dry paints are fine... get a bottle of glycerin medium. That is what the
water based paints are mixed with. You grind
them with the glycerin instead of
the oil. The colors are very lovely.
If you wash your brushes out with a really good
grease cutting cleaner, such as
fantastic? You can use the same brushes. But make sure you get all of
the oil residue from them.
Virginia Lavorgna make a good water based
medium, and Seeley's is good too.
There are different weights, usually labeled
Area, Fine Lines, Ultra Fine lines...etc. The heavier the medium, the
slower the drying time and the more
workable it is. Area is supposed to be for washes
and cheeks, Ultra Fine lines for
lashes. I have both a heavy and a lighter medium and I never use the
medium... for any of my dolls, both big and
This is the
only subject I will touch with a 10 foot pole at the moment, lol...I
sometimes use the "water base" method. I don't find that the colors are
any lighter, or more delicate. The paint appearance is in the artists
hand more that the media (in my opinion). To use dry china paints with
water as "clean up"...Use glycerin as your grinding/mixing media. Plain
ole glycerin from the drug store. Glycerin acts like a "water soluble"
oil . I use whatever method that is currently being used at the studio I
happen to be teaching at...but I still prefer my mineral oil...used with
denatured turpentine. Cleans up better that water. and mineral oil moves
smoother on the porcelain. If you are going to do both like I do, keep 2
SEPARATE toolboxes and separate brushes...for never should the 2 medias
Acrylic Paint vs. China Paint
tried painting porcelain with the acrylic paints and did so for about a
year. Then I returned to china paints. I love the ease and speed of the
acrylic paints, but I did not like the results. Yes, they do chip...even
with the top coats. I think that China painting on the
porcelain gives a more "lifelike" and softer effect. The acrylics I
found gave a "hard" look to some of my ladies faces that I didn't like.
Of course with china painting, it does take longer, i.e., the painting,
the kiln firings, the cooling off periods...then more painting, kiln,
Dana has made a
good point about painting faces that I didn't want to get glossed over.
:-) She said: "Also, if you use acrylic paints (and to be fair don't
know if you can do this with china painting) you can build up the pupil
in the eye ball to resemble glass
eyes." While I exclusively use china paints, I agree with Dana that it
is important to build up layers so that the eyes and everything else has
depth. I do it with many china-painting firings. The eyes take a minimum
of 6 firings. With china painting you have to fire each time before
adding new layers or all you get is a muddy look. It takes a lot more
time, but I think it is worth it. If you don't have access to a kiln or
don't have a couple of weeks to china paint, then be sure you paint in
layers. A good china-painting book for doll makers will show you the
steps you should take. With acrylics, instead of firing, you just wait
for the paint to dry.
You might try sand paper, it will not hurt the porcelain unless you sand
the nose off, and another method is to use something like Zud and soak
it and see if it will take the awful painting off.
Sylvia in Big D Porcelain Doll Artist
You can also use a
product called Wink. It is a silver cleaner. Depending on the size of
the doll head. If itís a mini doll head, use about a teaspoon of the
Wink mixed in with
water.1/2 gallon. I always used a plastic container. And use an old
toothbrush. Let it set in the mixture for about hour and half, then try
cleaning with the toothbrush. If you have to soak it some more. When
you get all the paint off make sure you wash and clean the doll head
real good inside and out. If you leave the Wink on there, it will damage
the porcelain. I have cleaned a lot of china heads this away.
Wink is the
solution used by most big doll makers...some have used the rather
caustic oven cleaners but frankly they don't work that well and the
fumes, need to wear rubber gloves means it's a tough way to go...
couple of hints here. I was taught to use Higgins India ink to draw in
the outlines when painting on the porcelain. It will come off with
alcohol if you make a mistake. Then paint over the ink. The ink will
burn off in the firing. But must be Higgins others may not burn off.
If you want to remove china paint that has already been fired use (Wink)
Rust Stain Remover. Use a Q-Tip, dip in Rusto dab on the area to be
removed let set 10 minutes or more and test by starting to rub the area,
keep doing this till all paint is removed. Tip given to me by some
ladies in their late 70,s
Another tip I just learned is to go light on putting on the colors best
to build up the colors than to try to make it come out the way you want
it the first firing. I have patience but have found that I need to
develop a little more if I am to succeed at this face painting in China
For getting a fine line paint tool. Why not pull out a hair from your
brush and tape or glue to dowel or long pin etc. This should work for
the fine line painting. If paints are thin enough it should flow from
OTT has a light True Color it has a Magnifying light. Have any of you
used it to work on your dolls. I have just the light and it works great.
Bettie's hint to use Wink rust remover is a very good one. Just a word
of caution though: Be Extra careful when you use it. It is very caustic
and can burn your skin! Ask me how I know!! Wear gloves!
China paint can be removed with Rust remover. Here in Australia it is
called Rustiban and is purchased from the Chemist.
Cleaning Doreen Sinnettís Ariel
You'll catch on to the technique... just have to remember to support
each individual leg carefully while wet brush cleaning and then during
your final cleaning. I attach her arms and legs to the torso while she
is still wet, which can make it a bit of a challenge to clean so the
joins don't show but it does work. Be sure to use prop while she is
drying as well as when you put her in the kiln to relieve any stress on
unsupported parts... if you don't little cracks will show up after she
fires... also be sure to drill a hole somewhere if you attach both arms
and legs or she will blow up in the kiln...this is one of those times
when prop works better than silica sand.
TIP - For those of you that have trouble cleaning delicate fingers and
such. I could not live with out Dust Magnet. It is better than just
using water because it does not dissolve the detail. I just wet my brush
with the Dust Magnet and wipe the seams.
I take all of my mold marks off with dental tools or a surgeon's
scalpel. Then I take an old cleaning brush and just tease the marks off
with that. Sometimes I take a piece of old or new pantyhose, whatever I
have on hand, and wrap my finger up in it and smooth it out too, but I
really prefer the brush.
After cleaning the seams down with a scalpel. I use ceramic brushes that
you use for drying brushing paint on. They come in all sizes. They last
Also made a cleaning box out of a pizza box, Take the bottom part of the
box and put heavy tape around it. Then went to Wal-Mart in the cooking
department and brought a square grid, you use for fried foods to drain
on. Put plastic wrap in the bottom of the box. Then when I clean I put a
couple of wet paper towels in the bottom. Place grid on top, catches the
dust. Then when done just take the wet paper towels out with the dust.
Medium size pizza.
When I clean I use a box top from Costco...nothing fancy. All of the
trimmings, breakings, dust, etc., go into an empty slip container. When
it's about half full, I add distilled water to this making up a
porcelain slurry.... all of the different colors mixed together make up
sort of a "Creole" color which is great for those exotic colored dolls.
Believe it or not this slip or slurry, is stronger than the porcelain
slip you take out of the jug. Waste not, want not!!!
Wolfie does NOT wet clean soft-fired greenware. Way too
messy. I do a combination of dry cleaning with
brushes, scalpels, q-tips and nylon
stockings. But I use a damp brush to clean fingers or tiny parts.
I don't use a dust mask because I can't stand
anything over my face. To see close
up, I use #5 magnifier's from the super market with a magnifier set
over that that attaches to my head. Yes, I
probably breathe in the dust, but I
don't want to live forever anyway! :^) My motto on that has always
been to live fast, die young, and be a
good-looking corpse!!!!! LOL Anyway
dry cleaning is
the best for
me. I have spoken with Seeley, the company
with the slip, and they've been trying to talk
me into opening up a doll studio in
my part of Montana, but when they said that they only use the wet
cleaning method and expected me to hold up my
end of the dealership like that, I
said no way, Way too messy #1, and who would want to attend a doll
studio 55 miles from town? So I may become a
dealer for Seeley down the road,
but will not open a doll studio.
I couldn't teach my way out of a paper bag
either although I taught dance
classes for many years...LOL
Avon has a product I have used for years: Silicone Glove
http://www.avon.com ~ Type in Silicone
Glove in the Search box
You use it like hand cream BEFORE you begin a project. (NO Grease in
it!) When you wash your hands everything messy comes off. It forms a
barrier on your skin. Feels sticky at first then there is nothing there
Love this stuff and my husband uses it when he wants to work in the
garden without gloves. No, I'm not an Avon lady just a happy customer. I
thought everyone knew about this stuff. Put it on before
painting...paint comes off easily. I get compliments on my hands and I'm
hard on them!
now if you all were farm girls you would know about Bag Balm. This keeps
the cows teats soft so that they can be milked twice a day.
Bag Balm and Udder Cream... two items a barn should never be without.
and all farmers' wives swear by! Udder cream is the better of the two
when you are just about to do some delicate work on silk as it does not
stain fabrics... both work equally well on baby and other bottoms... add
in Mane & Tail (from the stable stock) to wash your fragile materials,
antique quilts and laces (as well as your own hair...leaves it soft and
shining) to complete your farmer's cure of all ills...
got back from Michaels and they have a product called Glove in a Bottle.
It is for working with most anything and then washes off. I think it was
under $6. Will have to try it next time I go.
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