How Do You Paint a French Toenail?

paint-french-toenail Credit: With Love Photography/Moment/Getty Images

The basic technique for painting a French toenail is to place a strip of tape over most of the nail and paint the exposed portion with white polish. A white nail-art pen gives superior control over application and is an excellent option for those with unsteady hands. For a chip-free French toenail, finish with a clear top coat.

A translucent pink base coat improves the appearance of French toenails by increasing contrast between the white tip and the rest of the nail. Cover each nail with the base coat and let it dry before proceeding.

Nails that are yellow, ridged or have other aesthetic flaws benefit from two layers of an opaque pink base coat. After the second coat, spray the nails with drying spray and wait 30 seconds before painting the white tips. Seal the nails with a clear top coat.

Add visual interest to your French pedicure with a rhinestone accent nail. Paint and seal the big toenails, then place a line of tiny rhinestones at the border between the white and pink sections. For a more daring break with tradition, use the French technique with other colors of nail polish. For example, make the tips red or black instead of white.