"N" is for Nice & Easy "Newsprint" Nails

Welcome back for the 14th week of Kimber’s ABC Challenge.  I’ve been looking forward to the letter “N” since this event began.  For ages, I’ve been dying to try that technique known as “newsprint” nails! By the time this week rolled around, I was determined to learn how it was done.  Did I succeed?  You tell me. What follows are photographs of my end results, interspersed with the twisted paths I took to get there…

how to do newsprint or newspaper nails, with water and a laser printer

The first order of business was to find myself a light newspaper-colored polish, together with a base and top coat…

  • Base Coat ( butterLONDON Horse Power, thanks to a St. Paddy’s day swap with the lovely Meredith);
  • OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls (my favorite opaque nail art white; thanks again, to the lovely Meredith!!); and
  • Top Coat (butterLONDON Hardwear)
how to do newspaper nails with a laser printer and water

Next, I fumbled through several online tutorials, all of which called for:

  1. painting one’s nails a neutral color;
  2. letting the mani “cure”;
  3. applying wet pieces of newspaper, face-down on the dry nail bed;
  4. removing wet newsprint to reveal a transferred image on the nail; and
  5. applying a top coat to seal the images.

The only point on which these tutorials differed is in what form of liquid was used to “wet” the newsprint.  Some swear by vodka, which I find an abominable use of good booze. Others turn to rubbing alcohol, and a handful of sensible ladies used plain tap water.

Since I couldn’t find the rubbing alcohol, and since I wasn’t about to crack open a bottle of Absolut, I went the sensible ladies route.

news print or newspaper nails, using water and laser printer

That’s when I noted a significant problem:  I didn’t have a physical newspaper on hand.  Way to go, Lisa.  Duh.

But, necessity being the mother of invention, I cruised the Internet in search of a Chinese language periodical, and decided to publish my own newsprint on the family’s (el-cheapo but trusty) Brother laser printer.  I mean, why not?

“OK, but wait a second. Rewind.  Why Chinese?” you ask.

Well, silly rabbit, because the Chinese alphabet is so devastatingly beautiful.  That’s why.  🙂

newsprint or newspaper nails, using a laser printer

My quest brought me to a website for some outfit called the Chinese World Journal.

Now, here’s the potential rub…

I don’t read Chinese, and can only speculate about what’s going on here.

newsprint or newspaper nails, using water

Nevertheless, being in lacquerhead-mode I printed out my “ePaper”, cut out 10 small pieces of  fabulous typeface, and began hoping that the stuff I was transferring to my nails would be PG-rated and Homeland Security approved.

I’ve really no interest in pissing off the Feds.

click to enter LOZLOSA's first birthday giveaway!  7 winners, 7 prizesSo, let’s recap…

I’ve got my base manicure:  3 coats of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls, over a layer of Horse Power base coat.

I’ve got 10  pieces of “newsprint” soaking in a dish of water.

And when I apply said wet pieces to my nails….

Nothing happens.

No image transfer.  Nada. 

That’s when I had an idea…

On my next dry nail, I applied a layer of quick dry top coat, and let that sit for about 20 seconds before  placing the wet newsprint (face down) on the tacky nail surface.

After smoothing things out, and letting it rest for another 15 seconds or so, I then gently peeled back the paper, and was greeted with the crisp black lettering left behind!  Yesssssssssssssss!!!

True, there was a little paper “fuzz” on the nail, but that was remedied by gently wiping the nail down with a water-dampened cotton ball.

Finally, I topped off this mani with two layers of top coat, to seal the image transfers.  

I’m pleased as punch!

This is a crisp technique I’ll be using again and again, and the possibilities are endless.

So, tell me:  After all is said and done, how did I do?

How to do newspaper or newsprint nails, using  OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.

Do we have here “newsprint” nails, or some cockamamie faux technique, not worth spending another second on?

Is this something you’d be interested in seeing a brief step-by-step pictorial on?

Lemme know in comments….

And after chiming in, make yourself happy by checking out all the fabu goodness my lovely co-challengers have in store for THEIR letter “N” manis…

~ Lisa

PS – The lovely and uber-talented Karine at Nailderella, saw this post and proceeded to create the most fabulous tutorial for the technique.  You must check it out!!! 🙂     

  38 comments for “"N" is for Nice & Easy "Newsprint" Nails

  1. April 9, 2013 at 4:41 am

    I love these!!! Boy did you succeed!!! I loved reading how you did it and it looks great in Chinese because otherwise I believe the letters end up upside down (probably the same happened with the Chinese but since we can’t read it…!)
    Vote for the pictorial…yes, yes, yes!!!

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Thanks, Marii! LOL. Yup, the mirrored image thing holds true for Chinese alphabet, too.

      Working on the pictorial! 🙂

  2. April 10, 2013 at 6:45 am

    LISA!!!! I have been dying to try this technique for a long time now and I agree that the gals who use vodka are loony tunes for wasting such boozie goodness! Blasphemy! LOL I love the fact that yo used a Chinese e-paper! Fantastic idea! I also think that your extra tip of applying the print while the nail is still tacky is awesome, maybe why yours showed up so well, or because yours was freshly printed, either way these are the best news paper nails I’ve seen done!! Great job Lisa!! ♥

    • April 10, 2013 at 6:46 am

      PS You had me crackin the hell up at your homeland security remark! LOL I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! 😉

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

      LOL. Thanks so much, Gini!!! I was really surprised by how great these turned out.

      I’m working on that tutorial. Should have it up by next week, some time.

  3. April 10, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Oh Lisa this is incredible!! I love your newspaper print journey and what a successful result! I say hell yea to a tutorial on this I love it so much, and the chinese lettering is such a fab idea to fix the problem of the backwards lettering you usually get with this technique (unless of course the person who understands chinese is looking at your nails haha :P). Well done!!! 😀

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Hi, Chantelle! Thanks. I’m tickled with the outcome. Found a way to get it to come out straight-on, as opposed to backward, too.

      The best part of this technique is how dark the lettering comes out…

  4. April 10, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I love the final result and you had a super nice idea! 🙂

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks, Cristina!!!! 🙂

  5. April 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I freaking love newsprint nails. Brilliant! And I love the design, even if I have no idea what it says. Haha!

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      LOLOL. Thanks, Ketlyn!

  6. April 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I love this! I had considered doing news paper nails too, but I didn’t. I’ve done them before just using my local news paper, but after seeing your Chinese version, I just have to try it. Looks absolutely beautiful!

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks, Amy. I’m still going to give real “newspaper” nails a shot or two, but it sure is cool being able to find foreign language print online.

  7. April 11, 2013 at 12:37 am

    OMG!!!!! These are fantastic!!!! I’ve tried this technique two times and had the same problem, nothing on my nails and a mushy mess to clean up, I can’t wait to try this! You my love, are a genius!!!

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      LOLOL. YAY! Don’t know about genius, but I sure like how they turned out.

  8. April 11, 2013 at 3:02 am

    I really would love a tutorial. I’ve tried newsprint nails before but never had a success like yours. These are fabulous, they look stamped rather than transferred! Beautiful work!

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks so much, Natalie! I’m working on that tute. Should be up within the next week or so. 🙂 YAY. LOL.

  9. April 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Oh my!!!! Those are fabulous!!!!! I love newsprint nails, but the Chinese is indeed a great idea for getting them to yet another level of beauty!!!

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Thank you, sweetie. I’m getting a kick out of them.

  10. April 11, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I’ve probably said it before but I’ll say it again I LOVE YOUR POSTS! They always put me in a good mood 😀

    That was an awesome idea and I can’t believe that it turned out looking so amazing. I thought it was stamping. That is a great success indeed!

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      You made my day, Ria!!! 🙂 Thanks sooo much for your kind words. I’m verklempt. 🙂

      It’s a cool technique. I’ll be getting a tute up within the next week or so. Worked on it some this weekend.


  11. April 12, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Holy awesome batman!! I can’t believe how crisp and clean these are!! When I did this, I used hydrogen peroxide, which I DO NOT recommend doing, my finger turned white wherever the peroxide touched!! I had to pull out the vodka to get the job done, a waste I know, but it had to be done!

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      OMG. Creepy peroxided white fingers!!! Eeek. Yeah, I’d have gone for the vodka after that, too, Nic! 😉


  12. April 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Wow, this is a really good technique and the BEST newsprint mani I have ever seen!! I’ve never was interested in newprint mani until now, because like you said this is so crisp!

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks, Jenni!!! 🙂

      I’ll be posting a tute soon. It’s a fun technique.

  13. April 12, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Honestly I cannot believe these are newspaper nails. They look INCREDIBLE! So crisp and clear! These are by far the best I have ever seen! Please do a tutorial! I am dying to try this now!

    • April 14, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Surprised me, too.

      I’m working on that tute, and should have it up within the next week or so.

  14. April 12, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Clever you! I tried newspaper nails once but I couldn’t get it to work, and when it did work the letters were nowhere near as clear or dark as yours!

    • April 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Thank you, my dear Bookish one! 🙂

  15. April 14, 2013 at 5:49 am

    LOVE THIS! You started us off with a bang this week. That looks just awesome. And yes – tutorial please.

    • April 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      YAY! Thanks much! I’m working on that tute!!! 🙂

  16. April 14, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I’m super impressed at how clear the image is-much clearer than would be with a normal newspaper I think. They look really stylish!

    • April 14, 2013 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you! I think this is a cool technique.

      Thanks again, and so please you’re joining us!!!!

      Welcome!!!!! 🙂

  17. April 14, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    You did amazing! I think it’s the neatest paperprint thingy I’ve ever seen! This is a technique I still have to try and I will sure use YOUR tips ^^ Look at those crispy letters..!

    • April 14, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Isn’t it cool? LOL! Thank you, darlin’! I’m working on that tute! 🙂

  18. April 16, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Wow this is by far the best newspaper nails I have ever seen! I’m really curious what it says! XD It’s so strange, I’ve tried newspaper nails several times using rubbing alcohol. It worked a few times and another few times it doesn’t, which is so wierd! I’m sure that the alcohol didnt evaporate so I guess it’s the mood the alcohol is in? XD Anyways, LOVE your mani and I’m definitely going to try your method from now on!

  19. April 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    This is so awesome! I love that you picked Chinese characters makes it that much more interested, looks like it took quite a bit of time (quick note Brother printers are awesome haha)

    Miranda M | http://prettysquared.blogspot.com/

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