Best Ways To Paint Your Toenails: 4 Keys To A Perfect Pedicure, According To Experts

Perfectly polished toenails are a great way to give your feet a little beauty boost. Painting your toes yourself can be a fabulous form of self-care too! If you’ve never given yourself a pedicure though, it’s always important to take some tips from experts and plan ahead. We here at StudyFinds went looking for advice to pass along on the best ways to paint your toenails, straight from pedicure experts.

A recent study shows Americans only feel relaxed for about 40 minutes a day.  Building a solid self-care routine into your schedule is important to reducing stress, and nourishing mental wellness. 

Even if you don’t have the time or the budget to visit a nail salon, you can pamper your toes at home.  So that got us wondering, what are the best ways to paint your toenails?

StudyFinds compiled a list of four steps from ten expert websites, to find the best ways to paint your toenails for the perfect pedicure. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!

The List: Best Ways To Paint Your Toenails In 4 Easy Steps

1. Clean Up Your Feet

To prepare for your pedicure, you’ll want to soak your feet for about 10 to 15 minutes.  “If you have a foot bath, now is a good time to pull it out.  Otherwise, you can fill your tub and sit on the edge,” suggests Oprah Daily.

You can add essential oils or even some Epsom Salt to the soak to give your feet a more spa-like experience.  Pat feet dry and apply some lotion to moisturize.  Remember to remove any old polish from your toenails before starting step two.

Woman soaking her feet before a pedicure
Soaking your feet is an absolute must for the best possible pedicure, though flowers aren’t necessary. (Photo by Rune Enstad on Unsplash)

2. Clip, File, and Buff

Now that your feet are nice and clean, it’s time to grab that toenail clipper and get to work.  “Guide the clippers straight across the nail of each toe and avoid cutting nails into a curved shape,” notes Everyday Health.

Once you have your nails clipped, smooth out any rough edges and shape with a nail file. 

Then, take your buffer and use the rough side to smooth out any imperfections on each toenail.  “A buffed surface will help ensure a smooth-looking manicure with polish that sticks,” points out Allure.

Make sure to give a little TLC to any rough patches on your heels.  “Using a pumice stone or foot file each time you give yourself a pedi will help keep calluses to a minimum,” suggests Well+Good.

3. Check Your Cuticles

“Be gentle with your cuticle pusher — simply push back any waxy build-up on your natural toenail plate and near the cuticle area,” notes Good Housekeeping

Next, grab some cuticle oil and rub it in.  “It’ll make a major difference in their shine, health, and the overall strength of your nails,” points out Cosmopolitan.

4. Polish

You can really get creative with this step. There are endless choices of colors and designs to make a stylish statement.

You’re going to want to keep your toes spaced out in order to paint them. If you don’t have a toe separator handy, an easy solution is to grab a paper towel, twist it and weave it between each toe to keep them from touching.  

First, apply your base coat. “Choosing a nice base coat is essential for preventing staining and making sure your color remains un-chipped with all the wear and tear our feet go through,” adds Marie Claire.

Next grab your color and paint.  Glamour suggests using “just three strokes per nail—at most—and do only two thin layers, waiting two minutes in between so each coat has a chance to dry. You’ll get longer wear out of the layered approach, plus two thin coats will actually dry faster than one thick one.”

Woman painting her toenails
(Photo by ALEXANDRE DINAUT on Unsplash)

Finish the look with a top coat.  “Pick a generous amount of top coat in the same way as nail polish. Apply onto the nail plate very lightly to avoid digging into nail polish underneath,” notes Nailbees.

Now sit back and relax, as your polish dries.

How often should you get a pedicure?  FitMyFoot points out you should “aim to get a pedicure every four to six weeks. This is the amount of time it takes for dead skin to form on the feet, so targeting this before it worsens can be beneficial.”

Be sure to let your toes dry completely after getting a pedicure.
Be sure to let your toes dry completely after giving yourself a pedicure.(Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay)

Enjoy your happy feet!


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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


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About the Author

Melissa Kraus

Melissa is a freelance writer, based out of New Jersey. She has over two-decades of writing, editing, and producing experience for Radio, TV, and Digital Media.

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