Supplies You Need to Customize and Paint Barbie Dolls

It's sometimes hard to find the information and supplies you need when you start a new hobby, so I thought I'd make it a little easier for you to get learn to paint Barbie dolls.

These are some supplies that you may have a hard time finding locally, so I have supplied you with some online links to the vendors I always use.

I am just going to cover a few of the basics here, the rest of the supplies are listed on my Repaint Dolls CDs

You will notice I use AMAZON.COM a lot for my supplies. This is because they are so much cheaper for almost anything I purchase, whether it is doll supplies or a vacuum cleaner..LOL!

One of the very first things I generally mention when learning to paint dolls, is the ability to see very, very well. Now if you don't have perfect vision, you are going to need help. For years now I have used a magnifying visor.

I WISH I had used one right from the start!

                             Optical Industries Magnifying Visor

I had no idea my eyesight was so bad until I started using a magnifying visor to help me see better while repainting. I had no idea what I was missing until I started seeing my doll repainting up close. It was quite revealing!
Every little flaw that I couldn't see with my naked eye was very evident. I was shocked at what my dolls REALLY looked like close up. It was not good!

When I started using a magnifying visor to repaint my dolls, my Barbie doll repaints improved tremendously. As a result of this, my sales jumped up and I started getting repaint commission requests.

I highly recommend you use a magnifying lens visor right from the start. It is worn on the head and the visor part flips up and down as needed. They generally close with Velcro and are adjustable. As good as you may think your eyesight is, these dolls have extremely tiny eyes and you may be missing a lot that you have no idea of, except when you see your doll in a photo and realize he looks completely different. This advice can save you years of poor doll painting. In addition, when you can see your doll's eyes very close up on a much larger scale, you can add in detail that would be impossible to do otherwise. This can make the difference between mediocre painting and very realistic repainting.


                                        Paint Brushes for Painting Barbie Dolls

Brushes are your next crucial supply. The wrong size brush can make repainting correctly nearly impossible. A brush too large will not be able to create the fine lines you will need.

I have used the same type and size of brushes for years. I use an American Painter Spotter ( made by Loew-Cornell) , size 10/0, # 4650, which is the smallest I ever use. I find that although brushes do come in sizes as small as a 18/0 or even a 20/0, that they are too small and the bristles don't hold the point well enough for me. Some artists swear by them, but not me.

#10/0 Spotter 4650 Series American Painter Artist Paint Brush By Loew Cornell

A brush that comes to a very fine point is essential. If it doesn't, you won't be able to create the effect you want. Anything larger than a 10/0 brush is too large. Loew-Cornell also make a nice 10/0 spotter, # 7650. I have found this once in a great while in a craft store, but as a rule they can be purchased on Amazon. These small brushes are sometimes very hard to find locally.



Buy more than one brush at a time!

MORE than once I have bought a brush only to discover that the bristles were not just right...maybe they were bent or didn't come to a point. Sometimes you WILL get a funky brush. I always but three at a time an sometimes only one works properly. The duds I save for applying sealer, which requires a bit less precision.



Acrylic Paint and Sealers for Repainting Dolls

                 What paint do I use when painting Barbie dolls?

Paints used on Barbie, Tonner and Fashion Royalty are acrylic.
I like Golden paint a lot. Golden is more costly, ranging from $4.00 a bottle and up, and has a much higher concentration of pigment. The paint flows beautifully, but will still need to be thinned a little bit.

Delta, Apple Barrel and Folkart paints come  in hundreds of colors, and are very cheap. The texture is thick and often oily, and the paint tends to separate. When you buy cheaper paint you have to work harder to make the paint behave the way you want. It makes it harder to achieve a nice repaint when the paint is difficult to work with.

the best place I have found to get my Golden Brand acrylic paints is Blick Art Materials online. The prices are cheaper than found craft stores, and sometimes they offer free shipping on certain dollar amounts.

When you paint a doll you have to seal the paint when you are finished. Dick Blick also carries the best sealers as well. Look for Liquitex or Golden sealer, or varnish.  You will need a matte and a gloss. - Online Art Supplies


That's just a few things you will need, but they are the most important things!

I addition, you need an excellent light source. I have used a tabletop OTT Light since I started painting.  Since the tabletop light is small and fits on my work-top to illuminate my dolls from a few inches away, I still need a brighter light for over the entire area. So, I use a standing OTT Light as well. The prices Amazon has on Ott Lights is often less than half of what you would pay locally. Even the shipping isn't much and sometimes it is free, depending on the vendor selling it on Amazon.

Ott-Lite Truecolor Portable Lamp


Ott Lights have a special bulb that simulates day light. The benefit of this is that you get a true representation of the color you are using and how they look on  your doll. When you use a regular bulb to paint by, you'll find the colors are totally different that they really are. It makes a huge difference in the final appearance of your doll.


Need some advice about finding the best web host and domain name registrar for your Custom Barbie business? I have an article here that may help you decide and give you valuable information on choosing a business domain name and more.


I hope you have found this information helpful.






I am an affiliate for Amazon and Blick Art Supplies, and will earn a small commission if you purchase anything using the links on my website. Thank you very much for visiting.