Design & DIY

17 unexpected uses for nail polish at the cottage

Nail polish

A beauty product in your tool box? You bet! Like duct tape, nail polish has so many off-label uses—from marking to waterproofing to gluing—that you’ll run out of fingers trying to count them all.

1. Dab on screw threads to hold them in tight. Great for eyeglasses and drawer knobs.
2. Can’t find the glue? Try a dot of polish.
3. Prevent screws and toilet bolts from rusting with a coat of clear.
4. Colour-code your locks and keys with matching hues.
5. Stop cords from unravelling by painting the ends.
6. Repair a small hole or tear in a window screen.
7. Coat match heads to make them waterproof.
8. Mark your rotary thermostats with a dot at the “home” and “away” settings.
9. Temporarily touch up chipped gelcoat on the boat.
10. Customize your fishing lures with added colour.
11. Mark the inside of your bucket, sprayer, or watering can for easy mixing ratios.
12. Identify poisons with a big red X so you can easily spot any that have been left within reach of young cottagers.
13. Prevent fabric edges from fraying.
14. Put names on lifejackets, skis, or water toys—it’s water- and fade-proof.
15. Mark cottage toothbrushes to avoid mix-ups after time away.
16. Prevent boat wiring from oxidizing with a coat over splices (before taping). And my personal favourite:
17. Polishes + kids + rocks = Quiet time for mom and dad!