Our Instant Nail strips
The Instant Nail II has a shiny side, and a matte finish side. This nail should be applied with the shiny side down.The shiny side of the strip is what will be glued to your nail plate.
The Instant Nail "CR" as well as the Instant nail "CL" and "CLX" can be applied either side down.
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 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 one in about 5 minutes. If you're new to using our nails, we recommend that you start with our regular pre-formed nails for your fingers and our extra large pre-formed nail for the thumb.
These instructions show the application of our Instant Nail in detail. These techniques are used with our other nails as well. With our pre-formed nails, you can skip steps 1 thru 8.
Please also watch our instructional video here.
Our Instant Nail strips
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.
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, (not painfully so), a bit of free nail can be present.
Measure the Instant Nail against your nail. Bend the Instant Nail a bit to the contour of your nail while doing so.
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.
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 squeezing the nail against the stick, roll it back and forth from side to side to create the curve. If you're using our "CL" or "CLX", use the larger diameter dowel we include along with these nails. (See video clip here).
Make sure that the curve of the Instant Nail matches the shape of your natural nail as close as possible. Make sure to flatten out the middle of the Guitarplayernail to match your natural nail and to avoid "tenting".
Next you can use some needle nose pliers or nail clippers to lightly hold the Instant Nail, then bend down the ends of the Instant Nail to match the curve of the sides of your natural nail. (As a note, we recommend using toenail clippers over fingernail clippers; they are usually stronger and work better.)
Do any final adjusting with your fingers to match the curve of your 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. Make sure there's no "tenting" in the middle of the nail, and that the nail can lie flat against your nail plate with no gaps in the middle of the nail.
Next, get some glue into a pipette. To do this, dispense a good size drop of thin super glue on a non-porous surface.
Then squeeze the pipette, and siphon in the glue. You can also cut the tip of the glue bottle just a bit bigger than the pipette, insert the pipette, carefully tip the glue bottle a bit, and siphon in the glue. Make sure you squeeze the pipette before inserting it into the bottle. (Once glue is in a pipette it will have a limited shelf life. Please test after 5 days or so). 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 brush on nail glue, and some nail glue dryer. Simply brush on 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. Brush on nail glue works best for this purpose, as it's more viscous and builds up less heat when using nail glue dryer.
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. The nail should lay flat at the front part of your natural nail, with the tip following the natural downward angle of the nail. Apply so that there is no gap at the front of the nail.
IMPORTANT TIP: By applying the Instant Nail to the front of the natural nail, the angle will result in a more natural feel, tone and response. As the natural nail has a tendency to start curving a bit downward as it gets towards the front of the nail, this natural downward tendency will be continued. Line up the nail, apply it so that there is no gap at the tip, press and hold. Let it set, then glue down the rest of the nail. Apply the nail as flat as you can against your nail plate to avoid any "tenting" at the middle of the nail. As you apply the Instant Nail to the front part of your natural nail, the back of the Instant Nail will come up off the back of the nail plate, which is fine. You can trim off the excess after application.
Apply a small drop of glue to the front, center of your natural 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.
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. 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).
After that sets, you can glue down the rest of the nail by "back filling". While gluing the nail, hold your finger down, vertically (pointing at the floor), so you have gravity on your side. You can glue one side at a time. Using one of our pipettes, or a small diameter extender tip, dispense some thin nail glue behind the nail, and then hold to set. 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. Hold the guitarplayernail lightly against your natural nail with a free finger as you apply the nail glue. You can pull back on the pad of the finger tip a bit while applying the glue to keep from gluing it to your nail. Use light to medium pressure while holding down the nail. The glue will "wick" in behind the nail, and go where it needs to go. For quicker adhesion, you can spray a bit of nail glue dryer after initially applying the nail at this step. Angle the spray so that it gets under the nail. Spray for 1 second. 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. You should dispense the glue at the corners of the nail, where there is not as much gap as the middle of the nail. See a clip of back filling here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
However the fastest and best method for tapering the nail will be obtained by using a rotary nail file with a good bit. 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 stabalize the rotary file as you file the nail. (See clip of using file here)
With a rotary file you can monitor your filing as you're doing so. You can precisely taper the entire nail in about a minute. (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.
Next, spray with a bit more nail glue dryer. Use some 1500 grit sandpaper to finish. The end result is a perfectly smooth, tapered nail.
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.
Or for extra strength, you can add some silk wrap...
Silk 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. We do recommended it for our pre-formed nails.
When using wrap, cut yourself a piece just a bit longer and wider than the nail.
Our wrap is self-adhering. Simply peel off and adhere it to the top of the nail.
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.
Apply some thin 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.
Spray a little mild nail glue dryer, or let it dry on its own. The wrap usually dries pretty quickly on its own, but much faster with the dryer.. Then smooth and finish the top of the nail with a fine file and/or some 1500 grit sandpaper.
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. Best results with a rotary file.
Just lightly file under the nail to remove excess material.
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.
The nail will sound great immediately. However, as the glue cures, it will develop a bit more rigidity and brightness to the tone.
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.
A very quick and accurate way to remove our nails is to file them off. It takes less than a minute with a rotary nail file, you can remove our pre-formed nails in a matter of seconds. Emery board files also will work, but take longer and are not quite as accurate. 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. You can lightly draw some lines with a pencil on your natural nail as a reference before application to help distinguish the border of the natural nail if you wish, but most people don't find that necessary. 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 brush on nail glue (or any viscous nail glue) and then 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.
If you have any questions, or if any problems arise, don't hesitate to contact us!
There is a learning curve with applying our nails. If you run into any problems at all, please 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. We'd be glad to show you any aspect of our application.
Here is a video of our application process done in real time. It's a bit outdated, but it will give you a good idea of how to apply our nails.
Where there is a discrepancy, our written instructions and newer video (link at top of page) take precedence.
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.