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Experiment: Vinyl Spray for repainting doll bodies

I discovered using vinyl spray as an option for repainting doll bodies through a tutorial written up by mymonstercrush. I liked the results and I especially liked the fact that vinyl spray allows you to recolor the soft vinyl head too!

I chose Heath as an experimental subject because colors available for vinyl spray are pretty limited and because, well… I wanted to make this photo possible:

You can find more photos of Heath at the gallery.

If you are going to use vinyl paint as an option, be warned that it’s a lot stronger than Mr. Super Clear. The fumes last a lot longer and the spray has a wider radius (probably because it was designed to cover flat and wide surfaces). Although I am generally happy with the results, the usual dilemma of paint chipping off the joints was unavoidable.

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The neck area suffers very badly from the paint chipping due to the friction between the neck knob and the head.

The unavoidable rough spots where the paint can’t quite make it or dry properly.

Paint just naturally chips in the joints with moving parts due to the friction.

The paint is not sticking at all at joints with moving parts.

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Good luck taking those shoes off without stripping the paint off.

Heath doesn’t mind mooning us to show paint chipping due to friction.

Areas where parts rub against each other are particularly vulnerable to paint chips.

The head area which I expected to actually have more damage was stable despite rough handling!


I used Brillo Leather Color Spray which is actually meant for leather. MyMonsterCrush used automotive paint. Neither could be found locally in my area so I had to order these online. I took a chance on vinyl paint designed for leather because it would be idea for the soft vinyl part of the head, which it was! I’ve subjected the head to a lot of fidgeting and squeezing that were it acrylic paint used, it would have simply chipped off and fell apart. Brillo stayed on as if a permanent part of the skin. Unfortunately it didn’t quite stick as well on the hard plastic pieces. Some of the paint chipped off from some abuse (rubbing against something, anything). Although, with very careful handling, it isn’t so bad. The paint will stay on granted you aren’t deliberately trying to chisel it off. I was not happy with how some parts of the body got paint blobs and drips due to using vinyl spray for the first time, but I was surprised that I could safely use sand paper to smooth those areas up.

Next time though, I’m going to use automotive paint and see if there is any difference. Leather spray is a definite YES for the soft vinyl heads though. Heath has sculpted hair and I’m really surprised at how well the paint hid the seams that despite some rough handling, the hard epoxy wig fused to the CAM wig cap did not unravel and became affixed to the head with the help of the leather spray.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. I stupidly sprayed regular spray paint on my daughter’s dolls(I don’t know what I was thinking?)
    Is there any way for me to remove this or possibly paint over it with the correct spray paint or anything of the sort?


  2. You know, if you sand the body with a fine-grit (or even better, a sanding block from Sally’s) you might get better adhesion with the paint. It’d strip off the original sealant the manufacturers used and give the material a little tooth to grip. I haven’t tried it on a doll myself, but I can say for a fact that it works great for kitbashing doll furniture.

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