A dream dictionary will usually provide different meaning for you based on what color the fingernails were, how long they were, whether they were painted or not, and their texture. In order to understand the full meaning of dream involving fingernails, you will need to remember as many details as possible.
For example, generally sturdy fingernails in dreams usually stand for your defenses being up. On the inside of our fingers, under the nails we have soft and tender skin that we do not want to be damaged. The fingernails that we have are our only defenses against the elements and the only things that can truly prevent our skin there from being hurt, without losing some functionality in our fingers. This makes them a perfect metaphor for defense. If your fingernails are especially sturdy or especially long, then this means your dream interpretation will tell you that your defenses are up. Alternatively, the dream meaning of a dream where you o not have fingernails at all is a sign that you have let your guard down.
Because long fingernails symbolize the passing of time, if your nails are too long in a dream, then this can also mean that you have spent too much of your life being idle, or that you are not accomplishing as much as you should. Maybe you do not even feel lazy about it, but I your dreams are telling you that you have spent too long without taking action, then this is one dream meaning that can really hit close to home. If your fingernails are discolored from lack of maintenance, then this can also be a sign of laziness in your dream.
The dream meanings involving painted or fake fingernails are also interesting as well. If you have fake fingernails or painted on in a dream, this can be seen as a sign that you are reaching out for someone, and yet are not looking out for their real interests. Perhaps you have been manipulating someone recently, or you are trying to get back at someone for something that they have done to you in a conniving way. Whatever it is that you are doing, this type of dream is suggestive of being dishonest and disreputable. If you are having this dream too often, this can be a good sign that you need to make some life changes.
The remaining interpretations of dreams involving fingernails have to do more with their actual perception in the waking world. For example if you have a dream where your fingernails continue to extend, this is because you want to reach out to someone. If in your dream, you fingernails are broken, this means that you care too much about what others think of you. To chew your nails in a dream suggests nervousness and if you dream that you have long red fingernails, then this signifies that you are trying to get more in touch with your feminine side.