Varnish peeling under where I rooted

I used Americana Ultra Matte a varnish on a kit that I nearly melted. It’s been about a week since I varnished her and haven’t had issues until I rooted. I did put several layers because of the shine. Last night I rooted eyebrows and the varnish is peeling all under the hair. I mean, I thought I was carving up the vinyl with my rooting needle so at least that’s not it! From reading I realize it’s probably because I put too much varnish. But what I’m wondering is, what to do? Do I try and remove the varnish all over the kit? Or can I just do the best I can right under the eyebrows and then revarnish with Americana soft touch all over? I’m going to varnish over the eyebrows to get them to stay in place anyway. But what will happen when I root her head? I have a feeling it will peel there as well. This is a keeper doll since she’s my first. If I remove the varnish how do I do that without taking her GHSP paint off?

You can’t remove the varnish as it is permanent. You will have to just fix it the best you can once you are done rooting. I would also suggest switching your rooting needle to a single barb needle or 3 barb crown needle if you are not using one or the other. The more barbs you have the more it tears into the vinyl going in. In the future, I would say to thin your varnish down with distilled water about 40% and apply one very thin layer (let it cure 24 hours or more) before you root just to seal off your paint. Then wait til after you are done rooting to varnish the rest of the head with your regular varnish method, but still being careful not to apply too thick a layer.

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This is the exact same thing that happened to my first finished doll

You can buy Windsor and newton varnish remover and it does remove varnish. I used it to fix my Madison that I tinted my air dry varnish with ghsp flesh tone to add more depth and you can’t mix air dry and ghsp products together. Ended up with weird lizard skin lol.

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I should clarify, YES you can remove the varnish with a stripper such as the Winsor and Newton Brush cleaner but it will strip off the paint too. When I say it is permanent, I mean that you cannot remove just the varnish layer and leave the paint in tact like you can if you use a sealer first followed by a removable varnish such as Golden Polymer Varnish.

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Thank you for being so helpful, I’ve read a lot of posts and learned so much from your comments. :revolving_hearts:

You can bake Americana and heat might seal you holes. I always bake my heads after rooting.

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Thanks! Sweet Kate is turning into a test dummy which breaks my heart. But I still love her! My youngest took her with her to spend the night with my MIL and I was kinda sad not to have a squishy baby to hold for a few days. I’m gonna have to hurry and finish Clyde so I can put him together to hold!

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I agree with this, I found it helped a bit. I used to have this problem a lot before I was given the tip on here not to varnish the area of the head I would be rooting. Not helpful advice for your current situation, but invaluable for the future! Also you may need to let it cure longer? I’m not sure how long you let it cure but I know if you wait at least 2-3 weeks before rooting than the varnish is fully cured and won’t crack and peel as badly with rooting.

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Makes me want to use heat set varnish so I don’t have to wait. I’m impatient. :woman_facepalming:t2:

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Just want to let all of you know that I got the Winsor and Newton Varnish remover today from Kelly @PhotographyForLife and it’s working like a dream. It does take time and elbow grease but it hasn’t hurt my paint at all. I’m tickled as can be!!

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That is so great to know! I would assume that it will remove the paint also, as it used as paint remover.

Yeah I wouldn’t have used it if @PhotographyForLife hadn’t told me the paint would be safe. I was really shocked how well it worked.

It’s the varnish remover not the brush cleaner.

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Yes, sorry if I misunderstood @YelenaRey this is what I used:

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I have never used that. Nice to know it will remove permanent varnish and not the paint.

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I forgot to ask this, but do you glue before you bake? Or wait to glue until after?

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Oh, that makes sense. Thank you for clarifying!

I bake with wet cloth on top of the mohair before gluing.

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