in applying acrylic nails is to prep the natural nails. It mainly involves cleaning the nails, removing any polish or residue, and buffing the nails to create a smooth surface for the acrylic to adhere to. This step alone can take a few minutes to ensure the nails are properly prepared.

2)Applying Nail Tips

If nail tips are being used, they need to be sized, trimmed, and filed to fit each individual nail. This process can take some time, especially if the nail technician is creating a custom shape or length for each nail.

3)Number of Nails

The number of nails being done can also affect the time it takes to apply acrylic nails. A full set of acrylic nails will naturally take longer to apply than a simple fill-in or a few nails Say 2 or 3 fingers.

4)Experience Level

Here comes the most under rated factor-The experience level of the nail technician. This can play a role in how long it takes to apply acrylic nails. Experienced technicians are able to work more quickly and efficiently, while less experienced technicians may need more time to ensure that each step is done correctly.

5)Length of Nails

The length of the nails can also affect the time it takes to apply acrylic nails. Longer nails require more acrylic to be applied, which can take more time to build up and shape. Overall, a skilled nail technician will be able to reduce the time it involves to get acrylics on.

6)Nail Shape

The shape of the nail can impact the time it takes to apply acrylic nails. Some complex nail shapes, such as stiletto or almond-shaped nails, take longer to create as they require more precision and attention to detail.

How Long Does it Take to Remove Acrylic Nails?

When it comes to removing acrylic nails, the time on whether you are doing it yourself or at a salon. If you are removing acrylic nails by yourself( at home), it can take between 40 minutes to 1 hour to complete the process, especially if you are not experienced. However, at a salon, it usually takes around 30 minutes to remove acrylic nails. You can also familiarize your self with the process on how salons remove acrylic nails before you book your next nail appointment. Additionally, here’s another article on how to soak acrylic nails in acetone at home for beginners( it will guide you each step so that you do not ruin your natural nail bed)

French Tip Nails in a Flash: How Long Does It Take To Get French Tip Nails?

French nail tips, also known as French tips, are a popular nail style where nail tips are added to the natural nails then painted white while the rest of the nail is left with a natural or light pink color. This style gives the nails a clean, classic, and sophisticated look. It takes about 30 minutes to 1 hours to get French tip nails at a salon. For those doing it at home, it may take a little longer( 2 hours), especially if you are not experienced. It’s crucial to ensure that the nails are prepped correctly to achieve the desired result. Ranrose French Nail Tips  are a favorite for most ladies as they   come with unique 14 different sizes.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Fill in Nails?

A nail fill-in, also known as a fill, is a maintenance service for those who have acrylic or gel nails. The time it takes to get a fill-in for acrylic nails is 30 minutes at a salon. It’s typically done 2-3 weeks after the initial application or the previous fill-in to fill the gap that has grown between the natural nail and the existing acrylic or gel.

During a fill-in appointment, the nail technician will file and shape the nails, remove any lifting or damaged acrylic or gel, and fill in the area with acrylic liquid or gel. The nail technician will also buff and polish the nails to give them a fresh, clean look. A fill-in is essential to keep the nails looking their best, maintaining their strength, and prolonging the longevity of the nail extensions.

Maintaining Acrylic Nails

Maintaining acrylic nails is essential to ensure they remain strong and healthy. Here are some of my personal tips to help you maintain your acrylic nails:

  • Keep them clean and dry: Clean your acrylic nails with soap and water regularly. Dry them properly after washing, as water can accumulate beneath the nails and cause fungal infections.
  • Avoid using your nails as tools: Acrylic nails are not as durable as natural nails, so avoid using them to open cans or scratch surfaces. This can cause them to break or chip, leading to costly repairs or even infection.
  • Protect your nails from chemicals: Household chemicals, such as cleaning agents or bleach, can weaken the acrylic material and cause it to lift. Wear gloves while cleaning to protect your nails.
  • Moisturize your nails: Always apply a cuticle oil or moisturizer to your nails and cuticles regularly to keep them hydrated. This prevents the acrylic material from drying out, cracking, or lifting.
  • Get regular fills: Regular fills every 2-3 weeks to ensure that your acrylic nails are properly maintained and prevent them from lifting or breaking.
  • Avoid picking or biting your nails: Picking or biting your nails can weaken the acrylic material, causing it to lift or break. This can also lead to infections and make it more difficult to maintain your acrylic nails in the future.
  • Consider using a strengthening treatment: Applying a strengthening treatment, such as a nail hardener, can help protect your acrylic nails from damage and strengthen them over time.

Note: Maintaining acrylic nails can be a challenge, but with proper care and attention, they can last for several weeks without any problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for a full set of acrylic nails?

The time it takes for a full set of acrylic nails to be applied is 45 minutes to 2 hour.

How long should I wear acrylic nails?

It is recommended to wear acrylic nails not more than 2-3 weeks at a time. Wearing them for longer periods can cause damage to your natural nails and increase the risk of infection.

How long does it take to remove and apply acrylic nails?

It typically takes around 30 to 45 minutes to remove acrylic nails.

Do nails hurt after acrylics?

It is common to experience some discomfort or sensitivity after getting acrylic nails. This is because the application process involves filing and buffing the natural nail, which can cause temporary damage. However, if the nail technician is experienced, you will not feel any pain at all.

Can I remove acrylic nails immediately?

It is not possible to remove acrylic nails immediately, you will need to soak them in a bowl of acetone. This can take about 20 minutes .


In conclusion, getting a full set of acrylic nails is e a time-consuming process, taking up to 2 hours in some cases. However, the end result is well worth it for those who want to enhance the look of their nails. It is important to remember to take proper care of your acrylic nails( moisturizing with oil etc) . Also, wearing them for too long or removing them incorrectly can lead to damage or infection