One that looked like a winner? Painted keys. I've had fancy keys straight from the store, but I wanted to give this a shot. Especially with all the nail polish ideas out there.
Since the layers of lacquer will effect how the key works, tape off the blade (yep, thats what its really called) of the key. The part of the key getting the makeover is the bow - the part you hold and turn in the lock. The technical term is "applying torque" (hooray for physics.) The blade goes into the keyway of the lock, so the last thing you want is Essie keeping you out of your house. Since who really gets into their car via key anymore? Okay, well, I could, had the previous owners of my car handed over ALL the keys to the car, and not just the ignition keys, which don't match the locks. I digress.
You will need:
Nail lacquer in the brand/ color or your choice
Tape (masking, scotch, etc)
Key to be gussied up
A stack of old newspapers, magazine, catalogues, etc
Taping off the blade from the bow is essential. Not only will it protect the blade from being gunked up by lacquer, it will also make a clean paint line on the bow of the key, so make sure that tape is pressed down into all the nooks and crannies. Cut off a little more tape than you need to go around the key so that you can fold over under a corner. This will make getting the tape off so much easier later.
Step one: prepare your work surface. Lay down one layer of paper or old magazine. Set up the stack so you have a ledge for the painted part of the key to hang off of and dry. Because who wants to come back in five minutes to flip over a dry key? Whose going to remember? Not me. Hanging the key out in air also lets you hold the key blade down and apply lacquer with out getting it everywhere and smudging your paint job. We know how important this is.
Step two: tape off the key.
Step three: shake up that lacquer. paint. Don't forget the edges and inside the hank. Yeah it will probably rub off but we're doing quality work here.
Real question: how did the lacquer hold up to being whacked around on a set of keys?
Pretty well actually. this is probably the 5th day of them rolling around in my purse, on the ring, being dropped in the snow, swinging from the ignition, and it's holding up pretty well. Wear in the places you would expect it to.