Alrighty, I’ve already chronicled my adventures in dyeing a doll body; all it did was dye the joints, after two hours in a hot dye bath. However, the joints are the one part that are REALLY HARD if not impossible to paint without chipping, so all I had to do was paint the rest of the doll to match the joints and I’d be good to go.
Vinyl paint is what you want to look for with dolls. You can use acrylics/airbrush, but it doesn’t adhere quite as well, and you’ll still get chips with vinyl paint, just not nearly as many. The other thing with vinyl paint, which is a spraypaint, is that you must go VERY SLOWLY. I cannot stress that enough. The #1 error with spraypainting is a heavy spray finger. Then the paint gets all thick and pools into details and you end up with a doll that looks like it melted. It didn’t, it just has caked-on paint.
How slowly is slowly? 4 coats for the head, spaced 30 minutes apart. The body was done gradually over 5-6 hours. The first two coats should not even cover all of what you are spraying, it should be a light mist. EVERY coat should be a light mist, but you don’t want to see any opacity until coat 3-4. When dealing with all the nooks and crannies of the body, more coats to get all the angles. It takes a long time, but I also have a nice THIN coat of paint everywhere, and that means the paint job will be that much harder to chip from regular posing. Quality takes time.
So what’s next?
I have to figure out what to do with her! My original plan was for a nice medium brown skintone to do one of the other background characters. That didn’t work so well, so her fate is currently ‘unassigned’. I’m happy to take suggestions! I would LOVE to have representation from a non-euro fairytale, but the only non-euro fairytales I’m really familiar with are 1001 Nights. Euro fairytales are OK too, but it would have to be a currently un-assigned character (my backup is to make my flipped version of Snow White). And it has to be a fairytale/folk tale, NOT a god from greek/other mythology.