how to use builder gel on natural nails

Learning how to use builder gel on natural nails can go a long way in maintaining their strength and integrity.

There is a wide variety of nail art and extensions to pick from now. The nail industry is always developing and expanding from glitter acrylics to eye-catching nail art effects.  

And it is not just that nail art; artificial nails are all the rage right as well. Nails that look natural and grow strong have become increasingly popular too.

And that is when people want to know about builder gel.

But, before getting deeper into how to use builder gel on natural nails, it is important to educate yourself about builder gel.

Tip: Limit your exposure to water because it causes your nails to become brittle, and even builder gel would not be of much use then.  

What Is Builder Gel and Why Use It?

what is the builder gel

Nail builder gel is a type of liquid gel that can be used to lengthen and strengthen natural nails.

It is applied with a brush or painted on like nail polish, then cured under a UV lamp.

Builder gel is designed to last longer than gel polish, typically between two and three weeks. 

Why Should You Use Builder Gels?

Nail thickness, length, and strength can all be augmented with builder gel.

Applying builder gel to natural nails creates a non-chip overlay while using it with nail tips yields extensions or enhancements.

It is more durable than standard base coats for gel polish, and its formula is noticeably thicker.

As a result of their excellent self-leveling capabilities, they can be relied upon to form a flat, even base. 

What Can You Use Builder Gels For?

what can use building gel

You can take advantage of builder gels in so many ways. For instance, you can:

  • Use it as a foundation coat under your gel polish to make it more durable
  • Use a building gel to lengthen your natural nail past the nail tip
  • Try it as a gel overlay when natural nails are already in place
  • Use it when you need to refill gel nail extensions
  • Use it as glue on nail art
Tip: Pay attention to careful application because a weaker bond between the nail plate and the product leads to lifting.  

How to Use Builder Gel on Natural Nails to Get Great Results

how to use builder gel on nails

Before going any further, it is essential to mention that some women think builder gels are not good for nails. It is not true, though.

Builder gel is not harmful if you use it properly and keep your nails in good condition.

But, as with any substance, abuse can have negative consequences.

Keep in mind that your natural nails need a break from BG and other fake nails every three months. 

How to Apply Builder Gel on Natural Nails Properly

The great thing about builder gels is that your nails will look great with just one or two coats.

You should aim to have the second layer thicker than the first if you use two layers.

Do not apply the layers too thickly or the light will not be able to penetrate and cure your nails.

Preparing Your Nail for Builder Gel Application

preparing nails for building gel

Keeping a few things in mind before applying builder gels to natural nails can go a long way in getting stunning results. 

Step #1: Begin with a Dry Manicure

Start the process by carrying out a dry manicure. Make sure the cuticle on your nail is pulled back, and any excess is removed. 

Step #2: Etch the Nail Plate

Be sure to etch the nail plate properly. Buffing may also help here. Doing so will help to reduce luster and improve the building gel’s adhesion. 

Step #3: Clean the Nail Properly

clean your nails properly

Get a good prep and wipe solution. Dab a cotton ball in it and wipe the nail down to eliminate dirt or grease. 

Step #4: Proceed with Scrubbing

Be sure to dehydrate the nail plate as much as possible to get the best results. A good idea is to use acetone.

Alternatively, you can use some good quality gel-off solution to scrub the nail.

Warning: Adhesion to the nail will be minimized if you do not prepare properly. 

Tip: Remember curing time for each layer is 30 seconds when using an LED nail lamp, whereas the curing time using a UV lamp is 2 minutes.

Steps to Apply Build Gel on Natural Nails

steps to apply building gel

Once you have prepared your nails, you need to follow certain steps to get the best results.

Step #1: Being with Base Coat

If your building gel specifies it, use a primer or base coat. You can do it under a nail light if your nails need to be cured.

You can save time by omitting this procedure if you do not require a primer. 

Step #2: Apply the Gel

Builder gel can be painted on if it comes in a bottle. Simply remove a small amount of gel using your nail brush.

Apply it while making sure you avoid the cuticle completely but do not miss the free edge.

A few seconds of waiting after applying builder gel will ensure a uniform coating. 

Step #3: Cure Under Light

Cure under an LED or UV lamp to get good results. The instructions for the building gel you choose should specify which lamp to use and how long. 

Step # 4: Apply Another Coat

apply an another coat

A second application and curing process can be performed if more coverage is desired. 

Step #5: Clean Your Nail

Remove any sticky residue from the nail with a lint-free wipe and some isopropyl alcohol. 

Step #6: File the Nail

Be sure to file your nails again to get the right form and smooth out any thick spots.

Step #7: Apply Top Coat

Proceed with the top coat. Before applying the color, you need to wipe clean the nail again.

If you need a different shade, you may apply more gel polish, cure it again, and start painting. 

Step #8: Add Finishing Touches

Complete your manicure by applying a top coat of gel and waiting for it to cure.

Finally, give your nails a light application of cuticle oil and follow any aftercare instructions. 

How Do You Create a Gel Overlay on Natural Nails?

how to create gel overlay

You can use builder gel for overlays. 

Step #1: Prepare the Nail

Before you begin, prepare your nail, cleanse, and dehydrate. 

Step #2: Apple the Gel

Apply a couple of coats of a builder gel, with each coat cured according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Use only one coat of standard gel polish base coat and cure if you have thin, easily-bent nails. 

Step #3: Use the Top Coat

Apply the top coat, and use a gel polish shade to get better results.

Step #4: Refine

You do not have to peel off the inhibitory layer from the cured gel if you do not plan on filing the cured gel.

Otherwise, refine your overlay by using a cleaning solution to remove the inhibitory layer and then proceed with the filing.

Tip: Be sure to check if your builder gel requires a slip solution and brush because it is tricky to handle and needs a nail technician for proper application.

How Do You Remove Builder Gel from Natural Nails?

ho to remove builder gel

Builder gel usually lasts a couple of weeks, but proper aftercare can extend it to three weeks.

How you remove the old coat and what brand you use may impact the builder gel’s longevity.

After the builder gel has grown out, the nail can be infilled like acrylic or the set can be removed and another applied immediately if the nail is in good enough condition.

But, in some cases, you may want to remove the gel completely. Here are the steps to follow: 

Step #1: Fill it Down

If you remove a gel nail extension, it is likely to have a thicker layer of builder gel.

Be sure to fill it down to remove most of the gel. It is an essential step if you have recently applied for gel nail extension. 

Step #2:  Soak the Nail

soak your nails

Wrap the nails in acetone or soak them for fifteen minutes to remove the gel. After this time has passed, check the nails and remove the top coating.

If additional time is required, repeat in five minutes.

Note that the amount of time required for removal will vary according to the thickness of the builder gel.

Getting rid of most of the product first will make the process go faster.


People often wonder how to use builder gel on natural nails effectively, but now you are not like them!

The use of BG appropriately has the potential to benefit nail health.

Nails that are weak or brittle can be strengthened, and new, healthy nails can even grow out!

Many women feel that BG manicures are better for their natural nails since they do less harm than acrylics.

The steps are simple but it is even better to work with a manicurist first to get an idea of how to proceed.

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