Nail prep for gel nails

Hi I do gel nails but was looking for a bit of advice. When at college we got taught to use a white sanding block to prep the nail but when talking to another therapist she said she uses a 180 grit file. I dont want to be too harsh on the nails so what would be best to use to prep the nail?
Thanks for your help x

Klassy Klaws

Well-Known Member
You should never use anything lower than a 240 grit file on natural nails as it can cause damage to the nail plate.

what gritt would you use?


Global Team CND

ok thanks for your help. By using a higher gritt this will help the nails stay on longer as the prep is better?

Klassy Klaws

Well-Known Member
240 grit hun if you use anything lower you are going to remove layers of nail plate causing it to thin which will cause your gel not to adhere to properly.
As Nataliya has said you are only removing the shine nothing else :hug:


hi i am sure glad i read this as so many people use 180 i have always used white sanding block which i believe is a 240 could nbe wrong will change to a reg 240 akzentz file(which are fab):D so i know i am not causing damage thanks guys xxx


Well-Known Member
Any abrasive can cause damage to the nail plate depending on how it is used. a 3 way buffer will cause damage if misused.

The numbers used in conjunction with files and buffers refer to the size of grit. A low number means large particles that will deeply scratch a nail plate with just 1 swipe. A high number is smaller particles that won't deeply scratch the nail plate unless more pressure/strokes are used.

240 is the lowest number that should be used to prepare the nail for a good quality overlay as very few gentle swipes is all that is needed and causes least amount of damage. It is only the surface layer that need preparing no deeper!

White blocks have different grits, some harsher than others. Feel a 240 grit file and feel a white block, if it feel the same that block is absolutely fine to use. Quite good actually as they are so soft with the foam. You just need to make sure you get down the side walls but this is easily done with the corners of the block


Well-Known Member
I have this issue too. I learned to use 180 in school yet, I am quicker at using a block buffer. But I'm still having lifting issues. So I'm going to try a 240.

I always use a 240 and wont entertain companies that promote a product that needs a 180 grit prep. When at a trade show I always ask the demo tech about the prep file before I even look at the product and if they say 180 I walk away. Some of the well know brands say this and even print it
on their websites heres one
Kinetics - Products
does this mean that if you use a 240 instead of the 180 you dont get good adhesion and product will lift? or is it a miss print?

Im glad to see new techs being so conscientious :)


Well-Known Member
There is a whole lot more to nail preparation than removing the shine! This is just one of the stages. Lifting issues could be due to 1 tiny part of nail prep or it could be application and on and on. Just using 240 grit will not solve problems

That is why every step is important and why it cannot be learned in an instant


Well-Known Member
I'm not sure if you guys were talking to me, but I'm not a new tech. I just went back to school to learn a different product line.

I'm pretty sure it's my prep as my application is the exact same as other LCN tech's and I'm quite sure it's spot on.