Re-coloring your frames with Jill of All Trades

This week, Jill Washburn, our Jill of All Trades, shows us how to make your eyeglass frames last a little longer by touching up the color.  

If you have frames that are in decent shape, but the color is starting to wear on the edges (typically, a problem with metal frames), you can keep them going by touching up the color.

First and foremost, pop your lenses out of the frames, so that you don’t wreck them. You may need to loosen a screw on metal frames to do this. Plastic ones should just let you pop the lenses out. If you’re timid about this part, take them to an eyeglass place and have them remove the lenses. It should only take a few seconds.

Now for the color… to do this, you’ll need a paint marker.  

Choose one that is oil-based permanent paint. It should have a little marble or bead in it, like a can of spray paint and you’ll need to shake it up for a bit before you use it, just like you’d have to with spray paint. Paint markers come in many different colors and tip sizes, from broad to super fine. They also come in different finishes, like glossy, semi-gloss, satin and flat. Choose the finish that closest to the finish on your frames. 

Jill found that working with a broader tip actually gave her a nicer finish on her frames. She also says that the flatter finishes were more forgiving of mistakes than the gloss.

Jill warns that these paints are fast-drying, so it pays to work quickly. 

If you make mistakes, though, they are fixable. Jill wasn’t happy with her first coat, so she let it dry completely and then sanded it back a bit with a magic eraser and a scotch brand kitchen scrubber. The magic eraser with take your finish down a little. The kitchen scrubber will take it back a lot.

You can also use this trick to change a pair of frames that you’re tired of. You can change the color of your frames completely, because the paint markers cover really well. You can even get creative with color combinations. The markers are only a few bucks each, so it’s easy and inexpensive to re-hab or change your frames.  

The paints also stick to plastic, so you could do this with plastic frames, as well. Just make sure you clean them thoroughly before you start, so that the paint adheres better.  And, Jill says, if the finish ever starts to wear away, you can just touch them up again.


To watch Jill touch up her frames, you can click on the video player above.