What Can I Use instead of Nail Primer

What Can I Use instead of Nail Primer?

Nail primer helps your gel polish and acrylics to sit on your nails for a long time. When you apply a nail primer, it removes moisture and oil from your nails and prepares a dry surface for your nail polish or acrylic. 

But the problem is these are a bit overpriced. So, looking for a homemade remedy is common. Here you’ll face another issue- there are not many alternatives to nail primers. 

Luckily there is a way you can make your own homemade nail primer using two common ingredients. Below I’m going to share that cheaper alternative to costly nail primers you’ll find in the market. 

Alternative to nail Primers

I’ve already said that nail primers remove oil and moisturizer from the nail surface to let your nail paint or polish sit properly for a long time. 

The combination of Acetone and Isopropyl Alcohol does the same if you apply it properly. Using these two is not a tough task. You neither have to mix these together nor mix anything with these. The only issue with the process is waiting for some time.

Let’s see how you can do it. 

In this process, you’ll need-

  1. Acetone
  2. Isopropyl Alcohol
  3. Nail polish brush

Step 1:- Take some isopropyl alcohol with the brush and apply a coat on your nails. Let it evaporate fully. 

Step 2:- Use another brush to apply a coat of acetone on your nails similarly. Allow it some time to evaporate.

Step 3:- Once the acetone is evaporated, start applying polish or acrylic.

Some Tips

  • Don’t use cotton swabs to apply acetone or isopropyl alcohol because cotton may leave residues that you don’t want. 
  • Don’t use a similar brush to apply acrylic or nail polish. Doing this may alter the chemical structure of the polish. 
  • Allow these to evaporate properly.
  • Before using the brush, make sure that it is cleansed properly and doesn’t contain any contaminants. Otherwise, it can leave residues. 
  • If you want to mix acetone and isopropyl alcohol together, make sure that you’re picking a bottle that can handle acetone. A nail polish bottle can be a good choice. Also, while storing, close the bottle cap tightly. But I suggest not doing this.
  • Be careful while applying these ingredients. Don’t over-apply. Also, be careful so that you don’t apply these on your skin around your nails. Doing this may cause irritation, skin issues, or something more serious. 
Why Alcohol and Acetone can be Used instead of Nail Primer

Why Alcohol and Acetone can be Used instead of Nail Primer?

The features of isopropyl alcohol and acetone have made these a great alternative to a nail primer. Let’s discuss the exact reasons behind this. 

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is known for killing bacteria. When you apply it to your nails, it kills and washes away harmful bacteria from the surface. Also, it dissolves some oils so that it becomes easier for acetone to clean the surface. 

Alcohol that comes with a lower concentration is not proper for this. This type of alcohol comes with a lot of water that leaves moisture on your nails. Pick alcohol with heavy concentration to get the maximum benefit. 


The main purpose of using acetone is its ability to dissolve oil. It breaks down the oil and makes the nail surface dry. 

Besides oil, it also removes moisture. It evaporates fast and while evaporating, it takes away moisture with it. Thus, your nail surface becomes an almost perfect place for acrylic or nail polish to sit for a long time. 

Make sure that you’re picking pure acetone. Any additives in the acetone may leave residues that ruin the perfect surface. 

Related Blog: How Long Does Primer Take To Dry

Final Verdict

Your costly nail primer and dehydrator are the best way of preparing a surface for your nail polish and acrylic. This DIY method can’t be as perfect as those. 

Still, this is the best alternative you can get. It is comparatively very cheap. Also, it is very easy too. So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative, you can try this. 

Nail primers you find in the market have some more benefits. For example- some work as a glue or some alter the pH. If you want these benefits too, you’ll have to go for the expensive ones. 

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