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Acrylic Paint vs. China Paint
Removing China Paint
Porcelain and Hands


Your 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 Area
medium... for any of my dolls, both big and small.

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 "mix" :0)

Acrylic Paint vs. China Paint
I have 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, cooling

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.

Removing China Paint
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.
Janet K

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...

A 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 paints

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 the hair.

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.
Michelle Geoffrion-Mahler
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 well too.
Janet K

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.

Janet K
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!!!
Like Michelle, 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
Porcelain and hands
Avon has a product I have used for years: Silicone Glove ~ 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 at all.

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!
Laurie Sisson
> Well 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...
I just 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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