Getting frustrated- update! Just Born!


Hi all just need to rant a little and maybe pick up some help along the way! My Laila asleep kit arrived earlier this week and I couldn’t wait to paint her! Well, I’ve since stripped her 3 times! I think I have to strip her a 4th. I need a break from her. The paint isn’t take well in many places. She’s only my second baby but she’s coming out worse than my first. I keep trying to “fix” her and end up with spots like the ones in the pictures below. I’m using Liquitex paints. Along with the spots not taking paint my biggest frustration is the tiny bumps the sponge makes not leaving her with a smooth finish. Is there anything special I should be doing to get a smooth finish? My other issue is my dolls seem to attract every fleck of hair in the room and I can’t keep up with it! Anyway sorry for my rambling! Here’s my work before I take the paint off, again!


I so understand !
Put her aside for a while. Make another kit.
When you come back at her, you will be less frustrated, that’s help !
Some kit seem difficult with taking paint.
Wash it very well with Dawn, then apply a good primer. Sometime, after that step, I add a little amount of primer to my 1st layers.

For the fuzz and hairs and mysterious particules…I don’t have an answer. I struggle with that too !

Good luck and keep going !


I can see right off you are mixing/applying your paint too thickly.
I have not used the Liquitex brand before but try starting with this formula as it seems to work with most air dry paints I have tried. For every 3 drops of paint add 2-3 drops of Fluid Matte Medium (Liquitex or Golden brand or you can use the Emulsion from the RebornFX line which is what I now use) and then add to that 10-15 drops distilled water according to how diluted you want the pigment. If the paint beads up on the vinyl when you apply it, then you need to add more binder in (Fluid Matte Medium) to offset the amount of water you used. You can also add another drop of paint if you feel you got it too diluted. This is where patience and practice comes in hand with learning how your particular brand of paint mixes.

Use a wedge that is not porous. The Swispers sponges are more porous and therefore leave the little dots you are talking about you do not want. Paint the paint mix onto your wedge in a thin layer and then pounce it on the kit. That helps you not apply too much at one time.

Try these:

As for the lint issue, that is a given when painting with air dry paints. Because acrylic paints and mediums contain binders (which act like glues) to increase their adhesion, they also attract dust. You just have to work with it and keep your work space as clean as possible. If you ever try your hand at painting silicone, you will find this factor is 10x worse, which is one of the reason I do not enjoy painting silicone.

As far as the paint not sticking well to spots on the vinyl, be sure the vinyl is washed very well in hot soapy water (Dawn) and rinsed and dried well. Once it is clean, wear gloves while handling/painting to prevent you from transferring oils from your hands to the vinyl. If the vinyl absorbs any oils from your fingers, it will not take paint.
The other thing is be sure to prime your vinyl first. I know some say you do not have to but this ensures the surface will take the paint well. You can buy Primer from RebornFX line or you can use Liquitex or Golden Fluid Matte Medium as long as you got the version that says on the bottle that it can be used as a translucent ground. Apply it with a wedge pounced out thinly. Paint the product onto your wedge in a thin layer and then pounce it on the kit so as to apply thinly.

Lastly, take a deep breath and relax while doing all this. I find if I plan Pandora piano instrumentals on my computer while I paint that it helps me to be in a relaxed state of mind so I can flow with my painting. Figure out what does it for you.

Hope this all helps you some!


I paint the same as you, but with more medium and less water. I use the fx emulsion with medium too, as my paint is really pigmented.
Do you have problem with adhesion with water ? I am affraid to add too much because of that.


If it continues maybe you can make her a baby with Vitiligo?


Are you talking to me?
I use the RebornFX paints now and they already have some medium in them for adhesion. However, any time I add water to them I offset it with a drop or two of Emulsion. I have found that the RebornFX paints are so highly pigmented that I can add up to 10 drops of water per drop of paint - so 30 drops of water for 3 drops of paint - as long as I add back in some more Emulsion and it all works fine for me. When I use another brand of paint like Jo Sonjas for example, I do not stretch it with as much water. Instead I use either RebornFX Diluent or JoSonjas Flow Medium to thin the paints. If you are worried about using too much water in your RebornFX paint mix, you can use the Diluent instead of water. It will work fine but you will get more sheen from the Diluent. Just more to matte down at the end but it works fine too. I have done this as well on very slick vinyls that tend not to like overly thinned paints. I also do this when building lots of dark skin tone layers.


I do not use fx premix paint, except for creases. I use a home brand of artist paint, with liquitex matt medium fluid.
And fx emulsion. Their diluent is too sticky for my taste.
I put a drop of paint, add emulsion (it’s paint not pigmented, after all) to have enough paint , then about the same quantity of medium. Than a few drops of water.

Maybe I will try less medium and more water to see the difference.

Thanks for the tips !

And for the OP, you must try this too, paint dirrectly with a dense sponge instead of brush, it will give you more control with the thickness off layers.


@AlyKat I’ve never used that type of paint. I always use GHSP, but I read one time that if you’re using air-dry paint and it won’t stick, to put a layer of matte varnish on the head, bake it and then apply the paint.

Don’t give up the ship - we have ALL been there. :crazy_face:


I have had this happen with a few kits. I usually don’t prime my kits, but when this happens I strip and then prime the kit with fluid medium first before painting again. I use the Liquitex ultra matte medium and apply it with a damp sponge. I will go over the spots that was not taking the paint a second time to make sure those areas are well covered.
The issue with your sponges may be from the paint being to thick. I mix my paints to a milk consistency and then apply it with a soft paint brush and then pounce with a kabuki brush. I’ve been using the kabuki brushes for a few years and have found they create a smoother coverage than the sponges.
With the dust I brush off my pieces with a big fluffy cosmetic brush after every few layers of paint. I also keep my paint covered. I use the pudding cups to mix my paint in that have the lids. I keep my brushes in a covered container where they will not collect dust. Just a few suggestions. I live in a corner house that is a bus root and especially during the warm months those buses zip by stirring up all the dust. I know how frustrating it can be.


To help with lint, I do the following:
-Close air vent near my painting area
-Use a lint remover on my dusting brush and the wedges I’m going to use
-keep my paint blotter paper towel folded when not in use

  • dust off the vinyl, then I use a magnifier to look over the piece and get the lint off. I have a small applicator with a sponge tip. I dampen it and then gently rub to take off the lint. It works pretty well but is tedious and a pain in the butt


Alcohol was the culprit when that happened to me. I do not use it anymore to wash my kits. Also I use old white cut up T-shirts to blot my brushes, it works for me. Don’t give up, try everything till you find what works for you. Good Luck! I use Liquitex Paints.


I paint resin dolls, but I’ve had the same issues. I hope I can help. The others are correct, the paint is a bit too thick. It may not be sticking due to the vinyl not being as clean as it could be. It will look clean, but sometimes your natural skin oils will interfere. Make sure you wash your hands really well before handling a WIP doll and avoid lotion for that time. A dish soap that is scent and dye free helps. It is what I use to clean ALL of my dolls. I’ve also known other folks to wipe their silicone or vinyl work with acetone before painting. Although I’ve only used acetone on vinyl to remove stains alcohol and a magic eraser would not. It does make the vinyl soft, so be careful with that on a vinyl doll if you try it. I don’t do this, but others swear by it. The lint issue is annoying. Turn off or close vents, and fans, don’t vacuum, run the dryer or dust your area for awhile before painting. Avoid being around entry doors and if you can, shut the door on the room where you are working. Also, I have a can of air I use on dolls right before I start to work on them. The can of air has made a HUGE difference for me! Sometimes the fragments of dust are hard to see until it’s too late. I’ve also gently placed some doll parts in an open box while they dry to avoid dust. I’ve not had dust issues since I avoided moving air in my work space and started to use the canned air. Again, I don’t work on vinyl dolls so I’m not sure how much any of that would be helpful.

Like the others have said, give her a good clean and take a little break. I wish you the best of luck!


I use ghsp so I can’t help with the paint issues, but I use a method Cher from Ch’airdry paints shared on the forum for cleaning kits. I mix 2 tbsp baking soda with a few drops of Dawn dishwashing liquid (the blue kind) and about a tbsp of water to make a paste. Then I scrub the entire kit with that paste and a soft toothbrush, paying special attention to the creases, eyes, ears, mouth, and fingers/toes. I then wash the whole kit with dawn and a white cloth, and rinse well. This has helped my kits get really clean and helps the paints stick better.


Thanks everyone! I didn’t realize my sponge might be part of my problem! I’ll thin my paints more, moved my workstation and ordered new sponges! After your words of encouragement and a little baby clothes shopping :grin: spree I’m ready to start painting her again!


I guess I’ve been fortunate. I’ve used air dry paints since I started reborning and I’ve never had any issue with lint, hairs or fuzz. I’m very grateful for that because I’m such a perfectionist it would drive me NUTS! If I knew what I’m doing differently I’d certainly share the information but I have no clue.


We have gas heat and I have always heard that makes for a dustier house. Not sure if that is true or not but it seems to be so here so maybe that is a factor as well.


I have three cats…so I battle with loose flying hairs. As I paint I keep a roll of cellophane tape nearby. I can whisk away any hairs that fly into my wet paint easily with a swab onto the hair. Works great and doesn’t leave a mark or smudge like my finger does.


Here’s here repainted head! Thinning the paint made such a difference.

I painted her eyebrows on her and they didn’t come out so well. I tried taking them off with just some distilled water while the eyebrow paint was still wet and it took some of the flesh layers underneath and the eyebrows are still on! Yikes!


Really nice !
Before painted eyebrows or hair, I suggest you let the paint cure and varnish it. So, if you have to redo eyebrows, under paint will not come off.


Definitely going to know this for next time. I thought about it briefly but for some reason I thought I’d be a good eyebrow creator! Haha