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"Refinishing titanium eyeglass frames"

Current question:

December 29, 2021

Q. Hello! There's a pair of titanium eyeglasses I'd like to give a silver-colored finish. The glasses currently have a coating on them to make them brownish.


Is this possible? Can I strip the coating, then plate the bare titanium? Can I plate directly onto the coated titanium (I know that's a long shot). Thank you for any help! Cool forum here.


Alf Bishai
- New York, NY

December 2021

A. Hi Alf. You can only plate onto metal not onto that coating. But titanium is a refractory metal which almost instantly oxidizes, so plating onto titanium is something for experts, usually requiring Wood's Nickel Strike and other special activation processes. Why not try to polish them. Titanium has a nice metallic look.

Luck & Regards,

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

January 1, 2022

Q. Hi Ted, Thanks for your response! So how would I strip the coating before polishing? Happy New Year!

Alf Bishai [returning]
- New York, New York

January 2022

A. Apologies Alf, but having no idea what the coating is, I have no idea how to strip it. It might be a paint/electrocoating or it might be a PVD hardcoating. You could try scraping a little bit off in an area with an Exacto knife to see if it looks like paint, and then try a paint stripper. If those approaches have no effect, it's probably a PVD hardcoating; you can try abrading/polishing off or search the site for ideas on stripping PVD hardcoatings.

Luck & Regards,

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

January 16, 2022

A. Hi Alf,

If you are successful in stripping the original coat, there are two possible ways to obtain the silver image on titanium frames:

1. Electropolish the frame.
2. Play with the voltage applied (between 30 and 45V) in order to obtain silver image.

Images of electropolished titanium frame and titanium color table are attached.

53486-3a  53486-3b

Anna Berkovich
Russamer Lab
supporting advertiser

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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January 17, 2022

thumbs up sign Thank you, Ted! I'll look into stripping it first. Best.

thumbs up sign Thank you, Anna! I appreciate the time you took to answer. That electropolish looks fantastic. Happy New Year : )

Alf Bishai [returning]
- New York, New York

Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

Ed. note: Please!
No abstract questions.

Nickel Detection plus Nickel-guard Coating

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Q. Possible danger of contact dermatitis. Do titanium spectacle frames accept gold plate directly on to pure titanium metal surfaces or is there some other metal involved to give a key or better finish.

William L.
student - Keswick, Cumbria, UK


A. Hi William. If the frames are genuine electroplated gold, there probably is an intermediate layer of plating, and it may be nickel, although some companies claim their gold plated titanium products are nickel-free. They can be tested for nickel.

Are you a student on a work exchange program at a spectacle manufacturing company looking for new technology, or an individual finding themselves possibly allergic to their glasses? This could go in two very different directions Thanks. Good luck.

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

"Titanium Guide"
by Matthew J. Donachie
from Abe Books

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October 29, 2009

Q. I own discontinued Matrix Neo (black color) titanium sunglasses from Blinde that were made by Richard Walker. The below is a link of what the sunglasses looks like.


The issue I have is a small piece of the black paint near the where the arms and frame chipped off. I've tried touched up paint with primer, the paint, and clear top coat but once I screw back the arm to the frame, the paint will flake off the titanium metal. I was told by one frame repairer that the glossy black paint might be "baked on".

I love these sunglasses and really want the paint damage to be repaired. Is there any way to have this issue fixed? Buying another pair is not really an option since no one sells them anymore. Thanks.


Mark S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
student - Flushing, NY, USA

November 12, 2009

A. You might try to find some nail polish that matches. I have used that to touch up various enamel painted items, including scratches on cars. Also why don't you carefully paint them with the earpiece already attached, and/or without including surfaces that will line up against each other and therefore not be seen.

Laesa Blade
- Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

November 13, 2009

thumbs up sign I'll try the nail polish idea (if the black paint I painted it with chips off again). I was quoted by a eye glasses repairer to have them repainted and re-baked for $85.

Mark S
- Flushing, New York

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