Tips and tricks for making your own #OOAKdoll @ #dollstagram #instadoll

Image of African American Liv Doll from Spin Master with repainted skin and a very curly Afro.
Image courtesy of Nefertiti Jones

For all of my regular followers, I must explain… This website has been in limbo for most of the month of March, while I went without a computer at home. Mine crashed! But all of those Barbie patterns I was working on right before the crash have been salvaged, and I plan to post them here soon.

So stick with me to get more patterns for Liv Dolls, Tall Barbie, Curvy Barbie, etc…
And to celebrate the arrival of my new computer, I thought I’d post an interview with my friend Nefertiti Jones, who has recently experimented with doll repainting, with some success. She has agreed to share some of her tips and tricks for doll re-design right here.
Q: What inspired you to repaint dolls?
A: I accidentally got into doll collecting as the result of a project I was working on for my granddaughter.  I was looking up dolls on ebay and saw all of these really pretty black dolls. They were also very expensive, so I decided to try my hand at repainting one. I’ve only repainted the one. People have asked me to repaint more, but my skill level is not that good and after a year she still has issues.
Q: Do you recommend removing the hair of a doll before repainting him/her?
A: I as of yet have not done a re-root on a doll. The doll I used in my repaint had molded on hair that I just painted over. I later made wigs for her and I purchased some. I’m much better at the wig making than the repainting.
Q: What products do you recommend using for doll repaints?
A. When I repainted Ms. Jones (that’s her current name) I used Krylon Fusion for plastics for her head and her body.  I have used a Sharpie water based paint pen in her joints. It seems to be holding up so far. For her face I just used acrylic paints.
Q: Did you have anything go wrong when re-painting? What lesson can you pass on through that learning experience?
A: Ms. Jones  has issues with paint rubbing off of her joints and her head; after a year, is still very tacky. I would like to find a different paint for the head, because the tackiness causes her wigs and everything else to stick like crazy.
I have also noticed that paint is coming off of her feet when I change her shoes. I think that next time I would go for maybe a lighter coat initially, and then try to cover her joints in the second coat. 
I am also in the process of trying out a new technique that I’ve read about, using Rit Dye. I’ll have to let you know how that turns out.
Q: What’s the most difficult part of a doll to re-paint, and why is it tricky? How do you recommend we deal with that when re-painting?
A: The trickiest part, to me, is getting an even coat and keeping the joints from rubbing off when you pose the doll. I don’t play with her much because of this issue. I haven’t found a solution yet. I’m hoping the Rit Dye bath works better.
Q: Final question: Can you give us any tips on painting doll faces — links to video tutorials or artistic images that you use to inspire your own face repaints?
A: The main tip I  have for painting the faces is, if you have a doll with removable eyes, like the Liv dolls, change or replace the eyes before repainting and then cover them with painters tape. Trying to change the eyes or putting eyes in after repainting scratches the paint on the doll’s face and touchups give the appearance of scars.
Some of the tutorials I’ve gleaned from are:
This one is for the Rit Dye project I’m working on:
If you’d like to follow Nefertiti Jones, you can find here here on Instagram or here on Google+.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, Nefertiti!

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