Simple Airbrush Nail Designs

airbrush nail art

One of the easiest airbrush nail designs to paint is the tiger striped nail shown above…

For this project you will need the following:

  • your airbrush equipment
  • yellow, orange, and black TRANSPARENT paints
  • white opaque paint
  • frisket
  • exacto knife
  • a nail (real or fake)
  • clear nail polish

Scroll down when you are ready to start!

Step 1

Before we get to the painting part of this tutorial there is a little bit of preparation that needs to be done first…

… we need to make a tiger stripe stencil!

I made the one shown below by searching for tiger stripes on the internet for a pattern (the one I used ended up being from a piece of fabric) and tracing the stripes.

Next, transfer the tracing onto a piece of frisket. The add multiple layers of frisket back to back to make the homemade stencil sturdier (it will be really flimsy if you skip this step)… I used four layers.

Then use the exacto knife to cut out all the stripes…. I am warning you this IS tedious – but you can use this stencil again and again… so it will be worth it.

When your done it should look something like this…

airbrush nail art

Step 2

As with all my airbrush nail designs, I started by painting the nail white. The white background makes the transparents brighter and more vibrant.

airbrush nail art

Step 3

The the nail is sprayed yellow all over…

airbrush nail art

Step 4

Next I loaded orange paint into my airbrush and painted orange around the outside edges of the nail. Note that the middle of the nails is left fairly yellow … remember that this the cool thing about airbrushing nails is achieving those gradients that just can’t be done with regular painting techniques – so try to incorporate them when you can.

airbrush nail art

Step 5

Now carefully apply your stencil. I say carefully because the paint is very delicate at this stage and scratches easily. It is also much easier to use the stencil on a real finger as opposed to as shown in my photo because you can curl it around the finger and pinch at the bottom to hold in place.

airbrush nail art

Step 6

Once you have the stencil all lined up spray in the stripes with black paint.

airbrush nail art

Step 7

Next you’ll need to apply clear nail polish over the paint to protect it from scratches. Use two coats. Warning: Be careful not to play with the clear too much on the first coat…. the black has a tendency to bleed if you brush over it too many times while wet.

airbrush nail art

Step 8

And here it is all done!

Note:If you are doing these airbrush nail designs on a persons hand… that is… not on a fake nail stuck to a piece of paper with gum like I do (hahahaha) … there is going to be paint overspray on their skin. Simply wait for the clear to dry and wash the oversprayed paint off with soap and water or alcohol.

airbrush nail art

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