How to paint eyeglass frames

Written by ryan lawrence
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How to paint eyeglass frames
You can identify painter's tape by its blue colour. (blue painters tape image by Jim Mills from

If you would like to paint your eyeglass frames, you will need to execute certain preparation and application strategies, based on the composition of the frames. Plastic and metal are both ill-suited for paint adhesion. You can stimulate adhesion by abrading plastic frames with sandpaper. Because metallic eyeglass frames are too durable for friction-based abrasion methods, you will need to coat them with a particular acidic primer, capable of etching durable metal surfaces.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dish soap
  • Rags
  • Towel
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheet
  • Acrylic latex spray primer
  • Galvanised metal etching spray primer
  • Acrylic spray paint

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  1. 1

    Clean the eyeglass frames with soap, using rags. Rinse the frames with clean wet rags. Dry the frames with a towel.

  2. 2

    Abrade plastic eyeglass frames with sandpaper. Scour the frames until they feel slightly rough. Use scissors to cut the sandpaper into smaller pieces if necessary. Skip this step if the eyeglass frames are metallic.

  3. 3

    Protect the lenses from paint by covering them with professional painter's tape. Use scissors to cut the tape into smaller pieces. Lay the eyeglass frames on a fabric dust sheet.

  4. 4

    Coat plastic eyeglass frames with acrylic latex spray primer. Hold the spray can 8 inches from the frames while spraying. Use galvanised metal etching spray primer on metallic eyeglass frames. Wait four hours for the primed frames to dry.

  5. 5

    Coat primed eyeglass frames with acrylic spray paint. Hold the spray can 8 inches from the frames while spraying. Wait two hours. Apply another coat if the primer bleeds through. Wait eight hours before wearing the eyeglasses.

Tips and warnings

  • Never paint unsanded plastic eyeglass frames, or the paint will peel.
  • Never paint unprimed eyeglass frames, or the paint will flake.

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