Change Your Glasses Color and Finish




About: woodworker, welder, crafter, maker, youtuber

Are you tired of your boring plastic frames? Maybe you just need a little more color in your life. This is an easy way to restyle your eyewear into something more bold and unique. I will be demonstrating a few techniques on 3 different pairs of glasses.

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Step 1: Collect Your Supplies

A few easy to find items is all it takes.

- #000 Steel Wool

- Regular Elmer's White Glue

- Small Jewelers Size Screwdriver

- All Surface Spray Paint

- Mod Podge Gloss Finish

- Small Paintbrush

Optional items

- Syringe for Dispensing Glue

- Toothpick for Fine Detail Paint Work

- Tea Light Candle

- Crackle Medium

- Acrylic Craft Paint

Step 2: Lens Removal

Start by carefully removing your lenses. This can be achieved by using both thumbs simultaneously on the backside of each lens.

Most lenses will come out pretty easily. However, If they don't want to budge you may want to take your glasses to a local optical shop to have them removed at no charge. Make sure to you separate the right from the left to avoid any confusion when reinserting them.

Step 3: Surface Preparation

Use your steel wool to rough up your frame. You want to knock off that shine it has and give it a dulled appearance. Get inside the groove where the lenses go also.

Once that is done, you can grab your glue. Put a small amount of glue on each hinge to keep them from getting clogged up with paint. Let your glue dry for about a half hour.

Don't worry if you make a mess with your glue. This kind easily cleans up with water.

- Optionally, you might want to use some painters tape or masking tape to cover any areas or logos you don't want painted.

Step 4: Create Your Masterpiece

Time to break out the paint and make those glasses one of a kind.

Using a multi-surface spray paint - Spray lightly with a sweeping motion, always keep moving and shake the can frequently. 2 light coats work best. Follow the manufacturers suggested instructions for re-coat time. Allow it to dry overnight.

I chose to highlight the logo on mine with a little white acrylic craft paint using a toothpick. Small amounts of paint on the tip and a steady hand will create the best results.

Step 5: Optional Step - If You Are Feeling a Little More Adventurous

After applying your base coat and letting it dry, you can take it a step further if you like.

I decided to make the others a little distressed looking to add a little more character.

First, I took the tea light candle and rubbed it along the edges of the frames.

Next, I start applying a contrasting color of acrylic craft paint using long even strokes with my brush. 2 light coats work best. Allow each coat to dry for about 45 minutes.

Then you want to take your steel wool and rub along the edges until you get the desired amount of weathered finish.

Finally, I used a crackle medium to further the look. 1 coat using light even strokes of your brush should do it. Allow to dry for about 2 hours.

Step 6: Apply a Finish

Time to apply the Mod Podge. I prefer the super gloss finish. Apply lightly with even strokes using a small brush. Apply 3 coats about 20 minutes apart should provide a nice finish. Try to keep from getting to much Mod Podge in the inner groove of your frames. This will make it more difficult to insert your lenses.

After the last coat dries for a few hours, grab your jewelers/optical screwdriver. Using the edge of your screwdriver blade you can also now remove the small amounts of glue around the hinges to reveal the metal.

If you decided to use any tape to cover any portions of the frame (logos), now would be the time to remove it.

Step 7: Putting Your Lenses Back In

We're almost done. Grab your lenses. Starting with the right lens, insert top outside edge of your lens into the corresponding outside grove of your frame.

Next, insert the top inside edge of the lens into the corresponding inside groove.

Follow up by inserting the outside bottom edge and then finally snapping in the bottom inside edge.

It helps to have a hair dryer around to warm your frame slightly which expands the plastic for the lens to be inserted more easily.

If you have any difficulty getting your lenses back in you may want to take your glasses to a local optical shop to have them inserted at no charge.

Step 8: Showtime

Time to show off your new style. You now have no match. Your new look is uniquely yours.

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    27 Discussions


    4 months ago on Step 8

    Does the mod Podge wear off when sweating?


    Answer 1 year ago

    Usually there is a small wire holding the lens in on glasses that are frameless or the top part holds them in. In this case, I would suggest not trying to pop them out in case they don't pop back in but taping off the entire lens and bottom with painters tape and hand painting the frame instead with nail polish so you do not have to sand it and don't risk hitting and scuffing the lenses. You can also stick gems into the nail polish and they will stay fairly well. :)


    2 years ago

    It's good I have to colour my grandfather's frame in golden colour how can I do so


    2 years ago

    Hi! Do you need to use a primer before repainting metal frames and, if so, what kind do you recommend? Also, is it better to use all surface or acrylic spray paint for metal frames? Thanks!

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I don't think a primer is necessary as long as you rub the entire frame down well with some fine steel wool.... I would definitely go with the all surface paint, it will hold up better.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Would Rust-Oleum Specialty 11 oz. Metallic Gold Spray Paint suffice in your opinion? You have a lot more experience in this than I do and I'd really appreciate the input!


    2 years ago

    hi,did u try mod podge-hard coat or outdoor? perhaps is better form the red or yellow label as its more advanced and water resistant ?


    1 reply

    2 years ago

    can you use the same method on metal frames?

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Love the idea of having unique eyeglass frames! Thanks for posting it.

    Any reason you chose to use Mod Podge rather than spray acrylic for a finish?

    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you. There are 2 reasons I avoided it. I have been in the optical industry for almost 20 years and have seen many adverse skin reactions to metals, silicone, and plastics. Mod Podge is a water based non-toxic sealer that should wear better for those with sensitive skin.

    The other reason is that it's easy to get too much build up of a spray finish in the inner groove that holds the lens in place. This makes it extremely difficult to re-insert your lenses.


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thanks for your great tutorials. By any chance since you worked in the optical industry for 20 years... Would you know what kind of paint they use (uv resistant and skin sensitive) I am designing sunglasses and my team and I is trying to figure out what process could be done (paint, industrial paint) for our sunglasses. Usually there are in the plastic is injection moulded with the color... Or they are in acetate... we are going in a different route and need to paint them afterwards. If you have any cues it would be greatly appreciated.



    Reply 4 years ago

    Everything I sell at work is either injection molded or acetate. I just made these as an experiment. I'm not sure about UV resistant paints. I will say that whatever paint you use will adhere to the frame better if you rough up the surface a bit with some steel wool because the frames have such a slick surface.


    nice. I hadn't thought about changing the color of my glasses. Chadmikell's comment below does raise an issue though if you are someone that is prone to have allergic reactions to different substances.