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Nail Designs - Water Marbling

Updated on January 2, 2014

Water Marbling is a Fun and Unique Look

I saw this while looking for nail polish designs and absolutely love the way the nail polish looks. I think it is beautiful.

I thought I would take what I have learned and make a do it yourself page to help you learn how to do this cool nail polish art design. I will be updating this page periodically as I learn more.

Water marbling is such a unique nail design and you can do it yourself at home.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Tessa_the_Pisces.

Items You Will Need

Nail polish


Paper towels



Nail Polish Remover

Bottled Water (not tap water)

Bowl or cup (something that is ok to get ruined with polish)

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Steps for Water Marbling

Prepare your nails with a base coat and make sure they are completely dry.

Tape off your fingers around your nails with scotch tape.

Lay out some paper towels to work on and have your toothpicks ready. You can also use a needle or marbling tool instead of a toothpick.

Pour some bottled water (room temperature) into a bowl or cup.

Shake the bottles of nail colors you are going to use and open them, leave the lid unscrewed and on top.

Start with your first color and let a large drop fall into the water (not from too high above the water or it will sink to the bottom).

Let the first color spread out. If it does not spread out well, you can slightly move the container of water to help it spread.

Add a drop of your next color into the center of that color (again, hold the brush near the water but not touching it).

Continue alternating with a drop in the center using the colors you have chosen for your design.

Very lightly pull the toothpick across the rings of color to make the design you want.

Decide which portion and angle of the design you want on your nail and slowly put your nail into the water and hold it there.

Gather the rest of the polish off the top of the water by using the toothpick.

Slowly pull your nail out of the water and let the polish dry. You can also remove the tape and clean up the polish on your finger with q-tips and polish remover.

Photo used under Creative Commons from d†P.

Some of the Most Popular China Glaze Colors for Water Marbling

See How It's Done

I absolutely LOVE the designs SimpleLittlePleasures creates. I have drawn a lot of inspiration from her YouTube videos and she seems to be one of the best water marbling artists I have seen so far.

Must-Have Items

I've heard this top coat is really great, I'm going to get some and try it myself. A good top coat will make your design stay shiny and protected. An excellent white polish is an absolute must-have for this technique. Use it as a base to make your colors really POP. You can also use it as a color in your design that will make your other colors stand out.

Please leave your comments and suggestions here. I'd love to hear about any new nail trends and what you think of this tutorial.

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