Chynadoll Creations

Chynadoll Creations

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Lesson in Repainting

So today is a rainy Sunday and I am just back from church. Ive decided to blog about repainting. I realized as I was starting out in this business, that there were not enough blogs about how to repaint.
 I also realized that there were not many out there that portrayed African Americans in soft earth tones etc.
I got tired of looking at most of the older dolls out there that were supposed to portray African Americans. Either they had purple or green eyeshadow, ruby red lips or just looked plain tacky. Where were all the earth tones that women of color wear? Even as cute as the little Kelly dolls were, they too had bright pink lipstick etc. This is by no means meant to offend anyone! Im just saying that as an artist and doll lover, I decided to paint dolls the way I wanted to see them depicted.
So.... Having said that, Lets begin this journey of repainting a little "Tommy Doll"  this doll is actually a Mikelman doll.  He is the replica of the Tommy doll by Mattel. Only we are going to rename him  "Rusty"

First, you need to gather your supplies
Acrylic paints are used for repainting.
 Oil based paints dont work at all.
 The oil never dries on the vinyl and stays tacky and sticky.
The best thing to get is a beginner set of acrylic paints.
 They include all of the colors you need for basic
repainting and color mixing. Make sure your set
includes, basic black, white, paynes gray and burnt umber.

Second, you need a good set of acrylic paint brushes, 10/0 0/0 are some of the smaller tips.
The smaller tips the better for painting detailed areas like eyes, lips etc. You can also cut the tips
down to suit your painting style. It takes some time and practice to get your paint brush the way you like.

Third, you need Pure Acetone polish remover for removing the factory paint on the dolls. Use Qtips for removal.
Try not to use too much acetone because if you saturate the doll in acetone, the paint wont adhere. If you use too much, use baking soda mixed in water to remove the excess. Let the doll dry before repainting.
Tooth picks, and cotton balls also come in handy. Use a paint tray to mix your colors and have cups of clear water on hand for cleaning brushes. Paper towels are also handy.

This is how "Tommy" came to me. I purchased
him online in a bunch of six. Note the green scary
eyes, funny little eyebrows, blond hair and pink lips

So the first step is to remove the factory paint. 
use the pure Acetone nail polish remover and a Qtip.

To change the hair color, I used burnt umber and burnt sienna mixed together.
I applied two coats to his blond hair. Since the hair is of a fleecy nature, the paint'
stays nicely on top and dries quickly.

*A quick suggestion, take a look at pictures of eyes. Photographed, drawn etc. To see how the eyes look before you begin your repaint. Notice how the color looks, the shape, the shadows and sparkle of the eyes. There are many resources online to assist you in this before you begin your repaint. 

Apply the whites of the eyes. By mixing a bit of paynes gray and white together.  You never want the eye completely white.  After the white dries, then make a small circle in the white for the pupil. Apply your eye color for the iris and let dry. Make sure your eye looks the way you want before you add the sealer. Apply eyebrows and there you have it. 



  1. Wow! Chynadoll, he looks 100 percent better...amazing! I have never done any repaints other than the lips. You have inspired me to give it a try. Thanks for a great tutorial post.

  2. Hi Georgia Girl, yes I repaint all of my dolls faces. If you need any further tips or lessons just give me a shout:) I will be posting further lessons and examples on this blog from time to time.
    Remember, practice makes perfect. Try painting on a few doll heads first before your actual doll.
    Happy repainting.

  3. Hi CD love his new look. I have a few Mikey dolls and I will have to get some supplies and start painting. Thank you for this lesson :O) Anika

  4. You must have seen my poor Jacob,who needed his eyes repainted again. Thanks for the tutorial to help push me to get it done. It still may take me a little while, but it has at least moved up on my "To Do" list.

  5. Lol @ Vanessa, yes I did see little Jacob :) I will be posting a pic of another one I did like him. He is from my bike buddie collection. They are very easy to paint because you get to make an improvement to a funny looking little doll. Get ta painting girl :)

    @Dollz, your welcome :) get those paints out! There are plenty Mikey's out there just screaming for a new face :)


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