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If you have any questions about repainting, please check this list first! My repaint tutorial is just a little bit outdated when it comes to materials. Over time I've been trying many different tools and techniques, so my materials list is a bit different now!



◈ ◇ ◆ Preparation Tools ◆ ◇ ◈
- 100% pure acetone (found in the beauty supply sections) make sure it's colorless, and cotton swabs. I used to use Windsor & Newton Brush cleaner, which worked okay, but acetone is less expensive and wiped everything off easier. Do not allow it to drip onto hard plastics (such as the body) as it will melt the plastic and release fumes.

- Cling wrap, painter's tape, and masking tape; these are for wrapping your doll's hair and body to protect it from being sprayed with sealant or getting scratched/dirty. If sealant sprays onto the dolls hair, the hair becomes coated in dried, white, sealant that is difficult to remove.

- Respirator. I use one from 3M, I suggest visiting your local hardware store and ask them for solid suggestions since I don't know too much about these masks. Also, make sure your filters are changed after a while (I think 6 months is the usual?) I use this one: www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001… with these filters: www.amazon.com/3M-R6001-Organi…

- Cotton and Plastic gloves , I use the cotton ones when I am painting to prevent any oils from my fingers from getting on the face (oils make the face dirty and can damage the sealant). The plastic ones are best when spraying sealant in order to protect your hands.



◈ ◇ ◆ Sealant ◆ ◇ ◈
- Mr. Super Clear FLAT (there is a UV cut option, I don't use it often because it's more expensive and most useful for BJDs prone to yellowing) Shake very well and spray from about elbow's length. I no longer dip it in warm water since I noticed it's just wasteful and doesn't make a difference.



◈ ◇ ◆ Watercolor Pencils ◆ ◇ ◈
- Derwent and Prismacolor
note: These work well along side MSC sealant. I've never tried them on vinyl alone because that can stain the plastic. Also, there may be other watercolor pencils that work well, but from my experience the less expensive brands are not as efficient or pigmented.

-Sharpeners. The only thing that helps me make thin lines. Buy a couple different kinds, they will always need replacement after some time and get to know which brand you like most!

-Erasers, preferably in a holder that retracts. I love Mars Plastic. Use erasers to soften lines or completely remove them (less messy than water and also works on blush)

-Exacto knife, good for shaping pencil points and erasers.



◈ ◇ ◆ Pastels ◆ ◇ ◈
- Most chalk pastels work fine. I use Michaels Artists Loft and Schmincke. Less expensive ones are not as pigmented so they need to be layered with sealant more so than more expensive brands. I use the less expensive ones for colors I don't often need. I shave off powder with an exacto knife. You can also use sandpaper. With the more expensive one, I can just brush off the powder with no effort.



◈ ◇ ◆ Acrylics ◆ ◇ ◈
- My current favorite is Folk Art brand. I used to use Vallejo, but it can be very thick, even with thinner.

- Thinner, preferably the same brand as your acrylics but most work fine. Always useful when you want less opaque lines (be careful not to layer too much as thinner causes acrylics to clump up)



◈ ◇ ◆ Brushes ◆ ◇ ◈
- I use many different make-up brushes (the bristles are made for holding powders so it's excellent for cleaning teeny debris and blushing) and small/thin paint brushes (for any line-work). For the white highlight dots in the eyes, I often use a toothpicks.



◈ ◇ ◆ Finish ◆ ◇ ◈
- Gloss. I use Tamiya x-22. I cannot vouch for other glosses but there are others you can try like Liquitex, etc. Leave any glossing for last!

- Shimmer. I use Jacquard Pearl-EX shimmers, they come in tons of colors! You need to spray it with sealant, but do so from a farther distance so as to not blow away or overcoat the shimmers.



Thank you for reading! I hope this is helpful to you, please ask any questions in the comments section. Also, it would be more than appreciated if you could reference this and credit me if you've found it useful on your work ^^
Add a Comment:
 
:iconblack-obsidian:
Black-Obsidian Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2015  Hobbyist
Sorry to be a bother but which exact brand of Derwent watercolours do you use? I brought some expensive Faber and Castell watercolours on recommendation of another tutorial but the core is way too hard and I end up just scratching away the sealant when I use them and the colour doesn't stick. I've also been using the Tamiya TS-80 sealant which was also recommended in the tutorial - is this a good sealant to use? 

Many thanks :D:D:D
Reply
:iconthanerdyphotographer:
ThaNerdyPhotographer Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I have a question
If I were to simply add on to a dolls current design, would that work? Could I just paint on top of whats there and seal it somehow? Or would I simply have to leave her as is or redo everything, do you know?
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi there,

There are a few things you have to consider when you work over an existing doll design;
The face has decals/paint on it that are shiny and of a different material than the vinyl underneath. Because of that, you'd be better suited using acrylics, instead of pencils, to paint over the existing details. However, If you paint over it, that paint will still need to be sealed so that it lasts. If you seal a doll's exisiting decals/paint, they tend to turn matte. If you like the shiny look of the decals, it's probably best to dilute some gloss (with a little bit of water) and gloss over the areas you painted, rather than seal them with a spray sealant. The gloss will work as a sealant in this case.

If you want to add blushing on bare areas of the vinyl, you can blush them with pastels, but those areas will still need spray sealant (but you could mask the the area so that the spray only seals certain places on the face)

Hope all of that made sense!
Reply
:iconthanerdyphotographer:
ThaNerdyPhotographer Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
It did, but what do you mean by gloss? I can't say I've heard the term in this context before, and your little bit in your list didn't help me to understand it ;o;
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You can brush gloss (I use tamiya brand) on top of what you painted, so that you don't have to seal it with a spray. The gloss comes in a little container and you paint over the paint the same way, with a brush. The gloss will dry and the paint underneath it will be safer than just paint alone.
Reply
:iconthanerdyphotographer:
ThaNerdyPhotographer Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Ooooh, okay. Thanks for your help.
Reply
:icon14111989:
14111989 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2014  Student General Artist
I have a question : O !
 I m going to custom some monster high and  If I re do a make up, and then days or  months later I want to cut her hair or reroot ? will the make up go bad?  I have experience with BJD s but not with this material so... xD I think it will be more complicated.   Thank you ! 
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi there!
The material these dolls are made of is squishy, but the MSC isn't- so when you go to reroot the doll (where you'll be using needles) all the handling will cause the MSC to crack, especially near the nose and mouth. I'd say it's impossible to reroot a painted doll without having to bend the head somewhere so I don't recommend it~
Reply
:icon14111989:
14111989 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Student General Artist
I see : O I will be careful and don't reroot if it's painted then haha
Thank you !
Reply
:iconprincessirregular:
PrincessIrregular Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I have a question- a lot of people say that they use water color pencils for repaints, but do you just draw on the face with them or go over them with water to make them appear different? And with acrylics you just paint over pencil? I'm sorry, that was two questions ^^;
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi there, you just draw on the face like you would with a pencil ^^ the reason we use watercolor pencils rather than regular pencils is because the material is safer to use on plastic since it's water soluble. Acrylics can be used in unison with pencils or alone (if you have good brush skills). Hope that's helpful!
Reply
:iconprincessirregular:
PrincessIrregular Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, it is very helpful! :la: Thank you very much. I'm sorry for all the questions :P
Reply
:iconreginamdecus:
ReginamDecus Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Student General Artist
I was wondering is their any difference in the sealer products, since I've been researching about this and well there are some customizers that use Liquitex Fluid Slow-Dri Blending Medium Extender Acrylic and others use Mr. Super Clear Flat.
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There are many differences between sealant brands, but I don't believe Slow-Dri is a sealant (at least not to my knowledge).
I use it exclusively to make my acrylics stay wet longer, which is not what sealant does (dries and protects work underneath).
Reply
:iconreginamdecus:
ReginamDecus Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2013  Student General Artist
Thank you for answering me! 

Much appreciated :D
Reply
:icondracoselene:
dracoselene Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
Why do all the tutorials say to use watercolor pencils? Will wax based pencils work? what are the risks? I want to do a repaint, and I have a nice set of prismacolor art pencils, but they are wax based not watercolor.
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah, you'll find it's very stressed in the doll community to only use certain types of supplies on dolls, reason being the binders in non-water soluble colored pencils are more wax/oil based and will permanently stain the doll, even if they're high quality like Prismacolor, unfortunately.
Reply
:icondracoselene:
dracoselene Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Professional General Artist
How is that even possible if you seal between every application? Most tutorials even suggest TWO applications of sealant before even beginning. I can understand to never use pencils on an unsealed doll, even watercolor ones can stain.

I'm sorry if I seem like a pest, or if I sound argumentative , I just like to be have answers that are clear. I've found a lot of vague information based on recommendations that have been passed down and not based on any facts.
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I did a bit of research for you, the issue is the small trace of oils in the prismacolor pencils. They are fine to use in the short-run based on different testimonies I've read, as long as they are sealed (as you mention) but I haven't looked too far into it to find anything about it in the long-run and it's effects on the sealant. I've read in multiple places that oils can damage the sealant and that's enough for me.
I, personally, do not risk using these materials because I sell these dolls and want to make sure there is no risk of damage to the repaint, but if you want to test it out for yourself I'm sure we can benefit from more knowledge on the effects. I'm not sure about the science of it, and I'm still learning. These materials are simply what I use and recommend, just a guideline~

If you are planning on using pencils for your repaint, you need to sharpen them very often in order to get crisp lines which makes my pencils deplete fairly quickly. I'm not sure how you feel about it, but I know how expensive prismacolors are so perhaps it's something to keep in mind?


I don't know if they are open for registration, but if you ever get an account on DenofAngels you can check out some information about materials here: [link]
This is where I searched for some more insight about regular colored pencils. It's a forum mostly for resin dolls, but there are some vinyl dolls on topic there and materials work almost identically on both types of dolls.
Reply
:iconcarouselclover:
carouselclover Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Student General Artist
You mentioned that your pencils run low very quickly because of all the sharpening required. Maybe you could sharpen the tips lightly with an x-acto knife, so you get a sharp point without running down your pencils? I do that sometimes when I draw very small details. 
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:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, yes, thanks for mentioning it! I actually definitely do that nowadays and it makes my pencils last longer for sure ^^
Reply
:iconcarouselclover:
carouselclover Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Student General Artist
:)
Reply
:icondracoselene:
dracoselene Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thank you for your quick responses, I'm sorry I couldn't get back to you quickly as well.
Reply
:iconduxul:
duxul Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Have you used any other type of sealant other than Mr. Clear? Every other tutorial/ guide I've read recommends this brand, but I can't seem to find it in stores, so I'll have to order it online. Of course, that obviously means that it's probably the best. I'm doing a demo for myself on a cheaper doll before I start on the real thing, and I'm just wondering if there's a decent alternative, or should I just bite the bullet and get Mr. Clear?

Thanks for your input! :)
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Unfortunately, I can't personally recommend any other sealant :<
There are other sealant brands that some artists use, like Testors or Citadel but they receive very mixed reviews (shiny surfaces, or flaking sealant) that I wouldn't take the risk of spending money on them since there's only a few dollars difference in price.
Some more dedicated artists use Liquitex sealants, but they require airbrushes that need constant cleaning and I'm not sure how to use them ; o;

Everyone in the hobby wishes there was an easier to find, cheaper, and safer alternative but, for now, it seems Mr. Super Clear is still the front-runner in comparison to anything else.
Reply
:iconmysweetqueen-dolls:
MySweetQueen-Dolls Featured By Owner May 7, 2013
may I ask where did you buy the tamiya gloss? I really need an appropiated gloss for the doll's lips :s
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The first one I got from the volks website because I was ordering some other things (but their shipping is expensive and sometimes they aren't in stock). But I mostly buy them from ebay, there are a few up for sale right now :]
Reply
:iconmysweetqueen-dolls:
MySweetQueen-Dolls Featured By Owner May 7, 2013
really? could you please send me a link to the etsy ones? I can't find them
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
They are on ebay, not etsy :]
You can find them here: [link]
Reply
:iconmysweetqueen-dolls:
MySweetQueen-Dolls Featured By Owner May 7, 2013
oooh thank you!
just bought one :heart:
you are helping me a lot today and you are always so kind with me :)
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
oh, you're more than welcome ; w; it's no problem!
Reply
:icongalaxy-mech:
Galaxy-Mech Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Thanks :-)
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No problem!! C:
Reply
:iconbeansproutmomo:
BeanSproutMomo Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is an excellent resource! Thank you again~ ♥

Would you mind if I cross-post this on my DollTutorial tumblr, and give you credit and a link back? I think the people there could benefit greatly from this helpful information!
([link])
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sure, sure- Please feel free to do so! ^^
Thank you!
Reply
:iconbeansproutmomo:
BeanSproutMomo Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much!

Here is the link to the post:

dolltutorials.tumblr.com/post/…
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:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, too :D
Reply
:iconbeansproutmomo:
BeanSproutMomo Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You are most welcome!
Reply
:iconmysweetqueen-dolls:
MySweetQueen-Dolls Featured By Owner May 6, 2013
this was very helpful, thank you a lot :)
Reply
:iconamber-honey:
Amber-Honey Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm glad! you're very welcome ^^
Reply
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May 5, 2013
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