How to Paint Eyeglass Frames

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Turn your eyeglasses into a statement about yourself.
Turn your eyeglasses into a statement about yourself. (Image: moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images)

Painting your own eyeglass frames allows you to express yourself as an individual in a creative and unique way. In order to do so, you simply need to execute certain preparation and application strategies based on the composition of the frames. Such a task is not only feasible for the everyday wearer, but offers a fun, crafty way to spend a lazy afternoon.

Things You'll Need

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

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

Cover the lenses with professional painter's tape to protect them. Use scissors to cut the tape into smaller pieces if necessary. Lay the eyeglass frames on a fabric drop cloth.

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.

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

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 & Warnings

  • Mix paints to create a color that precisely matches your favorite outfit, your car or some other prized possession.
  • Use glow-in-the-dark paint for your children's glasses.
  • For a flashier look, apply some glitter with spray adhesive.
  • 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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