Konad Stamping Nail Art Review and Tips

After lemming for one of these sets for awhile I finally broke down and bought several plates.   Konad is a Korean nail accessory brand that sells neat little plates with images on them.  Basically you paint over an image with thick nail polish, scrape off the extra product and use their stamper to apply the image copy directly onto your nail.  You can put the images other places too, I’ve seen someone decorate their cell phone using Konad.

I have been practicing a bit.

I’m still learning though.   Here is what I have learned so far……

You see I did not buy the special nail polishes that have a high viscosity because A.) they are expensive around 6 dollars plus shipping each   B.) I have a ton of nail polishes and some of them are bound to work.

The problem you’ll run into is if you don’t get the special nail polishes that Konad makes you’ll have a problem. The Konad polishes have a high viscosity so

they show up so much better than most regular nail polishes. So if you don’t have high viscosity or certain polishes, a light base color nail polish is important.  When you stamp on the design it won’t disappear into the darkness.  Very opaque and thick polishes will work you just have to find certain colors from certain brands.

  • get a rough edged nail file to file about 3 times in one direction across the Konad stamp and about 3 times in the opposite direction.  This helps the nail polish stick to the bottom of the stamp better and prevents smearing when you apply it to your nail.  You may have to do this periodically because nail polish and remover are rough on the rubber.
  • Yes, there are knock offs.  You can find the differences in the products if you search on youtube for “how to tell fake konad”.
  • I have found that black nail polish from about any brand..wet n wild is only .99 cents works as well as the thicker black polish made for nail stamping.
  • White nail polish of most brands works well stamped over dark colors too.
  • A trick I discovered is that if you mix a chalky white nail polish..you can get white nail polish cheap too, when mixed with a darker, more sheer color comes out to lighter more opaque color (or depending on the amount of shimmer in the darker polish maybe a little bit of shimmer).  This is helpful because now you can stamp on dark base nail color such as black, but you should experiment on a piece of paper or a fake nail first to make sure the stamp will show on a darker base.
  • Don’t forget to work in a well ventilated area..open a window!
  • You can also thicken nail polishes by pouring the amount you’ll need out into a small container and let it thicken for a few minutes before applying to the image plate and scraping.  Old nail polishes also work since they become thicker after time.
  • It is very important that you work quickly.  If you don’t the polish will either dry on the nail plate or on the stamper and you won’t get a print or worse, you’ll get half of a print and have to redo the whole nail.
  • Holding the scraper at a 45 degree angle when you scrape off the polish works better than scraping at a 90 degree angle.
  • Another trick I discovered is when you apply the nail polish to the image plate, drag your scraper across it a few (about 3 times) quickly across the polish covered image plate.  This fills up the etching in the plate to the fullest, so you’ll have a bolder, thicker stamp on your nail.
  • You don’t need to press the stamp down hard on the image plate to transfer the polish.  Gently rolling the stamp over it will work much better and not smear your image.
  • Line up and roll the stamp over your nail steadily to transfer the image.
  • Konad image plates were a lot smaller than I’d anticipated.  I have a long nail bed and some of the images don’t cover my whole nail.  It is difficult to line up the design to stamp if you have to stamp another time on your nail.
  • Some people use an old gift card or credit card as the scraper,  I tried it and it did not work for me. I couldn’t get the polish off the plate enough to show the design clearly. It doesn’t leave scratch marks like the konad scraper does.  I think material in between the two would work best..  try this method and if you have luck share it with me please!!
  • On Amazon there many types of  image plates including Konad.  I’ve ordered these as well and while some of the designs are neat, the full nail size stamps are smaller than konad’s.   This makes it more difficult and time consuming if you want to fill up your nail.  The edges of the some plates are very sharp, so you might consider getting a nail file and filing down the edges outside, away from your face, even wearing a face mask–you don’t want to breathe metal particles.
  • Clean your plate and stamper with tweezers and a cotton pad with non acetone nail polish remover between each stamp on your nail…if you don’t it won’t work.
  • Acetone is hard on the rubber stamp and will degrade your stamp faster, so use a non acetone remover and when you are entirely finished with your nails rinse off your stamp with water.
  • Don’t forget to clean your plates after each stamp with remover or the polish won’t stick to the stamp.
  • The double headed stamp shown above is great.  You can stamp smaller images much easier with the small end and larger ones at the opposite end.
  • A topcoat such as seche vite fast dry top coat is very useful. it makes the images a little less matte and last much longer than without a top coat.
  • Acetone works much faster than other removers and removes glitter nail polish easier, but it is also much stronger.  It will make your nails weaker than non-acetone removers after repeated uses, so always wash your hands after you use it on your nails.   Don’t forget moisturize your nails/hands and painting your nails with a strengthener.

There are many other tips and lists of nail polishes that work well using this nail art method.  A quick search should pull up many results.  Youtube has a plethora of tutorials as well.

products used in my photo:  black nail polish for a base, a dark purple metallic nail polish mixed with a matte white nail polish and a little bit of a Sally Hansen HD purple polish (for the stamps), seche vite fast dry top coat.

Please leave me a comment if you have any tips or nail polishes that work well with this product, feedback is appreciated, and don’t forget to leave me a rating!  Thank you!!


42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. luv4beautyandnailart
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 09:05:00

    wow! they are super pretty, each one of them!!!!


  2. Kate Palmer
    Feb 12, 2013 @ 03:40:03

    For people in Australia, I am a KONAD distributor and you can check out the facebook page and order here http://www.facebook.com/konadnailartsystem?ref=hl I look forward to ‘seeing you’ and ‘chatting with you’ there. Kate


  3. Bonnie
    Aug 28, 2012 @ 20:51:44

    Thank you for the very helpful tips you mentioned.


  4. 19Candies84
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 14:31:12

    I found all of these comments/conversations really helpful. I just bought the Konad-gold set and haven’t used it yet because I wanted to read about the different tips, tricks and designs that other people have used. I have been doing my own nails for over 16 years (since elementary school) and am sooooooo glad I read these posts because now I will be able to keep my design plates in good shape for longer. I am also happy to see that I will be able to use my own older nail polishes on the plates instead of buying all of those expensive polishes made specifically for stamping. Thanks again. Happy stamping!! :>)


  5. Mandy
    Jul 18, 2012 @ 21:20:21

    I work for Konad and just to let you know a much easier way to clean the stamper is to gently scratch it with your nail! Nail polish remover is messy and bad for the rubber. Glad you like the product!


  6. Anonymous
    Mar 24, 2012 @ 06:04:26

    Where do i get Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat? Im from INDIA..!!! Please help me out!!!


    • pumpkincat210
      Mar 25, 2012 @ 23:36:38

      if you have ebay or amazon try there!


      • Anonymous
        Mar 27, 2012 @ 00:58:30

        Butt there is a problem! We need to pay them first rite? and is it safe to get it from ebay or amazon!!!


        • pumpkincat210
          Apr 11, 2012 @ 21:25:29

          i don’t know of any stores in india that sell seche vite, as i have never been there. yes, you do have to pay first on ebay and amazon, but you can get a refund on the product if you are not satisfied. check out their feedback first and make sure it is positive!


          • Anonymous
            Apr 12, 2012 @ 04:50:53

            Thanks Alott..! 😀

            It wud be great if you cud post some designs based on image plates m3 and m4
            i got my kit a few days earlier… along with those plates. and i dont knoe any good designs to start with.. I hope you don’t mind..! 🙂


  7. jungle juice poppers
    Feb 16, 2012 @ 23:46:32

    Thanks for sharing these cool nail polish styles. i will definitely try one of these.


  8. Lia Bishop (@ginger_ninja_97)
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 13:31:14

    awesome designs! konad now sells a plastic (bladed) scraper which i got for 2.50 and works better than plastic card and doesnt scratch the image plates another feat is that its supposedly more child friendly which is good since my 7 yr old sis is getting into nail art 🙂


  9. Anonymous
    Oct 29, 2011 @ 18:56:53

    Hi, what base colour did you use in your first picture?


    • pumpkincat210
      Oct 30, 2011 @ 19:20:23

      It’s just a regular black nail polish with a light purplish wet n wild color on top. I don’t know the name because I ran out, but i think it is still available.


  10. Leigh
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 19:54:28

    Thanks so much for all the great tips, they were super helpful. I copied your polka dot on the goddess top coat today and got a couple of compliments! Thanks so much for sharing!



  11. Melodie
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 13:22:28

    How do you get the konad art to go onto freshly polished nails without wrinkling or messing up the polish? In a salon setting it is impractical to wait until the polish is completely dry before applying the art. We just got konad plates and the special polishes in. While we have figured out, and love, the look of the final stamped art on our own nails, we have struggled with applying it on clients after freshly polishing their nails.


    • Kellye8498
      Nov 29, 2011 @ 23:16:55

      After polishing the nail use Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat and wait three minutes. The nails will be completely dry and ready for stamping without the wait when you do this. I do base coat, 2 color coats, seche vite, wait three minutes and then stamp and coat with another layer of seche vite. Nails are done in 15 minutes from start to finish and I’m able to run my nails thru my hair or dig in my purse in 3-5 minutes time.


  12. Melodie
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 13:18:50

    Hi, what a great tips page for Konad Art. I do have a question for you. We’ve just recently gotten the Konad plates and polishes in the salon (the special polishes). The trouble we are having is when a client wants the Konad art on their freshly painted nails. The polish wrinkles when applying the stamped art. But to wait until the polish is mostly dry or all the way dry is just too time consuming. So any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated.


  13. lisa
    May 18, 2011 @ 17:24:42

    I agree Konad makes too many floral designs! But they are really good quality! i also love the ones from chez Delany and monster bundle! what a great deal! I saw some new ones with disney characters and a zipper! I want them So bad! I want them all! ha ha ha


  14. Amazon Mom
    Apr 22, 2011 @ 11:59:06

    I love these! They are high quality, and the image selection is awesome. There’s even a couple of images for each major holiday, which is a bonus because now I don’t need any holiday plates. I would suggest ignoring the negative review on this product which says the plates are scratched and the images are not deep enough to produce a stamped picture. The plates have a fine plastic cover on them that needs to be peeled off prior to the first use. And indeed the plastic cover does make the plates look scratched up, and the plates are impossible to use without removing that cover. Once the plastic is peeled off, you’ll find a mirror finish plate underneath with high quality images that work wonderfully.
    Bottom line, they work just as well as the name brand plates, with much less investment. Highly recommended!


    • Rebekkah Wilkin (@rebekkahmay)
      Aug 25, 2011 @ 15:46:23

      I just got my Konad set today – so far it is working okay, I can see where I’ll need to practise lots on paper for the big designs. BUT I don’t think there is a plastic cover on my plates!?! I have been trying to “remove” it, but there is nothing there, and they seem to still work…hope I am not missing something…


  15. Mandy Tay
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 11:22:23

    Hi there. I’ve just bump into your wordpress.
    I’ve been “konad-ing” for quite some time now. I do feel that the konad special polish is very useful when you are new to konad. It dries so much slower, and it was comparatively easy if you use the special polish.

    Regarding the metal scrapper, I replaced mine with a plastic card (harder than a credit card). I think you need to play around with some cards until you find the right one. For example, some cards which may be of the same hardness doesn’t do a good job at scrapping away the paint.

    When I used the plastic card, it seems better when I were to scrap the nail polish away at 90 degrees instead of 45 degrees.

    Another tip:
    If you want to konad on a design with various sizes, make sure you scrap towards the direction of the smallest size. Not sure if you get what I mean or not… 😛


  16. Anonymous
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 23:53:44

    This has been really helpful! I just bought a scraper, stamper, and two image plates, and I used normal polish and they are just too thin for this type of nail art. Is there a certain brand you think is particularly good?


    • pumpkincat210
      Mar 25, 2011 @ 12:59:13

      it really just depends on the color. i find that black and white from the less expensive brands (wet n wild, sally hansen) work well. generally matte colors are better for image stamping. you can also thicken polish by pouring some into a water bottle top and letting it thicken for several minutes. You’ll have to work fast though when you apply it to the plate, scrape and stamp. Sinful colors also has a good variety as well as some of the sally hansen quick dry colors(especially the matte)


  17. June
    Mar 20, 2011 @ 16:49:12

    Hi, just wondering for the second picture you had up there, the polka dots with a shiny base color, what nail polish did you use for the polka dots? they turned out so well…. same thing for the first picture, with purple base coat.


    • pumpkincat210
      Mar 21, 2011 @ 01:40:57

      hi! used covergirl sparkling nail topcoat in “goddess”. it’s basically just a silver holographic glitter polish. the glitter is really fine and not chunky.


      • June
        Mar 21, 2011 @ 15:30:50

        oh, thanks for letting me know the name of the base coat.. I was acturally asking about the black nail polish you use for the polka dots… since you said in the article that you didn’t use the Konad special polish, I’m just wondering what brand nail polish did you use for stamping (the black color).


  18. Anonymous
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 18:06:28

    I’ve just gotten into Konad/Bundle Monster/Chez-Delany nail stamping art within the last month or so and I found this post very useful – thank you.

    I’ve tried using an old bank card instead of the Konad scraper to reduce wear on my plates, but it only seems to work on certain designs for me. It’s pretty useless on Konad’s m19 french tip plate, for example. I’ll be experimenting with thicker cards for a start, I think. 🙂

    So again, thanks for all the great tips. I thought I should add that while doing a search for “how to tell fake konad” I came across another blog which uses your article and photos without any attribution: http://makeupmae.blogspot.com/p/nailz.html


  19. Barbie
    Dec 29, 2010 @ 20:34:30

    Wow! Your designs look great! When I bought my Konad, I bought a package (from wowsocool.com) and it included a black and white polish, a stamper, an image plate, and a scraper. So then I bought 2 plates. I want to get more though! Ones like you’ve used! 🙂 So pretty!

    I saw your post on MakeUpTalk!


    • pumpkincat210
      Dec 31, 2010 @ 10:07:59

      🙂 ! i want more plates too. they are a little obsession. i wish konad didn’t make so many floral designs and more larger full nail designs. thanks for stopping by!!


  20. biogirl364
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 15:24:34

    Thank you so much. I was having trouble getting it to work for me, but after reading your tips I got perfect stamps.


  21. christina
    Dec 12, 2010 @ 21:19:19

    I love these.. well done:)


  22. dolcearia
    Oct 17, 2010 @ 12:26:01

    I LOVE the way those look! I can’t wear this type of nail art, both because of work uniform/dress code policies, and also because my nail beds are barely half the size of yours, and are narrower besides. My family always has small nails, and two decades of biting them raw hasn’t helped. Pretty nail art is sadly wasted on them. I really miss the days when I was modeling enough to make acrylic nails a more worthwhile expense. I would LOVE to learn how to do complex nail art.


    • pumpkincat210
      Oct 17, 2010 @ 13:14:26

      thank you! actually konad is great for smaller nails because the plates are small. my nailbeds are naturally really long and it is difficult to line up the stamper if you have to stamp twice. i don’t wear acrylics anymore because they tore up my nail too much and were impractical with children.


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