How to Paint With Your Non-Dominant Hand

I am often asked if I am ambidextrous because I create nail art on both my hands. I am right-handed and I cannot write with my left. So, I keep saying that I am not. But I love this craft, so I refused to accept the limitations of my left hand. I can still remember how frustrating it was for me when I couldn't paint my right hand without making a mess. What I did was to challenge myself and just kept practicing. I figured that sooner or later, I'll be able to train my non-dominant hand for nail painting.

I have included some personal tips on how to paint using your weaker hand on my FAQ Page. But I understand how some of you still requested a video demo. I have been meaning to come up with something like this but I really was having a hard time coming up with a decent recording until recently when I was painting my Bears of Pink and Blue.

Here's the video I prepared on how to paint using your non-dominant or weaker hand:

These are the 10 personal tips I included in the demo:
  1. Avoid coffee or sugar overload before nail painting to avoid or lessen hand shaking.
  2. Work on a sturdy and steady surface. A table that wiggles is a disadvantage when nail painting.
  3. Hold the nail art brush near the bristles. This will give you a better control of your strokes.
  4. Use techniques that would make painting easier.
  5. Use your fingers to steady your weaker hand.
  6. Secure the finger you are working on if your hand is not flat on a surface. Use your other fingers.
  7. You can use the hand you are painting on as a surface to steady your weaker hand too.
  8. Sometimes moving your finger is easier than totally manuevering the nail art brush.
  9. Use a nail art brush even when painting basic objects as dots to help you master your brush.
  10. The consistency of the acrylic paint plays an important role for easier nail painting. If it is too thick, it becomes harder to control strokes.

If you have other tips, please share them with us using the comment section.

Thanks so much for watching and I hope the video was helpful in one way or another. If you have questions or suggestions, you may leave a message below or use the contact form to reach me directly.


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  1. These are such great tips! I use them as well when I paint with my non dominant hand. I generally brace my hands as well as I can. And it is nice that acrylic paint is so forgiving. You can mess up and still fix it. :)

  2. These are great tips! I think practice really helps too. You get more familiar with your own strength and the way your nails curve, look.

  3. These are really good tips Rina. I guess you're right when you say it takes practice!

  4. I get asked that question a lot as well, I love your coffee tip lol! I too was determined to learn as there is just no way that I could just paint one hand, are you kidding me?! I always do my nail art sitting in a comfortable chair with a steady table so I can rest my hand on the solid surface, this helps control the strokes. Also, I find that if I take a deep breath in & out just before doing a particularly tricky or detailed design helps me focus better. I turn my phone off cause I tend to get startled if I'm completely concentrated & it all of a sudden rings really loud, but that might just be me. Doing my nails when my Hubby is out of the house or busy helps too, he tends to come over when I'm in the middle of things & stand over my shoulder..."whatcha' doin'?". I guess the same would apply to having kids distracting you, make sure you are having a nice comfortable "me" time. I'm still very new at this, so your tips were a great help & I hope to get better with practice.

    Happy Valentines, darlin', have a beautiful day!


  5. Painting with one's off hand is a challenge! To help not fudge up my off hand nails when painting on my dominant hand, I start by painting my dominant hand, then working on my off hand. I'm a lefty, but this should work for anybody.

  6. It's funny you should say about the coffee, since I've given up coffee my nail painting is so much better!

  7. Hi Rina,

    Thanks for the tips. The video brings every together, I find I remember things more when I see it as opposed to being told.

    Eagerly awaiting ur other articles.

  8. Those are great tips! One thing I find weird, but it helps, is if you don't think about it while you're doing it. A lot of times I will be focused on something else and then I will focus on my nails again and it seems like it's harder to do when I focus on it. And my right hand always looks different from my left so I think it might help, if you have this problem too, to paint using your less dominant hand first, and them paint your other hand to look like that. And I like the coffee tip:)

  9. @Sonoma Bento
    Yeah, I think that's the trick. To stable your hand as much as you can. And yes, I'm so thankful that working with acrylic paint is much easier because mistakes can easily be remedied or erased.

  10. @Bun Bun Makeup Tips
    Thank you for pointing that the more we practice, the more we get familiar with our own strength and personal strokes. :)

  11. @GelaNails
    I think you just made some good points! I don't turn off my mobile phone and it is true that when it rings, I get startled and that sometimes ruins a stroke/s. And yes, a comfortable chair would help too. Before, I used to sit on a hard chair and it makes me uncomfy after an hour. So I bought chair cushions. :)

  12. @Inky Whiskers
    That is another good tip! I do that sometimes, I paint my dominant hand first so that I have to work with my weaker hand first. Or based on your tip, alternating seems a good idea too so that you can pace the efforts of your weaker hand.

  13. @Fab Fingertips.
    I used to have coffee almost every night until I observed that my hands shake during nail painting. I still have coffee occasionally when I know I'm not doing any nail art for the day. :)

  14. @EllaLan
    It took me awhile to come up with the video. It found it hard to let my hand stay in one place when I'm working with my non-dominant hand. But I've been receiving a lot of requests for this and I really don't want to disappoint them.

    Thank you for always supporting my posts. :)

  15. Very helpful! Thanks for writing out the tips, too--I can't always look at videos.

  16. great post and tips, thanks for it :-D

  17. Thanks for the tips! I'm sure it becomes a good mind exercise as well, to learn to use both hands.

  18. thanks for the tips..i'll be trying for sure

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