How to…Get Zebra Print Nails

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photo credit

Here at Every College Girl, one of our most popular posts of all time is our tutorial on how to get cheetah print nails. I love the look; it’s so simple and fun, and animal prints are getting hot again. To follow along the same vein, I decided to do a similar animal print nail tutorial. This time: zebra or tiger stripes!

What You Need…

  • White nail polish
  • Black nail polish
  • Clear top coat nail polish
  • Thin paintbrush (from craft/dollar store), dotting tool (from beauty supply store), or toothpick
  • Nail polish remover
  • Q-tip


  1. Start by applying the top coat. This will help the white polish from looking streaky.
  2. Now, apply 2-3 coats of the white polish. This can be kind of tedious, as you wait for each coat to dry, but it’s the best way to get a crisp white base for your nails.
  3. Now’s the fun part. If you’re using a paintbrush, wet it with water before dipping it in the black paint to make a thin point. Start your zebra pattern. I find it helps to have a basic image of zebra print in front of you as you do it. Use short strokes and gradually build up the stripes. If you need to, practise on a piece of scrap paper first.
  4. Once the stripes are dry, carefully add one more layer of top coat.
  5. To finish, dip the Q-tip in the nail polish remover and clean up the edges of your fingertips to remove any smeared polish.

Mix It Up…

I love this look with different colour combinations. The photo above (credit) uses hot pink as the base (which wouldn’t require the first step, and less coats in step 2). For a tiger look, simply switch to an orange or gold base. It also looks good with a silver base, or with a white base and cream stripes, so the pattern is barely noticeable. If you get really good at it, try applying the zebra stripes to only your french tips! The possibilities are endless.

What Do You Think?

Did you try our cheetah print tutorial? What do you think of the zebra print look? Leave a comment and let me know!

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  1. Shell Shell says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these nails! Super funky without overshadowing the rest of your outfit!!

  2. Briana Briana says:

    I love this and will be trying very soon =)

  3. Audrey Audrey says:

    Wow! what a great post. I did this design with the color Skinny Vanilla Latte (nude) by Superstar Nail Lacquer as the base, and black for the stripes. I wish I could show you :) You can get the color at

  4. Jordan Jordan says:

    I just did these nails with a blue base and white stripes Looks awsome!! :D

  5. Krystle Krystle says:

    Love zebra haha

  6. S S says:

    Very helpful! Great tips! :)

  7. M M says:

    OMG this is awesome, I have no artistic ability though, I want my mom to do it for me though, she is an artist. (no I am not a mamas girl or anything) thanks, oh and by the way the picture is perfect, she has very pretty hands on top of the nails

  8. Lily Lily says:

    If you’re going to give instructions for a way of doing this, please have correct photos. In the pictures you used a Konad nail stamper, not hand drawn like you instructed :(

  9. Holly Holly says:

    Cool. If you want to look like a white trash skank, that is.

  10. Liza Liza says:

    Yes, Lily is right! This wasn’t acheived by hand drawing but with a stamping kit.

  11. Teri Teri says:


  12. becky becky says:

    Also, if you’re going to do an instructional, spell check is a good thing to use…in my opinion.

  13. Ashton Ashton says:

    Becky- I’m assuming you are meaning she needs to be using spell check by the way she spelt “practise”, correct? In this country (the US) we do spell it “practice”. Other countries do not. My bf, who is from Australia, spells it the way she does. Then again they spell things alot differently anyways. Things are usually spelt how they sound when sounded out. The person that in fact did this tutorial is probably from another country. Just saying.

  14. Valerie Valerie says:

    You obviously did this with a stamp, you talentless fake.

  15. Heather Heather says:

    OMG is very beutifull! :D great tips i love it !

  16. Kelsi Greene kbg5797 says:

    If you are going to portray Zebra print do it free handely please
    you did this with a stamper.

  17. Sierra Sierra says:

    didnt really work for me… :P

  18. awwwww.! this is so cute(: and haha imma go and get me some todayyyyyyyy.! thankx guys(:

  19. Ashley Ashley says:

    Ohmygoshh ! i lovee this idea, but the first time i tried it ; i didn’t do verryy well but , it takes practice =D btw thanks for the instructions !

  20. keri stubblefield keri stubblefield says:

    I totally love this love zebra lots it will totally work for prom!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) Thinks a million i totally massivly love this

  21. lili lili says:

    have it it is awesome

  22. Jessica Jessica says:

    Yeah I have this plate in the Konad kit, you should use an actual picture of you doing your nails instead of using someone’s photo.

  23. Jess Jess says:

    ya!!!Jessica right!!!!!!!!and you using someone elses pic gonna carry around thar pic and pretend that its your hand gonna say hii with that pic. by the way that my name 2 and i was talking to the girl who posted the tips not Jessica

  24. I love this idea! I’m a fan of the zebra print so I’m super psyched to recreate this look.

  25. Georgia Georgia says:

    if you dont have black nail varnish and a small brush use liquid eyeliner! works amazingly!!x

  26. Holly Holly says:

    OMG! This guide is so helpful!!!! =D OMG.OMG.OMG SO HAWT.

  27. Chloe Chloe says:

    Does nt work weird

  28. Nail Art Designer Shawn Nail Art Designer Shawn says:

    I love love love
    animal print nail designs! I think zebra print may be my favorite but right now I’m loving one of my hot pink leopard print designs with a black french tip. So hot!

  29. Lisa Lisa says:

    Hey do you have a public salon in moreno valley california cuse i would love it if u did? :)

  30. izzy izzy says:


  31. Morgan Morgan says:

    when u do these tutorials do picture and it will be wayyy easier

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