Here is what my desk top looked like (and still does) from all of the times that I was being so careful with acetone, yet somehow it still managed to get on my desk.
Here is what the mats look like and below that is a closeup of the mat I have been using. You can see that it looks a bit dirty. That is actually just from me not using a clean enough paper towel when I was wiping it down with acetone, but I swear it does come clean. :)
These mats only set me back $7 for 4 of them. Considering I haven't touched the other three, it will be well worth it. Here is a link to the ones I bought, but you can pretty much buy anything made out of one of the three materials listed above and be ok. I love that I can just clean up spilled polish with acetone, and have a nice clean (and undamaged) surface again! Thanks, dad! I have been using the same cutting mat ever since and have three left in various colors that I can either use when I feel like redecorating my desk, or save for the kitchen. I hope this helps some of you who are struggling with keeping your work surface nice!