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How To Prep A New Acrylic Nail Brush

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Buying a new acrylic nail brush can be very exciting. And it doesn't matter if you are a novice or an expert in the industry.

There's always an urge to tear off the wrap and get right to creating beautiful acrylic nails. But doing this spells disaster for both your brush and the nails.

A new acrylic brush must be prepped before it can be used. 

Why Is It Important To Prep A New Brush?

Acrylic Nail Brush

The companies that manufacture acrylic nail brushes spray a special chemical called resin. This glue-like compound is what makes the brush stay in shape till it gets to you. There are also air bubbles trapped inside the bristles of a new brush and you have to get them out.

The aim of prepping a new brush is to get the resin off and the bubbles out of the bristles. Using your acrylic brush without removing the resin can result in:

  • Discoloring of acrylic nails when applied.
  • Splitting of the brush hairs.
  • Acrylic getting stuck to the bristles and ruin your brush.
  • Getting air bubbles into the acrylic bead.
Acrylic Nail Brushes

How To Break In Your New Acrylic Brushes

You will need the following to prep or break-in your new brush. A dappen dish, monomer, a paper towel or lint-free cloth, and of course, the brush itself. Take the following steps to get your brush ready for use:

1. Take off the plastic protective cap covering the brush.

2. Use your fingers to massage and break up the bristles. Use your thumb and your forefinger to flick through the brush.

Ensure that you have good lighting and you should see fine particles coming off the brush. These particles make up the glue or resin that you are trying to remove. Do this gently for about 3-5 minutes. 

This video will show you how to work the resins out with your fingers.

Pro tip:
Bigger brushes with rounded belly might be a bit difficult to get through and will take more time. You can use a blunt object like an orangewood stick to push through the bristles and get the resin out. 

3. Pour some monomer into a dappen dish. Immerse the brush into the liquid and swirl it around the base of the container to get rid of any remaining particles.

You should see air bubbles rising to the top of the liquid. Keep pressing the brush gently but firmly against the bottom of the dish to get rid of all the air bubbles.

Run the bristles against the edge of the dappen dish, give it a wipe on the paper towel and dip it into the monomer again. 

Cleaning the acrylic brush using monomer

4. Repeat step 3 until the brush is thoroughly clean and free of air bubbles. Wipe the brush and discard the used monomer.

5. Pour some fresh monomer into the dappen dish. Dip the brush into it and wipe off the excess liquid against the edge of the dish. This is to rinse off any particles that may still be on the bristles.

6. Roll the brush into the desired shape using a clean paper towel.

7. Place your brush horizontally and allow it to dry completely.

Alternatively, you can forego step 2 if you do not feel comfortable using your fingers. Use a small, thin toothed comb to gently comb the resin out of the bristles.

This method will work best on brushes with a larger belly. You can watch the video above to see how it is done.

Flat Acrylic Brush


  • Wash your hands with soap and water to get rid of skin oil as this can damage the bristles.
  • Throw away the plastic cap, never place the plastic cap back on the brush. The monomer can dissolve the plastic, ruining your brush for good. 
  • Allow your brush to completely dry before placing it vertically in your brush holder. The residual monomer can get into the ferrule and become tacky when it evaporates. This will cause contamination, which is the yellowing of the acrylic when working on a nail.
nailed it


Prepping a new brush is quite easy and straightforward as long as you know the dos and the don'ts.

If you follow these steps, I am certain that you won't have any problem with your new acrylic brush.

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