As this is the first part of a series of articles on doll makeovers, I thought we would start with the basics of a makeover: the supplies needed to do a repaint. Have you have ever looked at the almost perfect doll except for the fact that she had the wrong color eyes, eyebrows or lipstick? Well, after reading these series of articles, you will be able to fix that little "problem".
You will of course need to pick out a doll. In my opinion, Barbie is an excellent one to start with for several reasons. She is by far the cheapest collectable doll with excellent facial features. Her face and eyes in particular have well defined lines, which makes her much easier to repaint. Barbie's vinyl is sleek. Not only does the original paint come off easier but if you need to repaint it several times to get it right, the vinyl will bear it beautifully!
Lastly, Barbie has the smallest head. Consequently, you will have to keep your hands from shaking for a much shorter time then with let say a Robert Tonner or a Gene Marshall doll.
Speaking of Miss Marshall, she is marvelous to repaint if you are experienced. Otherwise, give Barbie a few tries before you tackle the movie star. You may of course start with any doll you wish. The above are only my suggestions.
To remove the original facial paint, you will need non-acetone nail polish remover. It nicely dissolves the paint without hurting vinyl of any kind (Barbie, Gene, Tyler, etc...). You can dip q-tips in the remover and wipe the paint of the doll. By the way, you can never have too many q-tips! They go faster than you can imagine.
While Barbie's paint comes of quite easily, the one the larger collectable dolls take some work to remove. Keep going though as it does come off eventually.
I use acrylic paints for the doll's new face. You can find them at any craft store, art supplies store of even Wal-Mart. Makeover artists cannot seem to agree if more expensive paint is better. As long as the back of the tube/jar says "artist quality", it should work just fine. I use "Folk Art" and "Aleene's Premium Coat". They are cheaper paints (my wallet likes them) plus they are more liquid. This makes them easier to handle and dilute with water.
As acrylic paint can easily peel off, you will need to get some sealer. It can be found in any store that carries the paints. I use gloss sealer for the eyeballs, lipstick and nail polish and matte for everything else.
The paint should be applied with a small round paintbrush in sizes 000, 00, 0, 10/0 or the smallest I have found so far is 18/0. The right size brush makes a world of difference. I could not believe how much more control an 18/0 brush gave me. Incidentally, I found it at Michael's and it's by LOWE. In every other store, the smallest brush was 10/0. If you have trouble finding a small enough brush for your taste just trim some bristles off.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
E-mail the artist at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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