Unusual Uses for Nail Polish




Introduction: Unusual Uses for Nail Polish

About: I am a teacher outside of Boston and I love making cool stuff! Any prizes I'm lucky enough to win will go directly to my classroom (when appropriate) where I teach 6-12th grade English & Social Studies (...

I have a lot of nail polish. Some I wear, some I keep around for random projects or other uses. Here are some of my favorite unusual uses for nail polish.

Step 1: Prevent Tarnishing

A lot of the charms you find in beading stores are listed as silver, Tibetan silver, or Bali silver---this really just means plain, cheap metal alloy that WILL tarnish. I've found that coating these charms in clear nail polish extends their life. Adding a new coat every so often will further help to stave off unsightly tarnish.

You can also coat the inside of your rings to keep them from turning your finger green.

Step 2: Securing Screws

Nail polish can help secure loose screws or screws that are constantly wiggling out. Polish will also help prevent against rust/tarnishing.

Step 3: Cracks and Scratches

Polish can be used to fill in scrapes and scratches in wood furniture. Clear is probably your best bet as I'd imagine it'd be hard to match up wood coloring.

Clear or white nail polish can also be used for sealing chips in china. The polish can help prevent further damage by keeping water from getting to the chips and causing cracks.

Step 4: Color Coordination/Identification

Nail polish can help you easily identify keys, electronics cords, and more!

I've also used nail polish to write my initials inside staplers, hole punchers and other things to prevent them from going missing.

Step 5: Loose Buttons

Apply a coat of clear polish over the thread of a loose button to secure it.

Step 6: Labels

Apply clear nail polish to homemade labels to keep them from smudging or wearing off too quickly. Polish can also be water resistant, to a point. You will need to reseal every so often.

As previously mentioned, I'll also use colorful polishes to add my name to objects that tend to go missing in my classroom.

Step 7: Matches

Covering the tips of matches can help protect them against moisture, therefore extending their life (and not leaving you freezing in the woods when camping).

Step 8: Screens

Have a window screen with holes? Bugs starting to get in? Cover the holes with nail polish to prevent the screen from becoming more damaged and keep bugs out!

Step 9: Scuff Marks

Keep your shoes looking fresh by using matching nail polish to touch up any markings. If you can't finding matching colors, use nail polish to add a little flair and decorate your shoes.

Step 10: Pranks

Cover a bar of soap in clear nail polish to prank your friends :-D

This doesn't ruin the soap and after a few attempts at washing, the polish will wear off.

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    47 Discussions

    After reading more of the comments, I have a new saying. "With duct tape and nail polish, I can fix anything."

    1 reply

    I make a lot of my own jewelry and use clear nail polish to seal it. As I have gotten older my body chemistry has evidently changed. Now I have problems unless it is sterling silver or stainless steel, or at least 10 caret gold, my skin destroys the finish down to the base metal.

    I use clear nail polish to fix microscope specimens onto a slide. Drop the polish on top of the specimen and gently lower a cover slip onto it. The cover slip will push the polish to the edge filling the space between it and the slide. Don't push it down as this will cause bubbles. I don't expect this method will last as long as a proper Canada balsam slide but I've got several that are a decade old and still looking good.

    I love finding bargain jewelry that have great potential if painted a more fashion savvy color. I collect and put together my own combinations and paint with colors I love and wear.


    1 year ago

    To water proof bandages on fingers when you need to do washing.


    1 year ago

    I found a large collection of all kinds of nail polish at a yard sale. I use in paintings. Sometimes I will mix it with a medium and see what it does for the painting. Experimentation is fun.

    1 reply

    That sounds really cool and like a really interesting Instructable :)

    This Instructable seems to be bringing out some more "mature" readers.

    Almost 70 years ago, I received a plastic put-together model of a Model T roadster for a birthday. The instructions suggested clear nail polish if you didn't have model airplane glue, so that's what we used.

    1 reply

    This Instructable has the most comments and sparked the most conversation of all the Instructables I've done lol

    I'm surprised nail polish could hold model parts together, though I can definitely see painting over glued parts.

    Use it for circuit board resist. For that, green color is best (shows against the copper), diluted with thinner. For wide traces, draw it directly on. For thin traces, color in an area, let dry, and scribe where the copper is to be etched away.

    1 reply

    Yes clear is good for waterproofing printed lables and holds the smaller ones in place .

    I live in Costa Rica and my kids come back from playing with ringworm at times. Clear nail polish on the ringworm will stop itch and kill off the ringworm. Needs to be applied several times a day until disappeared

    I have a key ring with 2 keys that look alike. This will be a perfect fix. I will also try the loose button trick at my next opportunity. Thanks for the ideas.

    Put 2 dots of polish on the tap and you have Always the right temerature


    It is great to weather-proof some electrical connections. I used it on the bottom exposed PCBs on my quadcopter. There were some LEDs touching the ground when I land in grass. A touch of clear coat on the solder joints prevents the connections from shorting out, when I land in wet grass.


    1 year ago

    My family have a fishing store and we frequently have to replace rings on fishing rods (poles in the US) these are whipped on with thread and a coating of nail varnish in the correct colour finishes them off perfectly.

    Be careful when using it on shoes or wood. There can be quite a range of reactions depending on the chemicals used on the products. Also, I was told that fingernail polish over a mosquito bite stopped itching. And it does! But after a day or so the cracking of the polish starts to itch horribly. :-)

    1 reply

    I actually had a roommate in college who suggested this for chiggers. I was going to add it, but upon further research it seemed like maybe not a great idea since it could cause allergic reactions etc.