How To: Checkered Fall Nail Look

If you love plaid prints in the fall, you need to check out this checkered fall nail look! These kinds of nail looks have been trending lately, so we decided to give it a try using our ZOYA colors. We went with a classic fall color scheme: a contrast of chocolate brown and white. To see how we got the look, keep reading!

What You'll Need for This Look

Loretta (Base Shade)
Emilia (Checkers Shade)
Purity (Checkers Shade)

Prep Your Nails

We started out this look with the Rescue + Repair treatment to treat some damage on the nail’s surface. The treatment is sealed beneath a basecoat, and then further protected with a normal manicure on top. To use the Rescue Repair treatment, you’ll need the Rescue Serum and Repair Base. Apply a pea-sized amount of the Rescue Serum to all of your nails, and rub the serum into your nail plate. This serum acts as a conditioner and nail strengthener to repair damaged keratin on the surface. Next, apply the Repair Base directly over the serum to seal it in.

This step is completely optional; it’s just for those that want treatment for nail damage.

Apply a Basecoat

Next, we applied the Naked Base Basecoat. Though the Repair Base in the Rescue + Repair system already acts like a normal basecoat, adding another layer of protection to prevent polish staining is never a bad idea. Make sure to use the Naked Base if you haven’t applied the Rescue + Repair treatment.

Apply a Base Shade

We used 2 coats of Loretta by ZOYA for our base shade, because it has the perfect sheer, glossy coverage for nail art on top. Wait around 5 minutes for this layer to dry.

Start Your Nail Art

The idea of this design is to create a mismatched checkered pattern, with every nail having a slightly altered design. You can make the checkered squares as large or as small as you like, alternating between Emilia and Purity.

We started creating our boxes at the tip of the nail and worked down the nail towards the cuticle. After each new square you make, connect the corners to create the classic checkered print. Refer to our picture as a guide so you can see how the print is structured and where to place the colors. After you’ve outlined where you would like the squares, you can carefully fill in the boxes with the brush equipped in the polish bottle.  

Clean up any mistakes with Remove + on a clean art brush to get your checkered lines as clean as you can make them.

Apply a Topcoat

Don’t forget to apply a topcoat! This step is crucial if you want your nail art to last and not smudge around. Wait about 5-10 for your polish to dry, and then add a thick, smooth coat of Ultra Glossy Seal over your nails.


Clean Up

This nail art can get a bit messy, so be sure to clean up any polish you got on your cuticles or skin with Remove + on a thin brush. 


Cuticle Oil

Apply a cuticle oil when your manicure is fully dry to keep your cuticles hydrated and your manicure looking as fresh as possible. We recommend using the QTICA Solid Gold cuticle oil. Continue to apply this cuticle oil daily for best results.

We hope you liked this fun, fall-spirited mani tutorial. Check back for more fun nail ideas and tutorials on our Scoop page! Be sure to read our latest article on refreshing your manicure so you can keep this nail art fresh all week long.