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Submitted on
May 5, 2013


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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 My repaint tutorial is just a little bit outdated when it comes to materials.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:… with these filters:…

- 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 ^^
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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?
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!
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;
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.
ThaNerdyPhotographer Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Ooooh, okay. Thanks for your help.
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 ! 
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~
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 !
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 ^^;
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!
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