Paint problem

One other thing I want to mention is that I was taught to use a primer on the vinyl first, before starting to paint. So, I do that, and then I put in the Liquitex gel medium in each color I use. That has worked for me so far.

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The website I have you in my other message has an adhesion product. I have just ordered it for myself. This is not an inexpensive hobby. But, with hunnybuns I get quality, great service, and Stephanie (the lady who owns hunnybuns and formulated the paints) is a wealth of information and help. I hope you find the correct path for yourself Also, I wanted to add that “what ChiMom” said – I totally agree with her.

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I tested some of Stephanies paints when she first started making them. She uses artist grade paints and mediums and mixes to her own formulations to make them easier for people to use. It is a great way to start out and then from there you can branch out to buying paints and mixing your own formulatons.

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Liquitex paints and mediums absolutely work and are well worth the investment. Many air dry artists use either Liquitex, Golden, or paints specifically formulated for reborn dolls such as HunnyBuns Art & Magic, Ultimate Fusion, etc. The initial cost is going to be more bc of the quality, but as Angie said a little goes a long way.

Unfortunately cheap products just simply aren’t suitable for this art form. We are only trying to steer you in the right direction and save you a lot of wasted time, money, and frustration. And I have heard accounts of ladies starting with Folk Art products to get a feel for painting dolls, but they ALWAYS end up investing in better products. The difference is night and day.

I personally have invested an untold amount of money into this hobby, (much to my husband’s dismay lol). I have HunnyBuns doll making set, Liquitex Professional Soft body, and Golden fluid paints. I personally prefer the Liqutex or Golden over the Hunnybuns. Nothing against HunnyBuns, just a matter of preference. I’ve even recently purchased everything I need to try my hand at Genesis.

And I will say that the vast majority air dry artists use DecoArt Soft Touch varnish as a final sealer on top of Golden, Liquitex, HunnyBuns, Ultimate Fusion, Reborn FX, or any other “reborn formulated” brand paint.

After typing all of this out, I’m realizing that I’ll probably never use my set of HunnyBuns Art & Magic. If you PM me I’ll send them to you. The only bottle that appears as tho it’s missing anything is the primer, which is about half full. Other than that, all the other bottles are still full. It comes with all the colors (10) you’ll need, as well as Slo Dry and Ultra Matte Sealer. And I will try to find the tutorial that came with it as well.

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There is a free tutorial on the website, as well as ones that can be purchased on other sites. Also she has a book that guides in the use of her paints. She does have the new version just out. Just a thought. :slight_smile:

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I think I need to explain a few things. Firstly I am not by any means disregarding any of the advice given here, I am truly grateful for ANY help I’m given because I am learning from scratch here, never tried anything like this and it’s all new to me. I do not mean to sound like I’m disregarding what I’ve been told it or the difference in quality of certain products (I do various arts and crafts so I know there is a vast difference in artist grade vs school craft grade), I do apologize if it has come across that way. The problem is that all the supplies seem to be in the US and I’m in the UK, so what is initially not expensive quickly becomes so with the shipping costs + usually customs charges on top of that. Plus at the moment I can’t actually get anything from another country either, it’s got to be available here. The few things I can find are what stores have last stocks of so I’m trying to work with what I can get. The Special Care Nursery stuff I could also get which is why I asked about them.

Secondly I think I better point out I’m not making a baby , I’m making a reborn dog. It’s only the paw pads, nails, nose, eyelids and ears that I need to paint. Depending how I get on I may or may not decide to try a baby next but for now it would be an awful waste of both money and product to invest a lot of paints and such when I want to seal such a small area. I realize that the paints, mediums and sealers would be no good for a full vinyl baby but I thought they might do for the pretty tiny amount I would need.

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It is my understanding that you can get Jo Sonjas Artist Colors paints in the UK. There should be some place there you can order those. I would get the colors you need and the Jo Sonjas Flow Medium. Strip off what you have done. Mix the Jo Sonjas paint and Flow Medium together. You can use up to 50/50 and if you need can add up to but nor more than 30% of how much paint you used in distilled water to that mix. Even though I normally would recommend priming, if you are using a high concentration of Flow Medium in the paints it should bond well to the vinyl. The other option would be to just prime with a little straight Flow Medium in a very thin layer first and force dry it with a hair dryer. Wait 30 mins then apply your paint mix it in those areas of the dog you are trying to paint. While this is not my preferred method of priming it should work for this application. When done, you can seal with whatever matte varnish you choose. If you want to make your varnish more matte you can add some corn starch to it. Here is my method explained:

Thank you anjsmiles for your very detailed explanation. I have just ordered a bottle of Jo Sonjas flow medium in 60ml, hope it’s enough. I will try as you say to apply it straight first and mix some into my paint so I’ve not wasted the paints I bought and see how it goes.

Now I need to sort out the distilled water. Is it the same as boiled water from the kettle? Or could I use the water in my dehumidifier?

First, I want to apologize if I hurt your feelings in any way. Most definitely was not my intention.
I believe you can use boiled water, I know of other artists that do the same. Keep us updated on your project. :heart:

No, you should NOT use boiled water.
Whether you have well water or city water there are minerals found in the water that can interfere with the purity of your paint adhesion. Boiling kills germs but does not remove minerals. In fact, it just increases the mineral concentration as the water evaporates from boiling. Distilled water is where the water is boiled into steam, then they capture the steam out of the contaminants and bottle that. So the minerals etc. are left behind. Always use distilled water when painting with air dry paints of any kind for best results.


I stand corrected. Definitely don’t want to give misinformation. Thanks Angie! :blush:

Awww ChiMom you don’t need to apologize and you didn’t hurt my feelings don’t worry :smiley:. I just felt I ought to explain why I seemed to be disregarding advice to buy some of the supplies suggested. It’s not because I don’t want them it’s cos I either can’t get them or they work out too pricey.

Anyway I’ve actually managed to get some distilled water! I’ve put it in a boiled clean glass jam jar with a screw top, will it be ok stored on my work table at room temperature or does it need to be kept cold in the refridgerator? How much do I add to the paint and how much to the medium?

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No, you do not keep it refrigerated. As for the other part of your question, anjsmiles put this in her answer a day or so ago:

“You can use a little distilled water to thin acrylic paints but it is not recommended to exceed a 30% volume of water to your paint ratio. This is because water will break down the binders in the paints making them less stable and thus less adhesive and more prone to fade. The same holds true of Retarder so it must be kept to a minimum as well. Usually a few drops of that is all that is needed to do its job of slowing down drying time.”

This was number 4 of that answer. :slight_smile: You can look it up in the spy glass above. HTH

Sorry about that. I missed that it had already been answered earlier. I’m hopeless at percentages though, am I right in thinking if 30% is water and 70% paint then in drops it would be 1 drop of water to 3 drops of paint? Or 2 to 6 drops of paint?

Yes. Honestly I have pushed that on out to more water as long as I am adding in some sort of medium. For example on the RebornFX paints I will use 3 drops of paint, 3 drops of Emulsion and 10-20 drops of water. Usually if I go over 10 drops of water I am adding more medium in though. But 30% or less water is the official recommendation from the artist grade paint companies.

My flow medium has arrived! I’m quite amazed as the mail is so slow at the moment but it’s here and I’m about to go try it out! I’ll post back once I’ve played around with it :stuck_out_tongue:

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Ok first thoughts:

Thinning the paint gives a much better finish than applying straight from the bottle which is how I tried it last week. At the moment it doesn’t look all cracked like super mini crazy-paving.

It takes some practice to get the consistency right. First one looked like white water and went on as such.

To begin with I only put the medium on the vinyl but the paint came off (albeit not quite as easily as with the Americana sealer. Applying the medium to the vinyl and mixing it into the paint as well seems to be giving the best results. I reckon I could still scrape it off if I really dig at it but then again you could ruin most things if you try, as long as it doesn’t come off with the same sort of handling a reborn gets I’ll be happy.I

Can I now put sealer? varnish? both? over it or should I wait until tomorrow or even Monday?

Have you already finished all the layers?

It’s only a test piece I’ve done for now on the top of the leg plug. I haven’t yet painted any of the body parts themselves in case I screw it up! I’m not that confident yet :blush:.

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