By Francesca Clarke, Posted  in on Nov 1, 2010

Think nail polish is just for manicures? Think again. This style staple has lot of colorful uses around the house, too. Unusual use for nail polish include securing screws, labeling toxic materials, and rust-proofing metal.

Ladies: we all know that clear nail polish is the secret to nylon repair. Keep a little bottle in your purse so you can quickly fix a snag, preventing a huge run in your pantyhose. Our mothers taught us this, and their mothers taught them. There is no doubt we'll pass this little tip on to future generations. But let's add a few clever uses to the list. Here are some household uses for nail polish:

Quick-Fix Glue

Nail polish can be used for most small adhesive needs. Apply some clear nail polish to secure screws, repair small wood fractures, or re-set jewelry stones.

Label Toxic Materials and Supplies
Mark a big bold 'X' on all poisons in the house. This will prevent any mix-ups and make a quick easy reference for little ones (who shouldn't have access anyway!) and seniors.

Mark Your Thermostat and Shower Settings
Paint a thin, colored nail polish line to mark the right setting on your thermostat. Do the same for that perfect shower temperature. This is a quick and easy way to find the right temperature.

Prevent Screws, Nuts and Bolts From Rusting

Coat screws, nuts and bolts with clear nail polish to prevent rusting. This is particularly useful for outdoor picnic tables or other areas when the metal is exposed to the elements.

Smooth Wooden Hangers

Old wooden hangers are an attractive alternative to the modern plastic or wire choices, but they are often rough and splintered. Apply a clear coat of nail polish to the rough areas (or over the entire thing) to smooth it over without losing the vintage look.

Stop Fabric From Fraying

Tame frayed fabric by brushing the ends with clear nail polish. You can also add a drop of clear nail polish to the back side of buttons to keep them from falling off.

Mark Levels on a Bucket
Use a bright colored nail polish to clearly mark levels on a bucket. This is great for a mixing bucket that doesn't have the measurements marked on, or to simply repeat the marking on the outside making it easier to manage when it's full.

Avoid Rust Rings
Paint some nail polish along the bottom ring of metal containers (think hair spray bottles) so they don't leave rust marks on your counter.

Fill Scratches on Wood Floor

Fill little nicks with clear nail polish. Rub the polish down with sand paper to dull the shine.

Fix a Broken Mirror Corner
Soften the sharp edge of a cracked mirror by applying a thick coat of nail polish to the broken corner.

Repair a Window Screen
It might not be the prettiest fix, but it will stop that tiny hole from growing into a major problem. Apply clear nail polish to the frayed screen to seal the hole.

Most fixes use clear nail polish, but I was also happy to find some
craftier uses for those unfortunate shades that I once loved but never actually use.

Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe