How to Repair Cracked or Broken Fingernails

Updated April 17, 2017

In today's society, many men and women take nail care very seriously. It's not uncommon to see both sexes at a nail salon getting a manicure. Breaking or splitting a fingernail is not only uncomfortable, it can make a person self conscious. Keeping an emergency repair kit handy will make it easy to fix broken or split nails quickly without spending a ton of money at the salon.

Remove all polish from the broken nail. Wash your hands. For a successful patch, fingernails should be free of debris, oil and dirt. Prepare the break or split for the patch by trimming any stray pieces to avoid snagging and matching up as close as possible both sides of the break.

Cut the patch material to an appropriate size. It should extend past the split a little bit all the way around. Buff the area around the split to give the glue and patch something to adhere to. Apply the glue in a thin layer, then immediately apply the patch. The glue dries fast, so work quickly. Once the patch is in place, apply another layer of glue.

Once the glue dries, buff the area again. Repeat the buffing and gluing process. Apply as many layers as it takes to create a smooth, even coat. When dry, apply nail polish as you normally would. The glue layers will be strong, so you shouldn't have to worry about breaking or splitting again for quite some time on that particular finger.


An orange stick works well for placing the patch and pressing down the edges as the glue dries. It's also handy for spreading the glue if you don't have a brush. Most of these items can be purchased very cheaply at local retail stores.


Epoxy glue and nail glue dry very quickly. Take care not to get either on your fingers or anything else nearby, as it will adhere to just about anything and is very difficult to remove.

Things You'll Need

  • Epoxy glue
  • Orange stick
  • Nail polish remover
  • Fingernail file
  • Nail mender (paper or other patches such as cotton, teabag paper or coffee filter paper)
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Scissors
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