Doll painting materials tutorial

posted in: Tutorials | 2


One of the most common questions is what materials one could use to custom repaint their own dolls, hopefully this information inspires you.

SAFETY FIRST: Get a paint grade respirator when working with any sealant, keep your trash away from reach of pets/children/living creatures, for example don’t keep your plants in the windowsill of your spray area. Discard your trash every time you leave your spray station.


Paper towels: For applying and cleaning.
Cotton swabs: For applying and cleaning.
Cotton buds: For applying and cleaning.
Assorted party picks: For prepping and detailing with cotton buds.
Saran wrap: For protecting work surfaces and masking.
Parchment paper: For directly wrapping dolls for storage and shipment.

Soft Pastels

Schmincke soft pastels: Shaving Schmincke soft pastels with a razor blade or grinding against a sheet of sandpaper into a fine powder provides a workable medium similar to cosmetic makeup. I use these on a sealed surface to avoid staining.

PanPastels: PanPastels have become my main pastel for my repaints and faceups. I’m able to blend them the way I want and feel much more comfortable in my workflow with them as a part of my arsenal!

Watercolor Pencils

Faber Castell: Wonderful for plotting main anatomy lines before using a more opaque pencil such as Prismacolor. I use these dry for fine lines.

Prismacolor: Prismacolor watercolor pencils are opaque and they reach a large value range. I use these dry for fine lines.


90% isopropyl alcohol: I have spray bottles of alcohol for cleaning in every corner of my studio. Dry clay, gloss globbed brushes, dirty palettes, heavy varnish setting on the exterior of my airbrush, you can even smooth out fingerprints on polymer clay with it.

Acetone free nail polish remover: Cleaning solution.

Distilled water: I use distilled water washes and rinsing out my airbrush.

Liquitex Matte Medium: I prep plastic for airbrushing with Liquitex matte medium for a high tack surface.

Liquitex Airbrush Medium: I combine Liquitex Basics acrylics with Liquitex airbrush medium for an airbrush ready color.

Liquitex Matte Varnish: I apply 2 coats of Liquitex matte varnish before adding Pearl FX glitter and 3 coats of Vallejo premium varnish.

Vallejo Premium Varnish: I apply 2 coats of Vallejo premium varnish after adding Pearl FX glitter.

Mr. Super Clear matte flat: I apply 3 coats of MSC before anything and between major layers of soft pastels, watercolor pencils, and acrylics. 

Medea Airbrush Cleaner: Medea airbrush cleaner is essential for cleaning my airbrush.

Winsor & Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer: Great for brushes but it also cleans factory paint from Monster High with little smudging. It can cause melting on hard shell Monster High doll parts.


Liquitex Basics: I paint and airbrush with Liquitex washes. This brand reaches a large value range.


Schmincke Gouache: Washes provide a solid crisp opaque color workable like acrylic with the blending versatility of watercolor.

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2 Responses

  1. Willow
    | Reply

    What’re the steps? I’m starting up new

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