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"Eyeglass Frames - repainting or re-tinting"

Current question and answers:

March 15, 2021

Q. Dear sir,
Greetings of the day!! My name is Heman Artist and we are into manufacturing of metal spectacle frames. I need good coating for my different colored frames like some are Gold plated (Electroplating) and some colors are done through electrophoretic process and then clear PU lacquer is applied on those colors through electrophoretic process but we are not satisfied with end results as the coating lasts only for a few months (we are out sourcing this color process).

We need a good quality spray lacquer coating which we can apply on all the colors after clear electrophoretic process so that it can last at least for a year. Coating will be done in house.

We need good spray coating and also any chemical needed to be used before coating to prepare the substrate for coating.

Your quick response will be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


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Ed. note: As usual, technical replies in public, commercial replies in private please (why?)

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July 7, 2021

Q. I'm in London England. Where is a place that successfully paints eyeglass frames? I need mine painted Black as well.

Dece Jay
- london

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Ed. note: As usual, technical replies in public, commercial replies in private please (why?)

August 30, 2021

A. Painting glasses frames is fun! Most people don't know which kind of paint is good for the frames! You can this article and I hope it will give you a piece of clear information about what you asking for:

Jonathan Keny
Manager - California City, California

sidebar August 2021

A. Thanks Jonathan! We don't mind you asking the readers to visit your site -- presumably you'll reciprocate; but please offer at least a hint or two right here in your posting because ...
This site has been on-line since 1989 and is intended to be a permanent reference, but virtually all of the links posted here over the years have broken, many in short order. So we ask that if people do a posting here that it will remain of at least a little value when the links break :-)

Thanks & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Previous closely related Q&A's, oldest first:


Q. Dear Sirs;

I have an expensive pair of glasses. They are Flexon brand frames. They are Silver in color but I would love to change them to a dark-reddish, or copper color. Is this reasonably possible? Is there a simple way to do it? I am actually prepared to just spray paint them and hope for the best, but thought it worth a query to you, first. I cannot afford to replace them right now, so cost is a real issue. Any suggestions?


Jim G [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Greenbelt, Maryland


A. Hi Jim.

Labor is the largest cost in most manufacturing, and eyeglass frames are mass produced such that one person's labor can process hundreds of frames at once. The implication of this is that you will find it more expensive to have a set of frames retinted than to buy new ones.

Spray painting them yourself is probably the only affordable option, but a short life for the paint is probably to be expected. Best of luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


Q. Hi; I wanted to paint (repaint) some metal (non-titanium) eyeglass frames black. Any suggestions other than buying a can of metal spray paint and going at it would be appreciated, thanks.

Colin D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
hobbyist - Maumee, Ohio

Can eyeglass frames be refinished?


Q. My brand new $523 glasses (non-returnable) have some decoration I hate. I just want them a flat black or dark brown. How can I safely paint the frame? What type of paint would be acceptable? Are there any companies I could send them to be painted? Thank you.

Diane Cooper
Nurse - Naples, Florida, USA


A. Find a jewelry repair shop, have them polish the offensive design off. As for color, I would suggest contacting the manufacturer and seeing what they suggest the company that made the glasses may even be willing to do the refinishing work.

Marc Banks
Blacksmith - Shiloh, North Carolina

April 2, 2008

Q. Hi,
I am also trying to colour silver metal frames gloss black.
Have tried two types of spray paint and enamel paint but it did not work .
I am now thinking of using Cutex.
What results have you had?

William Penderis
- Sturminster Newton, Dorset, England

April , 2008

! Hi, William. Can you clarify what you mean by "it did not work" a bit? Did you fail to get the gloss you were looking for? Was the black not black? Did the paint peel? Did it chip off? Did it turn your temples and ears black?

I don't know what the silver frames were: chrome-like paint, silver plating, nickel plating, clearcoat on polished metal, etc., so it's hard to guess what will work on whatever it is; but in general you need to sand it for tooth then get it really clean, then apply a primer that is made for adhesion onto metal. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

April 3, 2008

Q. Hi Ted,

The enamel spray would not dry, apparently reacting to the metal.
Hammerite spray is not fine enough.

The gloss paint also stayed tacky.


William Penderis [returning]
- Sturminster Newton, Dorset, England

May 24, 2008

A. I have found the solution.
I contacted a paint supplier to the automotive trade who recommended a spray painter who did airbrush work {they use hardener in their paint).
My spectacle frames now look like any new shop-bought frames.
It cost me £30 and three weeks wait but definitely worth it.
Hope you guys can find someone in your area.

William Penderis [returning]
- Sturminster Newton, Dorset, England

Eyeglass repair kit

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June 22, 2008

Q. Bought new prescription eyeglasses. Have always had gold, but needed the toughness of Titanium for kayaking.

Found some with bronze/brown color coating. Looked great.

The color coating on the lower part around the lens, and the temples starting coming off immediately.

I have very acidy skin, but still didn't expect this.

Was able to scrape off the temples to just titanium, as they are flat. Used the edge of a credit card.

Any easy way (some kind of remover liquid) that I could use to get off the rest?

Easy to remove the nose pads and lenses.

I wear the same pair all the time.

Appreciate any help.

Anne Hillebrand
- Orlando, Florida

heart sign 
April 5, 2009

! I waited four months for a so called repair painter to fix and paint 2 pairs broken eyeglasses. When I finally got them back, she had painted one pair so badly that it was globby and the other pair was just sanded down to the bare metal. she had so many excuses but the real cause is that she didn't' know what she was doing although she advertised that she did. So beware as many repairers will have you pay up front and then you are screwed. Actually, she did me a favor by NOT painting the second pair so that I could have it done correctly. BUT, I did some research and called other businesses in the US. I heard some different methods. If you can afford it, have a professional airbrush artist do it with the hardest paint possible because otherwise it tends to wear off sooner. But if he (or she) has to take them apart first they will charge more for that. And make sure the artist uses a primer and a clear coat. Even better, have it powder coated which uses an electrical charge that keeps the paint on for a very very long time. They can also be painted by YOU! If you use a primer and then a ceramic paint you can use a regular artist brush and then bake them in a toaster oven; yes a toaster oven! Doing that not only makes the paint harder to keep it from chipping but also smooths it out so that it doesn't get clumped up. And it's so much cheaper. One artist started at $100.00 and up depending on the time it takes. Good luck. I'm going to paint my second pair by hand as they are already bare. Yee haah!

sally smith
- daytona beach florida

June 22, 2009

RFQ: Hello everyone! I was just curious to see if anyone knows a website or establishment that does finishes or repaint on eyeglass frames. Any answer would be appreciated, TY for your time!

Alex Roman
student - New York

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November 25, 2010

Q. I have a fabulous and expensive set of saddle bridge wire frame Polo glasses which I wore for several years before the paint started chipping and flaking off. I have since attempted to restore them several times as follows:

1) touch up with nail polish
2) disassemble and paint with model paint.
3) disassemble buff, and paint with enamel.
4) take to a glass repair shop to buff, paint, including drying in an oven.

Nothing worked.

I am however willing to try all of the above in this post, so thanks for all sharing your experiences.

To Be Continued.

Dave Robertson
- Alexandria Virginia USA

"How to Use an Airbrush"
by Robert Downie
from Abe Books
from Abe Books

February 27, 2012

A. Good morning to all. I was interested to see this morning what I may find in regards to airbrushing glasses. I stumbled upon this forum and have read through some of the comments. I felt I may contribute that I have been airbrushing my glasses, for 6 months now I have been airbrushing my glasses. I've been contemplating buying frames in larger quantities before the company creates their design with paint. I use an acrylic paint. I top it with urethane. They've all held up in regards to the color, there is no fading, chipping, cracks -- they're still smooth and glossy. The difficulty is prepping them. I don't take anything apart (might pop the lenses out). After sanding...sanding...and more sanding...on a plastic frame, for example, the frames are actually clear. So whatever color you paint on the inside will show through to the outside. So using the color spectrum you're able to create an image or variance of color, design on the outside of the frames. And when clear coated...NICE. I've figured out how to put flakes on them in the glossing process. It just takes time. And the material. And an airbrush. And those break and are expensive! I should do an ebay store?

Matthew Lewis
- Everett, Washington, United States

May 21, 2012

Q. I have I pair of Titanium frames, the paint is flaking, I just want to remove it. What method would you recommend?

Lawrence D'Leonard
- London, UK

February 13, 2013

Q. Hi Matthew,

Can you tell me what type of clear you used? I am concerned about the clear being against my skin.


Anthony Quentin
- Houston, Texas, USA

November 19, 2014

A. The paint on my metal frames was chipping off. I found a nail polish that was a similar shade and used it to repair the frames. It's working well.

Afroze Ali
- Toronto Ontario, Canada

January 10, 2018

A. "Magic Markers" come in a variety of colors and can be used to fill in a chipped areas on anodized eyeglass metal frames especially black. It does wear off relatively quickly but just re-apply as needed.

Todd J Maberry
- Bentonville Arkansas

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