How can I reuse or recycle … old nail varnish?

Nail varnish…And moving on from old paint, what about old nail varnish?

From the days when I actually used it, I’ve got quite a few half-bottles left over in all sorts of colours. Some of them have separated but recongeal with a quick shake, but I’ve only painted my nails once this year and can’t see myself doing it again in a hurry (for both aesthetic reasons and for the sake of my nails) so they’re pretty much redundant.

So what can I do with all the leftover nail polish? And what about the bottles with their little brushes – any reuses for those?

(Photo by tijmen)

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13 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … old nail varnish?”

  1. Emma says:

    I’ve used nail varnish to paint those little wooden picture frames you get from Ikea in the past. I liked the sparkle in the paint but needed quite a lot of it.

  2. dancing girl says:

    When I was little my parents were renovating my room. My Mother had one of those um… how do you describe…. light shades made of shells. Mother of pearl type shells all soldered together to look like lead light glass. I think you can still get similar ones in pacific goods or trade aid type shops.

    So to make it more interesting Mum and I used left over nail polish in dark rose pink, lighter pink and frosted light blue to paint a border around the edges of the light shade. Each lead lighted section was painted a different colour in a pattern and the majority of the sections were left in natural shell. A perfect light shade for a little girls room. The colours toned down the harshness of the light as well.

    We had many comments asking if the colours were real glass. The lamp shade is still in use 25 years later.

    I guess the trick is choosing the right colours so it doesn’t look too gaudy.

  3. bev says:

    A waterproof and reasonably permanent way to label stuff in the garden?

  4. Joan says:

    You can use to colour code bunches of keys, dab of paint on the lock or padlock lets you know which belongs to which. Did this with the village hall made life easier. You can also paint plain buttons with patterns to jazz them up a bit.

  5. Amanda Kerik says:

    I used to use old varnish for crafts – I mixed the like colours and diluted them a bit with acetone.

    Full strength works for projects with small areas that need to be painted.

    You can also use them to tint new nail polish.

    Colour-code your cables / keys / etc.

  6. carrie says:

    Paint hair clips in different colours, label containers in the freezer, etc.

  7. l use nail polish to change the look of my mobile phone ! l´ve also painted handles to freshen up their looks !!

  8. liddy says:

    the little brushes can be soaked in nail varnish remover then used for craft. the bottle gets the same treatment, then fill it with bath salts/confetti etc..

  9. emily says:

    use them as paints??

  10. beth says:

    i used the paint to decorate my frends room like put patterns on her walls and decorate her laptop like putting zig zags on her laptop very usefull:)

  11. Sarah Stelmaszek says:

    I have used nail polish/varnish to identify my children’s school supplies


  1. How can I reuse or recycle nail varnish bottles? » How can I recycle this? 03 11 08

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