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Time
1h00

Perfectly country!
While this nail art technique is quite complex, it is made up entirely of straight lines, so anyone with patience and a steady hand can complete it! Perfect as an accent nail or an entire manicure, there are countless color possibilities! I would read through the entire tutorial before you get started, so that you can pick colors accordingly and understand the steps! You could use any colors you want...doesn't have to be holiday themed, but I thought this would be a fun color scheme to try!

Posted by lacquerologist from Canton, Ohio, United States • Published See lacquerologist's 7 projects »
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  • How to paint a checkered nail. Plaid Nail Art - Step 1
    Step 1

    Apply base coat to the nails. Apply your base color. This will be visible in the finished manicure as the squares within the plaid.

  • How to paint a checkered nail. Plaid Nail Art - Step 2
    Step 2

    Using your accent color, apply vertical stripes on the nail. You want the stripes to be as thick as the space between them because you will be forming squares of your base color between the stripes (that'll make more sense in a second!). Your accent color can be a regular polish that you use a striping brush with, or a striper polish.

  • How to paint a checkered nail. Plaid Nail Art - Step 3
    Step 3

    Again using your accent color, make horizontal stripes criss-crossing your vertical ones. This should create squares of your base color. Mine look more like rectangles here, but that will be ok!

  • How to paint a checkered nail. Plaid Nail Art - Step 4
    Step 4

    Using your first stripe color, make thin vertical lines in the center of the thick stripes you already made with your accent color. Your stripe colors do not need to be stripers; you can use regular polish with a striping brush! It's up to you! I find it's nice if it's similar to your base color, or it could be the same polish as your base color!

  • How to paint a checkered nail. Plaid Nail Art - Step 5
    Step 5

    Again using your first stripe color, make thin horizontal lines within your thick accent color stripes.

  • How to paint a checkered nail. Plaid Nail Art - Step 6
    Step 6

    Using your first set of lines as a guide and your second stripe color, create vertical lines just offset to the right of your first set. So, I made black lines just to the right of my red ones. Be sure to think about how the design would continue on either side of your nail...for example, on the left side of this nail, I put a black stripe where it should go, even though there was actually no red stripe there, just due to the size restriction of my nail!

  • How to paint a checkered nail. Plaid Nail Art - Step 7
    Step 7

    Similarly to step 6, use your second stripe color to create thin horizontal lines slightly offset up from the first set.

  • How to paint a checkered nail. Plaid Nail Art - Step 8
    Step 8

    Repeat Steps 6 and 7 using your third stripe color, and your second set of stripes as the guide. Space your lines out so that your lines in your third color are between those of your first and second color. So, I will place my white lines between my last black line and the next red one as I move to the right or up!

  • How to paint a checkered nail. Plaid Nail Art - Step 9
    Step 9

    You could stop here, but I like to do one more step to make the plaid look more complex and layered. Go back over your second set of thin stripes so that they now overlap the third set. So here, I went back over my black stripes so that they overlap the white ones. I like to do it this way so that they are spaced out nicely...you could just do the black ones last, but I think it's easier to do them in this order so that the spacing is nice! I hope that makes sense! =)

  • How to paint a checkered nail. Plaid Nail Art - Step 10
    Step 10

    Clean-up with acetone and angled eyeliner brush and apply top coat once the design is dry.

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