Brush It Off: DIY Brushstroke Nail Art Inspired by Something You Totally Did in Middle School


DIY Brushstroke Nail Art Inspired by Something You Totally Did in Middle School

Remember in middle school, when you would paint your nails with a bottle of Wite-Out and flaunt your bright whites around like you were a fly girl. Well, #1) you ARE a fly girl and #2) today’s DIY nail art is inspired by that old school moment. But it’s not what you think…

That little Wite-Out brush that made painting your nails in the back of math class oh-so-easy, is today’s inspiration. Because we used a tiny paintbrush to create this brushstroke nail design.


Curious to see the step by step process? Click through for the full tutorial.

Here’s what you’ll need… Start by choosing 3 to 4 nail colors for your brush stroke design. We used Essie’s Lilacism, French Pink, Butler Please, and In The Cab-ana. Feel free to use as many different colors as you’d like, but I like 3 or 4 to keep it cohesive. You’ll also need nail polish remover with a glass jar or dish to pour it into and a small paint brush. Do not use a plastic container (nail polish remover / acetone eats through some plastics).

DIY brushstroke nail art


  1. Prep your nails with a clear base coat and then paint each with your chosen base color, we chose Lilacism for this.
  2. Using your paint brush dip it into your next polish color and start painting random brush strokes on each nail. You don’t need many strokes of each color, one or two and no more than three. Once you have finished using that color just swish your paint brush around in the nail polish remover to remove any polish and you are ready to move on to the next color.
  3. Continue the process with each of your other chosen nail colors making sure to keep the brush strokes random.
  4. Finish off with a clear top coat and you’re done!

Fun, right? What do you think?

DIY brushstroke nail art

DIY brushstroke nail art
DIY brushstroke nail art

Nail design (and hand modeling) by Rachel Brewer
Photography by Amelia Tatnall
Art direction by Brittni Mehlhoff

Think you’ll give this nail art project a try? 

18 comments | Click here to reply

Ah! How much fun! Looks lovely!

Monique | WritingMonique | January 20th, 2016 at 9:36 am

Thanks Monique. Rachel did a great job with the design. 🙂

Brittni | January 20th, 2016 at 10:03 am

That is a very cool nail design, well done!
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Michelle | January 20th, 2016 at 11:00 am

Glad you like it, Michelle.

Brittni | January 20th, 2016 at 11:02 am

This looks so fun to do and I never thought about it. Such a cool idea, can’t wait to try it!

Abigail Smycken | January 20th, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Awesome Abigail. Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

Brittni | January 20th, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Super cute – thanks for sharing! I never paint my nails because the polish only seems to last a day or less, but this makes me want to try!
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Emily | January 20th, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Hi Emily. Have you tried using a top coat after painting your nails? I never used to do that and the paint would only last a day or two before chipping. But more recently, I started using a really good top coat and the polish lasts (without chipping) for so much longer now.

Brittni | January 20th, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Beautiful design, love the colours! – Becky x

Becky | January 20th, 2016 at 1:22 pm

Thanks Becky. Glad you like it. Rachel rocked the brushstroke look.

Brittni | January 20th, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Loving this!! I think it’s easy enough I could even try to do it!

Kelsey | January 20th, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Definitely easy enough for anyone to tackle, Kelsey. And fun too!

Brittni | January 20th, 2016 at 5:00 pm

I love it! you always have the best and easiest ideas!!!
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kate | January 21st, 2016 at 12:23 am

Aw, thanks Kate. So glad to hear that!

Brittni | January 21st, 2016 at 8:00 am

I love these, they look so cool! The photos are stunning too, I love the paint squeezing out
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Alice | January 21st, 2016 at 9:46 am

Thanks Alice! I love the paint squeezing too. It was a fun day.

Brittni | January 21st, 2016 at 11:26 am

I will totally try this – I love the final look!
Hannah x
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Hannah | January 23rd, 2016 at 7:29 pm

I never know getting two color nail designs can be as simple as you share in here. Just awesome! your nails look so beautiful and i can’t control myself to try it now.
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Maryam | December 3rd, 2017 at 10:58 pm
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