How to Restore Old Eyeglass Frames

Most older and antique eyeglass frames are made from metal or wire. If you have a pair of eyeglasses with lenses scratched, broken or missing, you can take them to an optometrist and he can fit them for new lenses. Whether you plan to wear the frames after you restore them or simply display them, you must take proper care to gently clean and refurbish the frames. The procedure only requires ordinary supplies you may already have on hand, but will have your old eyeglass frames looking like new.


Things You’ll Need:
Dish-washing liquid
2 Cloths
60- or 80-grit sandpaper
220-grit sandpaper
Metal polish
2 Bowls
Eyeglass cleaner

1 Clean your old eyeglass frame with a couple squirts of dish-washing liquid and warm water from a bowl. Use a cloth to scrub the dirt and debris off the ear pieces and around the eyepieces. Don’t worry about cleaning the lenses until you are finished restoring the frames.

2 Sand the frame with a coarse 60- or 80-grit sandpaper. Rub vigorously around areas that have rust to try to remove it all. Sand the entire frame, inside and out.

3 Go over the frame a second time with the fine 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the frame. Be sure to sand around the back of the ear piece and the inside of the nose so that the eyeglasses will be comfortable if you intend to wear them.

4 Rinse the frame under warm running water and run your hands along it as you do so, feeling for and removing any shavings left from the sandpaper.

5 Pour 1/4 cup of metal polish in a bowl. Apply the polish to the entire frame with a soft cloth and set the frame on a towel when finished.

6 Wipe the metal polish off the frame with a clean, soft cloth when the polish turns white; usually about 10 to 15 minutes.

7 Clean the lenses of the old eyeglasses with eyeglass cleaner and a clean handkerchief. Spray the cleaner on both sides of the lenses and gently wipe them off.