Prepare your vinyl to be painted and protect your work with these products. Sealers, nail gloss, vinyl prep.
After washing and drying your doll kit, the first step in painting is to ready the surface of the doll to accept paint.
Reborn doll kits contain ingredients called plasticizers which make the vinyl soft and flexible. Because the vinyl is soft and flexible it can easliy tear when being removed from the doll molds. Manufacturers use mold release agents to coat the doll molds much like you would grease a cake pan and help the doll kits release without tearing.
Both plasticizers and mold release agents leach to the surface of the vinyl leaving an oily coating which resists water, making it difficult to paint and causing shine. Some kits have this problem more than others, with higher quality kits being less prone to these problems.
However; there is no sure way to tell before hand which ones are going to be difficult. Sometimes, you can drag your fingertips across the surface of a doll kit and feel the soft slipperiness when you rub your fingertips together.
Applying one to two coats of vinyl prep before painting will seal the vinyl and stop the chemicals from leaching to the surface. Alternatively one to two coats of Shine Reduction Sealer or Spray on Sealer may be used, but may be less effective in severe cases.
After painting, sealing your work protects it from scratches, dust, and dirt while enhancing color and giving an even finish. Ultraviolet blockers protect against sun damage. All paints will fade given enough time and the right conditions, unless they are protected. A few minutes to take these extra steps enhances the quality and longevity of your work.
Citations for Non Toxic Acrylic Sealer
Malveda, Michael P (July 2015). "Chemical Economics Handbook Report on Plasticizers"