Monday, March 12, 2012

Recoloring With Ink

If at all possible, I much prefer using ink when I can instead of paint.  For me it's easier to apply, less messy and I cant mix paint for crap.  For small items with intricate spaces I use Faber Castell artist pens, size B.  You can buy a single sized B black or sienna by itself or get a multi pack set in black, sienna or color. The color set is all size B's. I bought my sets with 50% off coupons naturally, so they were $10.00 each.  For larger items I just use plain ol' magic markers.  Here's some doll things I've used ink on:

Liv shoes aren't as plentiful as Barbie, so I bought an extra accessory set so I could turn the skates into a pair of boots.  The shoes were originally the same color as they are on the inside.  They are pretty dusty since they are on a doll that is out all the time.  I should have rinsed them off before I took the photo.  Too late.

The first pink pair was the original color.  The red pair looks way more red than they do in the photo.  I have so many because the Liv sets were on sale for $1.50 each.  Score.

The camera and lap top were all grey before.  The suitcase was pepto bismo pink.  I first used art pens to line the edges and then filled in the large areas with magic markers.

You've met Riley before, but did you know his hair, originally blonde, was colored with a red magic marker?  I do not recommend doing this at all.  It was an experiment and I actually like how it looks, but again, do not recommend it.  His lips, eye color, brows and eye liner are ink penned.

Teresa's "repaint" is all ink.  Her mouth is actually open.  By reshaping her lip line and using a dark ink it looks closed.  If I fill in the sides of her mouth with paint to match her flesh it might look more natural.  I didn't mind it though, so eh.

I've tried each of these to see which is the best to seal the ink.  Like the three little pigs, it's the last one.  The ink itself is pretty shiny.  Using gloss or satin just makes it too glossy and it has a tacky feel to it when it dries.  The matte varnish does not dull the ink down like you might think and when it dries it's smooth to the touch with no stickiness. 

If you use a liquid varnish instead of a spray, do not apply your brush to the item in strokes.  You have to put it on by patting areas with the brush.  If you stroke, you'll stroke the ink right off.  I first let my ink dry and apply varnish the next day or even days later if I'm doing multiple things.

I haven't tried this on anything larger than what I've shown you.  If I ever tackle one of those Barbie chairs or sofas with this I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. What a great idea! They came out great. Riley's hair is awesome, Love the color!

  2. I tried the magic markers with hair too... and it turned into a disaster!! I was on the verge of crying, and taking into account that it was a repeated play-line head I don't want to think about doing something like that with my girls. Yours was a great work, and I'm definitely going to try with shoes!!! Thanks for the idea!

  3. This is such a great post! I can really use the info!

  4. Hello from Spain: congratulations. The suitcase, shoes, and computer were very realistic. I also prefer to use rather than liquid paint markers. I also painted the hair of my Barbie but ultimately you always stain the fingers. The pen does not set well in her hair. In the previous post I love the result of the bed. It is very elegant. Very nice photos, keep in touch.

  5. Very helpful information! I'll be on the lookout for these with my next Hobby Lobby coupon!

  6. Thanks, Frannie, Rossetti, Ms. Leo, Marta and Miss Lola. I hope some of this info can help you with your doll repaints. ^_^

    Rossetti and Marta, I was testing what the hair could stand. I put diluted bleach then straight bleach in this dolls hair and it had no effect. I tried regular paint and it made it hard so I washed it out with conditioner. Then I put the marker and it held fine. As long as I combed the hair through applications it didn't get stiff. However, the only way to make sure it doesn't come out would be to varnish the hair. I didn't want to do that, but since it's short I don't have to worry about it staining things. I would not put marker in long hair.

  7. Really good post! I want to do several pairs of red bottom shoes for my boutuque and this would be perect. Thanks for sharing.

  8. You're welcome Georgia Girl. That would be a good idea. And if you're doing the back instep of a high heel you wouldn't even really need to varnish them.

  9. Great info! I must say I am surprised that our budget minded Muff would use such expensive techniques. LOL! I know. I know. You had coupons. Actually this is much cheaper than those Paint Markers. Love the shoes, suitcase and camera.

  10. Vanessa, I just got another 50% off coupon for Michaels today! Huzzah! I wonder what I shall buy.

  11. How many layers of ink did you do to the the faces to get a nice coat?

    1. Jay, I couldn't remember what I did on these particular faces so I just did a post to show you one layer on an existing face versus a multiple layer repaint on a clean face. That post should give you a general idea on where to start.