Color-Coded Keys

Sep 03, 2015 / Comments (0) / Written by Natalie Wylie

I don't know about you, but I have three or four different keys on my key ring that look almost exactly the same. Searching for the one I need creates quite an inconvenience if I'm in a hurry. If you are tired of searching through all of the keys on your key ring to find the right one, or if you'd just like to add a little pizzazz to your ring, I've got a quick and easy DIY that uses materials you probably already have in your home!



-Rubbing alcohol (a bottle and cotton swab or a wipe will do just fine)

-Fine-grit sandpaper or sanding block


-Nail polish: a favorite color and a top coat

-A clean work space (I just used a piece of cardboard)

-Optional: metallic Sharpies

Step One:

Lightly sand the top half of your key to rough up the surface so that the polish will adhere to it.

 Step Two:

Tape around the teeth of the key to create a smooth line that your polish will not go past.

 (Pictured here is the lightly sanded, taped key.)

Step Three:

Clean the top of the key with rubbing alcohol to remove any debris or oils from your hands. (In order to keep it clean, be sure not to touch the top after this step!)


Step Four:

Hold the key at a downward angle so the polish doesn't run under the tape. Apply a light coat of polish to the top of the key.


Step Five:

Let the key dry before applying a second light coat of polish.

 (I'm quite impatient, so I taped the key to the polish bottle after the second coat.       Really, who has time to sit there and wait for polish to dry?!)

Step Six:

Cover the key with a clear top coat to seal.


Step Seven (Optional):

Use a metallic Sharpie to create a design or to label the key. This must be done after the clear coat because the clear coat will smear the ink. Note: the Sharpie may rub off over time, but if you do a simple enough design, it won't be hard to touch up. In order to seal in the Sharpie ink without smearing it, you can purchase a spray sealant in the spray paint aisle of your hardware store. I skipped this step because I wanted to keep this project as simple and low cost as possible—using supplies I already had!




Natalie Wylie


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