Here are step by step instructions of how to apply GuitarPlayerNails.

The basics of these instructions apply to all of our nails. Even though we put a lot of information in our instructions here, (we wanted to cover as much detail as possible), it's actually a very fast and simple process. Once you gain a bit of experience, you'll be able to remove an old nail and put on a new nail in less than 5 minutes. If you're new to using our nails, we recommend that you start with our pre-formed nails.  Please go to our Helpful Tips Page under "Using Our Pre-formed" Nails for more info.

If you're using any type of artificial nails, always make sure to keep the nail sealed at all times. It's very easy to do. Always keep the nail adhered to your natural nail and sealed, or remove it completely. Don't let an artificial nail come off part way, or just fall off on its own. If a nail starts to come off, glue it back down and seal the edges. The reason for this is so that you don't trap water in between your natural nail and the artificial nail. With our methods of application, which includes applying the nail to no more than 3/4 of the nail plate, and back filling, (see step 14 of our instructions), it's actually hard not to seal the nail. When you back fill, the nail glue will wick into all the areas you may have missed, and seal the nail at the same time.

These instructions show the application of our Instant Nail strips in detail.
These techniques are also used with our pre-formed nails. With our pre-formed nails you'll skip steps 1 thru 8.

Watch our video for full instructions on both our pre-formed nails, and our Instant Nail strips.
Please click here to watch our instructional video.

  Our Instant Nail strips

The Instant Nail II has a slightly textured side, and a smooth finish side. This nail should be applied with the textured side down.The textured side of the strip is what will be glued to your nail plate.
The Instant Nail llX, should be also be applied with the textured side down.
The Instant Nail CLX can be applied either side down.
The Instant Nail ll uses the regular manicure sick to help create the shape of the nail. We include one with each order, and in our kit. The Instant Nail llX, and the Instant Nail CLX use the larger 1/4" dowel to help create the shape. We include one with each order, and in our kit.
There are a number of ways to create an accurate curve in our nail strips to match the curve of your own nail. The best tool we've found for doing this, with all of our nail strips, are round nose pliers. Very inexpensive, you can get them on Amazon as well as other retailers.
The main goal in shaping our Instant Nail strips is to get the shape to match the contour of your natural nail as close as possible. You want it so that when you dry fit the nail, it will lie on top of your natural nail and conform to its shape without applying any pressure.

Step 1

Make sure your nails are clean and dry before application.
The first step is to cut yourself a piece of the Instant Nail material a bit longer than needed, and a bit wider than your nail.

Step 2

Instant nails, and all of our nails should be applied to only a bit more than 1/2, to 3/4 your nail plate. The length will be determined by measuring from approximately that point on your nail. Natural nails should be kept short.

Step 3

Measure the Instant Nail against your nail. Bend the Instant Nail a bit to the contour of your nail while doing so.

Step 4

Cut off any excess material a little bit at a time until it's the same width as your nail. If you cut off a bit too much, that's fine. Just make sure the short side is on the right (pinky) side of your nail plate.

Step 5

Next you want to put a curve in the Instant Nail that will match the curve of your natural nail. To do this, press the Instant Nail against the manicure stick, and then while pressing the nail against the stick, roll it back and forth from side to side to create the curve. If you're using our "Instant Nail llX" or "CLX", use the larger diameter dowel we include along with these nails. (See video clip here).

Step 6

Make sure that the curve of the Instant Nail matches the shape of your natural nail as close as possible.  You want to shape it so that when you dry fit the Instant Nail on top of your natural nail, it matches the shape of your natural nail as close as possible.

Step 7

Next you can use some round nose pliers (highly recommended), or nail clippers to bend the Instant Nail to match the curve of your natural nail. (As a note, we recommend using toenail clippers over fingernail clippers; they're usually stronger and work better.)

Step 8

Do any final adjusting to match the curve of your nail as close as possible. Round nose pliers work great, and you can also use your fingers and nail clippers to bend the nail material. Do what's necessary to match the curves and shape of your natural nail as close as possible. You can hold your nail pointing away at eye level (like aiming down a gun barrel) and dry fit the nail before applying.

Step 9

Next,  get some glue into a pipette. To do this, dispense a good size drop of thin super glue on a non-porous surface.

Step 10

Then squeeze the pipette, and siphon in the glue. (Once glue is in a pipette it will have a limited shelf life. Usually about a week or two). If your natural nail is too thin or sensitive at all, it should be built up a bit before applying our nails. Best way to do this is with some nail glue, and some nail glue dryer. Simply apply the nail glue over at least 1/2 the natural nail, then spray with nail glue dryer. Make sure to wash the natural nail and buff it with a fine grit file or sandpaper before applying the guitarplayernail, this will stop the nail glue dryer from continuing to work during nail application. If using thin glue, don't apply it too thick if you're using nail glue dryer with it. This will build up heat. Use a thin coat at a time.

Step 11

Dry fit the Instant Nail. You're going to apply all of our nails to only about 1/2 to 3/4 of the nail plate. That's all you need for good adherence. Apply so that there is no gap at the front of the nail. It's usually best to apply our strips so that they have a bit of a downward curve. If the Instant Nail comes up off the back of the natural nail a bit, that's O.K. You can trim that off with some nail clippers. Make sure the nail is applied evenly, so that the left side of the nail is the same height as the right side, and it has good symmetry.

Step 12

Apply a thin layer of glue to the front, center of your natural nail. Don't apply the glue all the way to the edge, as the glue will spread out a bit when you apply the nail. At this point your objective is to establish the proper angle and to set the nail at this angle. Apply the nail so that there is no gap at the front of the nail.

Step 13

Apply the Instant Nail, and hold down for several seconds, to up to a minute or so, depending on how much glue you used and other factors. Apply pressure to the front, middle part of the nail at first, and then work your way back a bit. You can hold with medium pressure. Hold until it sets. Make sure you apply pressure evenly during application so that you don't have one side that's too high. If that occurs, you won't get the bite that you need at the end of the stroke. You want a nice, symmetric curve. With our strips you'll want to apply the nail with a bit more downward angle then with our pre-formed nails. If the back of the material comes up off the nail a bit that's OK, you can trim it off with some nail clippers after it sets. If you have any problems with adhesion, or if you'd like quicker adhesion, you can spray the Instant Nail with a small amount of nail glue dryer before application. (Don't spray your natural nail).

Step 14

After that sets, you can glue down the rest of the nail by "backfilling". This is an important step, as it allows the glue to wick into areas you may have missed, and this will also ensure that the nail is sealed at the seam. See a clip of back filling here. While backfilling the nail, point your finger down, vertically towards the floor, so you have gravity on your side. Using one of our pipettes, a small diameter extender tip, or just the original glue dispenser, dispense some glue behind the nail. You only want to dispense a small amount of glue at a time, (especially if using nail glue dryer), as it can build up heat. So just add a little bit at a time when back filling. You can have a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol nearby to spray the nail if it builds up heat. As soon as you feel some heat, spray the nail, this will immediately cool it down. The glue will "wick" in behind the nail, and go where it needs to go. After backfilling you can spray a bit of nail glue dryer at the seam to dry and set the nail quickly, When using a pipette, squeeze it so that a very small amount of glue forms at the tip, then dispense. This will aid in the dispensing and keep the pipette from clogging when using nail glue dryer.

TIP:  If you apply too much glue, it can wick under the nail on the sides and get on your skin beneath the nail. Keep an eye out for this, if it occurs, you can use a manicure stick or your finger on your free hand to wipe it away. Do so as soon as you can, or you will glue the top edge of your finger pad to your nail. If that occurs, just separate as soon as possible. Also, when first holding down the nail, you can hold and let go a couple of times at first to make sure you're not gluing your fingers or thumb to the nail. Twist your finger or thumb a bit at first before you lift.  If you do glue your finger, twist first then pull off. If it's already set and difficult to remove, you can use soap and warm water, or nail polish remover with acetone if needed.
When applying a thumb nail, make sure that you have a good "left corner". You can actually apply it so that it slightly covers a bit more left edge. This gives you a bit more nail to work with as you file and customize your tone.

TIP:  If you have any slight gap underneath at the front of the nail, You can cut the tip of a pipette with nail clippers at a bit of an angle, like a syringe needle, then apply a small amount of glue underneath the nail where the tip of the natural nail meets the Instant Nail. Make sure there's glue in the stem of the pipette, then apply a very small amount of thin nail glue to seal any gap. If you get any excess glue under the nail, you can clean it up in a few seconds with a rotary nail file and an under the nail bit.
If you don't have a rotary file, use the end of an emery board file.

Step 15

Use some mild nail glue dryer to quickly seal and dry the glue. This is a highly recommended step, as the nail glue dryer will instantly seal the nail at the seam and hold it in place. If you're not using nail glue dryer at this point, wait about 4 or 5 minutes before going on to the next step. Pre-formed nails need only about a minute. If you do use the dryer you can proceed right away. If any other part of the nail was missed, you can glue it down now.

Step 16

At this point, you can do a rough trim of the Instant Nail tip. You want to leave it a bit long for shaping and filing that you'll be doing a bit later.

Step 17

Trim any excess material that's up off the back of the nail. Get in behind the nail with some clippers, and remove as much of the nail that isn't glued down as you can.

Step 18

Next, you're going to taper the Instant Nail into your natural nail plate. A course or medium grit emery board type file works well to start. Then you can finish with lighter grits.

Step 19

However the fastest and best method for tapering the nail will be obtained by using a rotary nail file with a good bit. If you're new to using rotary nails files, go slow, use good lighting, and get used to the bits that you'll be using. (Please check out our section on rotary nail files on our Helpful Tips page). A flat barrel carbide bit works great for tapering and removing old nails. If you're a serious player and use any type of artificial nail or do nail repairs, we highly recommend getting a rotary nail file. If you have a Dremel tool, many of them can be used as a rotary nail file as well. The rotary file we carry works well, has variable speed, and good torque at low speeds. Use your left thumb to stabilize the rotary file as you file the nail. (See clip of using file here)

Step 20

With a rotary file you can monitor your filing as you're doing so. You can precisely taper the entire nail very quickly. (Note how the left thumb is used to stabalize the file). It will take longer with a manual file, but with a little patience you can do a good job. If tapering with an emery board type file, it's best to leave the border edge a bit higher than flush, then add a little nail glue, or a thicker brush on nail glue or resin to finish the taper. When finished tapering, using the pipette, add a bit more thin glue along the border area you just tapered. This will further make sure the nail is sealed. Always make sure that the nail is sealed at the border where the Instant Nail meets the natural nail.

Step 21

Next as an option, you can spray the nail with a little nail glue dryer to speed up drying, or it will dry pretty quickly on its own. Use some 1500 grit sandpaper to finish. The end result is a perfectly smooth, tapered nail.

Step 22

At this point, you can file and shape the Instant Nail to your preference, taper underneath if needed (see Step 31) and you're done.

For extra strength, you can add some fiberglass wrap...

Fiberglass wrap is used to add a bit more strength and rigidity to the nail. Wrap is also used as a tool for customizing tone. This is a matter of personal preference whether to use wrap or not. It depends on which GuitarPlayerNail you're using, your individual playing style, and tone preferences.

Step 23

When using wrap, cut yourself a piece the length of, and a bit wider than the nail.
If you want to reinforce just the tip of the nail, you can cut a narrow strip of wrap and apply it just to the tip of the nail. This will allow more flexibility, and more high end to the tone of the nail.

Step 24

Our wrap is self-adhering. Simply peel off and adhere it to the top of the nail.

Step 25

Trim the wrap all around so that it's the same shape as the nail. Using nail clippers works well for removing excess wrap. You don't have to be perfect, get as close as you can. You can leave the excess wrap on before applying the glue, and then trim off the excess with nail clippers after the glue has been applied.

Step 26

Apply some nail glue to the wrap. You want to apply enough glue to cover the fibers of the wrap completely, but not so much as to pool.

TIP: If you are in a hurry, you can use nail glue without wrap. Apply 1 or 2 coats, using nail glue dryer after each coat. Application time is about 15, 20 seconds. Not quite as accurate or durable as with the wrap, but a very quick way to strengthen or repair.

Step 27

Spray a little mild nail glue dryer, or let it dry on its own. The wrap dries pretty quickly on its own, but a bit faster with the dryer.. Then smooth and finish the top of the nail with a fine file and/or some 1500 grit sandpaper.

Step 28

File the nail from underneath with a rotary nail file. Using an under the nail bit, remove any excess natural nail or glue that is under the nail. If you don't have a rotary file, the end of an emery board type file will work.

Step 29

Just lightly file under the nail to remove excess material.

Step 30

You can also use the end of a fine grit emery board type file and some 1500 grit sandpaper folded a couple of times with a curve to finish underneath the nail.


You've got a great new nail.


The end result is a durable, great sounding nail that feels like your own. It's also a nail you don't have to worry about. If something happens to it, you can remove it and apply another one in a few minutes.


Removing Nails

A very quick and accurate way to remove our nails is to file them off. It takes about a minute or less with a rotary nail file. Emery board files also will work, but take a little longer. Simply clip off the tip of the nail and then file the rest of it off. When filing off a nail, friction can build up, so keep the bit or file moving to different areas of the nail. You can leave a thin layer of the old nail on if you wish. Take your time and use good lighting. Our pre-formed nails can be soaked off with acetone, (nail polish remover), but it's much faster and easier to file them off too. Since you've only applied the GuitarPlayerNail to only 1/2 to 3/4 of the nail plate, you can use the border of the nail as basic reference as to how much nail to file off. Also, if you watch carefully while you're filing, you'll be able to see where the GuitarPlayerNail ends and the natural nail begins. View from above and from the side of the nail. If you remove any natural nail while filing, you should build up the nail before applying a new Nail. This procedure only takes a few seconds. If there is any sensitivity in the nail, build it up a bit. Best way to build up a nail is to apply some nail glue to the nail plate, and then let dry, or you can spray with some nail glue dryer. If you use a thinner nail glue, apply thin layers at a time, as it will build up more heat when using nail glue dryer than more viscous nail glues. Please buff the nail lightly before applying a new nail so that the nail glue dryer won't continue to work. If you don't, the glue will dry too fast when you go to apply the new nail. Never let a nail come off on its own. If it starts to peel off a bit, seal it back down. Always keep the nail sealed when it's applied, or remove it completely. You don't want to get water in between an artificial nail and your natural nail. So keep the nail sealed, or remove it completely.

If you have any questions, or if any problems arise, don't hesitate to contact us!
There can be a bit of a learning curve with applying our nails. If you run into any problems, feel free to contact us.
We have lots of experience with any situations that might occur.
If you don't achieve the exact tone and performance that you want from our nails, give us a call; 209-295-4969 or e-mail us.
We'll make sure you do. We also have Skype and Zoom. We'd be glad to show you any aspect of our application.

Our nails are applied with the use of fingernail glue. If you have any allergies to fingernail glue, consult a physician before using. If you have any medical conditions or problems with your fingernails, consult a physician before using any artificial fingernail. If any irritation occurs while using this product, discontinue use and consult a physician.