It really depends on the frame if you are going to be able to get the paint off easily. On many older frames the paint is just, well, Painted on. This kind of coating will come off rather easily. The best way to do this is to clean the frames with regualr dish soap and water , dry them well, and flake off the paint with your fingernail and a wood tooth pick for the tiny parts. Now, if the frame coating is baked on, like many of the newer frames these days, it will be very difficult to get off without some harsh solvents. Unforunately, unless these were higher quality frames, any solvents you use will pit and scratch the metal.
In either case, if you end up removing the paint, the metal on the frames is not sealed. and will eventually corrode and turn green due to the chemicals in your sweat. This is probally what caused your paint to chip in the first place. If you have a lot og greenish buildup around the nose pads, or inbetween the lenses and the frame, your skin is reacting to the metals in the frame and causing oxidisation. Get titanium frames next time if you can swing it, or even “plastic” frames, as they are now in style.
To do any of this you will need to remove the lenses, which, as other people have said are held in the frame with some weeney little screws usually. If you have a teeny screwdriver you can probally loosen those yourself and take the lenses out. But the best bet is to wander over to your local eyeware shop and ask one of them to do it for you. Then you won’t risk stripping the barrels.
The lenses should fit in tight after you take out the paint, if they don’t the eyeshop would install some liner for you so they do.
My advice, take themy to an eyeshop with some baggies to put your parts into, have them take them apart, take them home do your magic, and then take them back for them to put back together again. That way they can line up your Rx back the way it was. If you take them out, if the lenses have any play in them wahtsoever in the frame, and you have a correction for astigmatism, you won’t be able to see well through them.
Hope it works out for you.
Any ? feel free to email me…
~Aqua A.B.O, N.C.L.E
Friendly neighborhood Optician