15 Clever Uses for Old Nail Varnish

By Inspirationail
Nail Varnish Art

Image from Ms L

If you are anything like us you have plenty of half-full nail varnish bottles laying around. Whether they are last seasons colours or you’ve just outgrown the shade, there may be some life in them yet.

It’s important to note that varnish is considered hazardous waste and should be properly disposed of. Polish or residue should not be put down the drain or in the rubbish bin.

Get Natural

Conventional nail varnish contains a lot of chemicals so practice good judgment not matter how you plan to use them. Be sure to check out our store to find brands that don’t pollute the earth.

We put together a quick list of 15 ways to finish off those colours you can’t find a use for.

1. Get crafty – Polish is fairly permanent and perfect for painting mirrors, windows, glass & ceramics.

2. Keep Track of Everything – Label keys, toiletries, and other household items.


Image from tcp909

3. Immortalise Your Favourite Puzzle – Clear coat can be used to seal puzzles or decoupage small items.

4. Seal With Flair – Give envelopes a bright seal by swiping with varnish instead of licking the glue. Coat the address with clear coat to waterproof the address.

5. What Chip? – Mend & seal small chips on ceramic items, wooden floors, car paint & glass surfaces.

6. Keep it Looking Real – A coat of clear on top of costume jewellery keeps it from tarnishing (or turning your skin green). Also helps eliminate reaction in those who are allergic to costume metals.

Costume Jewellery

Image from kaytethinks

7. An Excuse for Wine – Plan a swap party & trade unwanted colours with your friends.

8. Stick It – Believe it or not nail varnish makes great (and colourful) glue, (perfect for re-setting loose stones in jewelry). Beware, what you stick may be there forever.

9. Mix it Up – Try mixing complimentary shades together to create your own frankenpolish custom colour. (Test with small drops before you mix a whole bottle). Revive old, drying colours with a few drops of varnish thinner.

10. Fix that Stubborn Zipper – A few coats of clear polish will help keep a zipper sticky enough to do its job.


Image from ***roham***

11. Keep it Tight – Tighten loose screws by applying a coat of varnish to the threads and screwing it back in.

12. Keep the Temp Just Right – Use a dab of polish to mark ideal temperatures on your thermostat and shower knobs.

13. Keep Rust Out of the Bathroom – A coat of polish will rust-proof metal cans (like shaving cream) and screws in bathroom cabinets, fixtures and appliances.

Magic Matches

Image from canonsnapper

14. Light Up Anywhere – Coat match tips with clear polish and they’ll light in the rain.

15. Stop the Fray – A dab or a dip in nail varnish will stop fraying on ribbons, fabric, shoelaces or anything else with unraveling threads.

Bonus Tip

This tip isn’t that practical, but too cute not to share.

Cocktail Umbrella

Image from t23e

16. Keep Your Cocktail Dry – A coat of varnish will waterproof cocktail umbrellas so you can reuse them too.

The Bottom Line

Perhaps the most important goal of this list is to ensure everyone understands that nail varnish must be disposed of properly. The ideas above are fun ways to do that without damaging the environment around you. Nail polish is toxic stuff, so we hope you’ll consider that before purchasing more.

Lucky for everyone we have a store filled with amazing colours and products that are made without harsh chemicals and there are plenty of other non-toxic brands to choose from.


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