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I Painted This Cabinet With Nail Polish...Here's How It Held Up

About two years ago, I found this little green cabinet while thrifting with my mom. I loved the mosaic and thought it would make a cute bathroom storage cabinet. But after going a different direction with the design of my bathroom, I thought I'd have to scrap the plan to incorporate this cabinet.

Changing the color of the wood wouldn't be a problem, but how was I going to make the apricot and green color scheme of the mosaic work with the moody blues and golds I was now envisioning? If I painted the tiles, it would just scuff and peel off over time especially with the added moisture of a bathroom.

I needed a paint that could coat well, dry hard and shiny, and be resistant to chipping, peeling, and moisture. And, of course, I'd need the perfect colors. Lucky for me, I had an extensive nail polish collection that proved to be the perfect paint for this project.

I painted the wood of the cabinet the same blue as my bathroom walls and then chose polish colors I thought would fit well in the space. I really liked the magnolias and was going to do my best to paint around them.

I could've used a small paint brush to paint each tile, but the most efficient method ended up being pouring a puddle of polish in the middle of a tile and using a nail art dotting tool like the one pictured to push the polish to the edges of the tile and around the magnolia designs.

I let my cabinet dry overnight so the thick polish would form a totally hard shell and then it was ready to hang!

A Few Tips:

  • I made sure to close up my polish bottle between tiles so it wouldn't dry out while I was working.

  • Applying one thick, even coat worked better than applying two thinner coats because it gave me a smoother texture in the end.

  • I worked in a very organized pattern so I didn't have to worry about smudging wet tiles.

  • When I did smudge a tile, I had to go over the entire tile with a new coat of polish or it would dry with an obvious, uneven texture.

  • If I got any polish on my cabinet or my grout, a little nail polish remover on a q-tip worked to get it off. I did have to touch up the blue paint on my cabinet if I used remover on it.

So how did a cabinet painted with nail polish hold up over time?

It looks exactly the same as the day I hung it up. No chipping, flaking, or peeling, and the humidity from the bathroom hasn't been an issue at all. If any part of this cabinet is showing wear, it's wood that's been dinged or Rub 'n Buff that's fully rubbed off metal pieces. The nail polish is pristine and was the perfect solution to this mismatched cabinet.


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