Acrylic Sculpting Products For Doll Repair:
To repair dolls with leg splits, seams, cracks, or chips out of the wrists or knees, try the acrylic fingernail sculpting products as sold in Walmart, Kmart, etc. You will need the set that contains the liquid acrylic and acrylic powder as they are mixed together to make the acrylic material that you will fill the crack with. A brand I have used is "Nailene" and also "Pro 10". If you purchase the items separately, make sure you buy both the liquid and powder. You will need a brush also for applying the material. You will also need very, very fine sand paper, or the acrylic fingernail files for filing fake nails, to smooth the repaired area when dry.
I have recently used this material to repair leg splits at the top of a Madam Alexander doll's thigh that inserts into the hip socket. First I had removed the legs, as my utimate goal was repainting the entire doll. If you are not going to repaint the doll or remove her legs, you can still fill the cracks successfully. For this doll though, because her legs were off, I first I put some inside the leg and filled the crack from inside, then I put some on the outside.
One thing with this material, only fill the crack if you can, don't overextend too much if you can help it, it is just more to sand smooth when you are done. Before you start, put your brush into the liquid (no acrylic powder yet) and just put the liquid on the piece, kind of to prep it. I found it goes on better where I want it if I do this first. The put the brush into the liquid and powder, and work the mixture into the crack. When done, put the brush back into the liquid only, and paint over the area again, with just the liquid, it seems to smooth the area out and level it off better. When dry, sand smooth. Of course I was just going to repaint the whole leg, but you could probably just touch up paint the seam line on an other wise good doll leg.
This acrylic sculpting product is also available in colors from your local beauty supply store, though ususally more expensive. With the colored powders, you can come close to a match to the color of the plastic and would probably not need to touch up paint the area.
With a doll that needs a reinforced area to hold the sculpted material, you can use a lightweight plastic, such as the kind cut from a soda bottle. On a Candy Fashion that had a severe tear in the plastic socket above the knee, I cut a piece of clear plastic from a soda bottle, and glued it inside the thigh, behind the severe tear. This doll was also missing a piece of the ledge that held the knee in place. I then filled the tear and missing pieces of plastic with the fingernail mixture, creating a new ledge for the knee socket. When dry, I sanded it all, painted it, and sprayed with clear acrylic to seal. Her leg was back in the proper position, and worked well in the joint.(information furnished by Susan Lawson)
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