Here is a thing that more people need to know: nail polish is the toughest, brightest, sparkliest, most durable paint in the world. It makes everything prettier and brighter and it lasts forever.
I have a tradition of always painting a new keyboard every time I start a new job. Please witness exhibit A, my freshly painted Hound keyboard & num pad:
Doesn’t that just make you happy to look at? The idea of typing on a plain beige or black keyboard all day long is … actually one of the more depressing things I can imagine.
Now check out the one I painted when I started at Parse and used nearly every day for almost 4 years:
Still pretty cute, right? It’s a little dingy and a few chips here or there but is there literally any other paint on earth that would have taken this abuse for four years? (And you can’t even tell how pretty the shimmery holographic silver keys are in this pic.)
Dude, it gets better. My work laptop:
And since I got my work and personal laptops around the same time, I made them fraternal twins.
Yo, this shit can bang around in my laptop bag for *years* and never chip or wear off or fade. Nail polish is the most badass paint in the entire world.
(The only thing I will not paint is my fingernails, I hate painted nails.)
I really really wish I had saved pictures of all the laptops and keyboards and monitors and mice and cell phones and other crap I have painted over the last decade or so. But here are a few of the pics and pieces I still have lying around:
People keep asking me where I get my laptop “stickers”, or my awesome keyboards, and now you know.
Nail polish. It is the shit.
Pro tip #1: if you want to paint bright colors on a black background, you need to lay down a very light base first. Surprisingly, white doesn’t work well, it’s not opaque enough and ends up looking streaky. You need something reflective, like silver aluminum foil or silver chrome — maybe this? Dunno, I have a big stash so I haven’t really bought anything new in years and can’t recommend specific brands.
Pro Tip #2: cheap polish is A-OK. Those 99 cent bottles are fine, just select for opacity. Sheer colors don’t work very well, if you have to apply more than 2-3 coats it will get globby and weird as well as being tedious.
Pro Tip #3: sketch your designs out with a pencil before you paint them (easily erasable), and apply a top coat the next day to make everything even shinier and longer-lasting.
Please send me your pics. 🙂