How To Paint Mason Jars With Nail Polish

Don't you just hate it when your nail polish goes bad? It seems like I buy a bottle, use it once (if I'm lucky), and then throw it away a year later because it got all thick and gunky. I know I can thin it out with nail polish remover, but then it takes forever to dry, and it my nail polish doesn't dry in under a minute I have it smeared on my clothes, my laptop, my coffee cup, my cats... you get the idea.
Since I've been on an upcycle kick as of late, I started thinking about all that old nail polish I need to throw out. Once it gets old, it's not good to paint my nails with let alone anything else because it just ends up a big old goopy mess. But I got to thinking- what if I took the painting part (in other words, using a brush) out of the equation? That's how I came up with using it inside a Mason jar- no brushes required! :)

Since we are headed into Fall, I decided to use old pearlescent nail polish in Fall colors. I love how the colors shine inside the jar!

Please note that the finished product is for decorative purposes only and is not food safe and is not intended for food storage.
Here's what you'll need:

A Mason jar

Old nail polish in one or more colors

Paper towels

A clean cottage cheese or similar container (to catch extra paint and to hold Mason jar if drying it upside down is necessary)

Note: You'll want to do this in a well-ventilated area because using this much nail polish at once gets quite fume-y!
Pour some nail polish into the bottom of the jar. If the nail polish is thick and goopy, you can thin it out using a little nail polish remover (it works good for this, just not on my nails).
Tilt the jar to and fro to spread the paint around. Add more paint as needed.

Keep adding paint and tilting the jar back and forth until you get near the top, then tilt the jar to let the paint run around the rim. It runs on the rim pretty well, but if some does run out, just wipe it up with a paper towel.
Let the paint dry for at least a few hours to lessen the fumes before you bring it in the house to decorate with. The paint set up pretty quick so I was able to let the jar dry on its side, but if the paint is still runny, let it dry upside down in the plastic container for a bit so you don't get the paint coagulating on one side of the jar.

I would let the paint dry for at least a few days before actually putting anything inside the jar.

So that's it! Pretty easy huh? :)

Let me know what you think and if you have any questions in the comments section below!

Click on the link below to see this and other great projects on my blog!

Michelle @ The Painted Hinge
The Painted Hinge
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Skb9151 Skb9151 on Oct 25, 2017
    first if all, lovely... I ran out and tried one immediately. Had to have colors like yours too. Question - what have you used the jars for? my first thought was votive candle but then the word flammable hit me. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sandra Sutton Sandra Sutton on Nov 17, 2017
    Michelle - love the idea! Can I put a regular flamed tea light inside even though it's nail polish? Would it be flammable then after drying?

  • Lin1263925 Lin1263925 on Jun 15, 2020

    This is beautiful I have been watching these nail polish ideas this is by far the best my question do you think I could do this to a pair of old white canvas sneakers?

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