How To: Water Marble Nails.

Nail Art Wednesdays Marble Nails

“Keeping up the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work, but important.” – Sara Gruen.

I have admired water marble nail designs since I first began practising nail art, but it took a while for me to give it a go myself. Water marble is often a lengthy and messy process which I always found off-putting (and still do) and the first time I tried it a couple of years ago I failed miserably.

Last year I found out that the reason it didn’t work my first time around was because the temperature of the water is a factor that needs to be controlled. If the water is cold, water marbling doesn’t seem to work. However, if the water is fairly warm, room temperature, it will work.

Last month I finally decided to give water marble another go since I had the time and had more awareness of what to do. So, I filled a bowl with warm water, had some toothpicks off to the side ready to grab, and my selected nails polishes opened and ready to use. Due to the nail polish drying, you should aim to move quickly when doing water marble designs, so don’t worry about your nail polishes being open; it’s for efficiency. Also as result of the need to work quickly, I didn’t want to take up time taking photos, but I did take a photo of all of the equipment.

water marbling


  • Bowl of warm water.
  • Selection of nail polishes.
  • Toothpick(s).
  • Nail polish remover and a cotton bud for cleaning up afterwards.


Pick one of the nail polishes and let a drop splash into the bowl of water. It may be slow, but the polish should spread out a bit (sometimes moving the bowl around a bit helps), or at least enough so that there is room to drop another colour of nail polish within the dot. You can keep doing this as many times as you like and with whatever colours you like and when you’re satisfied with the amount of nail polish in the bowl grab a toothpick. You want to drag your toothpick through the wet nail polish in the bowl to create a design. When done, dip your nail into the bowl and use the toothpick to clean up the excess nail polish.

water marble pink essie.jpg

Due to messiness and for the sake of this post I decided to just do water marble on the one nail; however, you can do them all. As a result of this, I decided to then paint the rest of the nails according to the nail polishes I had used in order to create the water marble.

Once the water marble design has dried on your nail, cover it with a top coat and you’re done! While this is a time consuming and messy process, it is also quite a simple one, though it might take a few tries to get a hang of it.

Have you ever tried water marble? How did you find it?

I have also done a post on how to do gradient nails and next week I will be using today’s post to create a variety of marble inspired nail art designs, so do check back for those! Also, if you like nail art, why not check out my Nail Art Gallery?


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6 thoughts on “How To: Water Marble Nails.

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