Paint Your Nails Without Making a Mess

Painting your nails can prove messy if you don't prepare the skin around the nails to adequately protect it from the polish. If you're in a hurry or just not that coordinated when adding nail polish, one of the following methods may help in preventing the nail polish from ending up on your skin.


Using Elmer's glue

  1. Find some liquid Elmers glue.
  2. Smear it around your nail. Place it directly on your skin, using a Q-tip.
  3. Start painting your nails as usual. Use appropriate care, knowing however that small brush strokes onto the skin will be easy to remove.
  4. Peel off the glue after use. It will lift up any nail polish that went onto it. Dispose of appropriately.
  5. Get rid of any leftover glue as follows: Dip a napkin in water, and spread where the glue is still stuck to your skin. Doing this will make it easier to get rid of.

Using Vaseline or petroleum jelly

  1. Put Vaseline or petroleum jelly around your whole nail. Do this for each nail.
  2. Paint the nails as usual. If any excess polish is on your skin, all you need to do is wipe off the Vaseline and the mess is all gone.
  3. Wash your hands once the polish has firmly dried.


  • Nail polish remover can be used to remove nail polish that ends up on your skin.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid Elmer's glue
  • Napkin
  • Water
  • Vaseline or petroleum jelly