Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Braving Doll Reroot and Repaint

Okay, so I braved doll repaint, finally. 
And boy, was it an experience!

Tamica, my first doll repaint

I once had this grand scheme of repainting all my dolls because 
I have always wanted my atelier gals to be OOAKs.
Finally, with much research,
and digging into my old art supplies,
I jumped into it.

I chose my doll Tamica for my first attempt, as I have two molds of this girl.

I chose to repaint the one on the left because I like the screening better and keep it on the other.

my process...

First, I removed her makeup using an acetone-based nail polish remover.

Her hair was removed by first cutting closest to the roots using
a pair of small scissors which eventually I realized when I checked its packaging,
was actually a nail scissors. It worked well for the job.
I then pulled out remaining hairs through the neck hole
using my long-nose pliers.

Faceless Tamica and her old hair

I washed the hair-less head again, then I started rerooting her
with the yarn ball I bought last Sunday. I think chocolate brown suits her perfectly.

Sorry, I totally forgot to take a picture during the reroot.
However, I followed all the steps that @myfroggystuff showed
in their wonderful tutorial for rerooting dolls with yarn, here.

Then I wrapped her up, exposing only her head for sealing.

Pro repaint artists will probably spank me because of using a face towel to cover my nose while sealing, but... yeah.
Then, the repaint begins...

... which of course, I forgot to take pictures of again because... laziness.
Well, not really.

I was just giddy as a child because of all things, I love drawing.
I love painting. I love coming up with an image that was never there before.
So, yeah. I just went into a zone without noticing time, and other people
coming in and out of the room.

the materials...

All the chaos needed to come up with that pretty face XD

I used the very common materials repaint artists
who use, like:

Watercolor pencils and pan and tiny brushes for details like
the eyes, eyelashes, eye lids, brows, teeth details.

Soft pastel for blush, lip color and eye brow color.
(I used watercolor pencils for the brow hairs)

Mr. Super Clear Matt/Flat sealant for sealing before and after repaint.
(yes, I only sealed twice)

Black and white acrylic paints that were scraped off
after realizing they bulk faster than I could even put the details on.

Cotton swabs, tissue paper, cotton buds, water

A 0.1 waterproof pen (from my old art stash) used as eyeliner

I took pictures but actually didn't intend to seriously document the process
because I just want to absorb all the learnings first.
Then, once I get the right things,
that's when I document.

I probably will have a decent how-shasha-did-it post some time,
but really, who wants that?
The internet already has an ocean of tutorials,
made and edited way better than I could even imagine, right?

the outcome...

So, here's Tamica now.
I was so excited to take pictures of her that when I decided I'm done,
that I quickly grabbed a Grace Barbie Style body so we can
take advantage of the beautiful dusk lighting.

I'm in love with her - she's already hired for some real important atelier task!
Tee hee...

And just before I end the post, I have to write a few notes to self about my process, though:

1. The Mr. Super Clear Matt/Flat sealant darkened her face a bit - 
which was perfect for Grace's body.

2. I'm comfy with my watercolors instead of the acrylics ones.
Those teeth are detailed and crazy difficult
I just have to use the medium I'm most comfy with!

3. I ended up using my trusty Chinese brush that is the cheapest
thing among all my brushes because it gets to a very pointy point when wet. 
I knew this fact before, back when I did detail-y watercolor things
but when you're too enthusiastic with what you're doing (at least, me), 
you seem to just grab what you see. 
Good thing the chinese brush presented itself, magically. LOL!

I guess, that is all.
I'm not an expert on this, but you can ask me about my process
and I will answer to the best of my knowledge.

Ayt! Gotta go now!
I hope this post inspires you to do your own repaints, too!

dolly hugs,


  1. Oh wow, she looks great overall, but the amount of detail you put into the teeth is beyond fantastic! You really did such an impressive job with all the tiny details there! :)

    1. LOL! I geeked out over those teeth hahaha! If someone took a photo of me, I was like curled in the corner nearest my window because I wanted to use natural light instead of my lamp. It was a great experience, I wanna do more! I'm determined to repaint all my gals so everyone is even more special <3

  2. WOW! What a great job! She looks so lifelike! Do, I have it right, you used sealant on the hair and on the face twice for the repaint? That was a lot of work! But it shows in how she turned out! Now I see why people charge what they do for OOAK heads! Again, great job!

    1. Thanks, Ms. Leo... The sealant was only used for the face - pre-repaint and post. We had to seal the rubber first before doing any sketches so the colors can adhere to the surface easily, otherwise it's super difficult to write on a rubber face. Then I seal it after all the painting was done.

      I have seen other repaint enthusiasts seal more than twice, like after they did the eyes, they seal it before starting on the, say, lips. Sealing the face this way allows for further better adhesion between color and face, as they would point out.

      I found this quick tutorial very helpful, you might want to check this out some time:


  3. I've been to chicken to repaint my dolls. Thanks for the inspiration to begin researching processes!

    1. I know, right?! Like I researched for more than four years before doing this! SOmetimes, we are too much of a perfectionist hahaha!

  4. Replies
    1. Awww thank you, grandmommy... Repainting is addictive!

  5. She is gorgeous, Shasha with a personality different than any other doll! You have truly created a one-of-a-kind doll masterpiece. Bravo!


    1. Thanks so much, Debbie! I'm so happy to come up with such an adorable little first full repaint! <3

  6. All I can say is, "Wow!" You did a fabulous job, Shasha. The details are incredible. I can't wait to go to the craft store. I want to give the yarn reroot a try. I already have a candidate selected.

    1. Oh, Jewell.. please try it as it's so nice to give our dolls their unique look - repainting them makes them even more special... Can't wait to see what you will do <3

  7. She's truly awesome!! She looks like a real person, WOW!! You did an amazing job on her, sweetie!

    1. I really love how she turned out, dear... She's my first and she's super special =)

  8. I love her new face, it's so understated and gives her mold a whole new look. And those are some cool teeth. :)
    (I had some kind of idea I would repaint all my dolls too, but it turned out to be harder than I thought...!)

    1. Thanks so much, dear... I did quite a lot of takes to finally see the final finish on her teeth but it was worth it! As with all other skills, it's gonna be hard at first. But with consistent practice, we all can have repaint dolls of our own - made by us - someday!

  9. Great post!
    I must say, I would love to see pics of a repaint step by step but who's got time for that when your having so much fun hehe.

    Im thrilled to see you used watercolours! I have recently just attempted my first repaint and used watercolours to do it...maybe you would like to check it out on my blog http://barbieandfriends59.blogspot.co.nz/

    I look forward to reading your future posts :)

    1. Thanks so much, Shazza...I do plan to take a video of how I repaint my dolls, but honestly, I don't have an order or system of doing it yet... I just draw features on what feels like suits for the face mold. I would recommend though you check my enabler from IG -"allthelittledolls" 's youtube video of her process. I pretty much based my process from hers. Here's the link:


      I also took some tips from this artist's process:


      Let me know what you think and I hope this can help you ;)
      Happy repainting!

  10. Thanks for pointing me this post, it's really helpful! I hope I get the courage to jump into a complete repaint. For the partial ones I used acrylic paints but I confess I thought they are difficult to use because they dry very fast and, as you said, tend to become bulky.

    1. Glad you were able to take some points there, V! I actually am just a super newbie with acrylic so I am not really in the position to say "don't use it..." but I know a lot of repaint artists use it and they seemed to unveil the mystique that is the bulk-producing acrylic ;D Maybe we need to just give it some more try?... hehehe


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