Summer Neons Splatter [TUTORIAL]

Hello lacquered lovelies!  Today I have a super fun splatter mani to share with you!  For this look I used all China Glaze Summer Neons, which you all know I am obsessed with!  Love it!  I started with two coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls for my base.  Then I used the following China Glaze polishes randomly for my splatter:  Beach Cruise-R, Love's A Beach, I'm With the Lifeguard, Sun-Kissed, Splish Splash, Flirty Tankini, and Surfin' for Boys.  I finished it off with two coats of NYC top coat to smooth everything out!  To see my swatches of the China Glaze Neons, click [here], [here] and [here]!

When I posted about doing this manicure on Facebook, a few people requested a tutorial!  I believe the first person to make this manicure technique big was Jen from The Polishaholic!  To see her tutorial from June 2011, click [HERE]!

The Lacquerologist's Splatter Mani Tutorial!

Aftermath of the Neon Splatter Mani above =)
The splatter manicure really is a simple nail art technique that anyone can pull off.  While it is sort of messy, you really can't mess it up! =)  To get started, let's gather up our supplies!  You will need the following:

  • Straws or coffee stirrers
  • Scissors
  • Paper plate or paint palette
  • Paper towel or newspaper to protect your surface
  • Base coat, base polish color, top coat, and polishes to splatter with
  • Tape
  • Acetone and clean-up brush or q-tip

First things first: straws!  This is the super high-tech tool used to create this manicure! ;-)  I use just regular drinking straws, but I have found that coffee stirrers work well too.  Regardless of what I'm using, I cut them in half.  This conserves straws and makes it a bit easier to blow the polish off the straw.  I've got asthma...gotta make it as easy as possible!  Ha!

Choose your polishes and protect your work area.  I always use a paper plate to "blob" out my polishes and paper towels to protect my area.

Prep your nails.  Paint on your base color (here I've used OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls).  It does not need to be 100% dry to move on to the next step, but I would suggest letting it dry for at least five minutes.  If you want to make your clean up effort easier, you can use some tape to tape off around your cuticle so that polish does not get on your skin.  Personally, I skip that step, because acetone can work wonders, but it's up to you!

When you're ready to start splattering, "blob" out some of your polish on to your plate (I just use the polish brush to make a little puddle) and then dip your straw in!  You may need to do several up and down dips to get enough polish on your straw.  Then, aim your straw at your prepped nail, and BLOW!  *insert funny joke here*  Sometimes nothing happens...just dip again and try again!  I find that usually you just need more polish on your straw or the consistency of the polish is too thick.  You'll get your own technique down pretty quickly and find what works for you.

As you can see from the example above, even when you aim, the splatter doesn't always go exactly where you plan.  You can't really control it.  Splatter on as many colors as you'd like until you've achieved the desired effect!  If you taped your fingers off, carefully remove it and then use your clean-up brush and some acetone to clean up right around your nails.  If you're like me and don't tape, get to work with that acetone and clean yourself up!  Once the splatters have dried (to prevent smearing), apply top coat.

So that's it!  I hope you all found this helpful!  The color combinations and finishes that you could use for this manicure are endless.  What looks are you excited to create?! =)


  1. All the times I've tried the splatter technique, I can never get it to work. Lol. Though I have yet to give up on it! One day I will be successful. Lol.

  2. Awesome tutorial :) I neeed to try this technique out! Such a simple idea but the ends results look amazing.


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