Caring for your Resin Doll

Some doll owners love to carry their dolls everywhere.  Other collectors handle their dolls with cotton gloves in a darkened room. Which is right?  Actually both are correct.  BJDs are really there for the owner’s enjoyment, so each owner knows why they bought their doll and will act accordingly.  Still, some basic care tips can cover both categories of owners.

-Sunlight can discolor resin dolls:  French resin is more sensitive to this than regular resin, but BJDs will tend to yellow over time.  Many collectors keep their dolls in their box or in a carrying case when not in use. If displaying your dolls is important to you, it would be  best to keep them out of direct sun preferably in a dark room.  Some dolls have been sealed with a UV resistant spray when their face-ups were sealed (doll skin block!).  This will also afford some protection.  If a doll owner likes to take dolls out a lot, having a coating of Mr. Super Clear UV spray on the exposed parts would be a good idea. 

-Keeping your doll clean: Resin picks up dirt easilly, especially where it has been sprayed with sealer.  This is because sprayed areas have a ‘tooth’ or fine texture.  While this texture is handy for applying pastels in a face-up, it is not so fun when your doll picks up dirt.  In the US, Mr. Clean Magic Sponge is your doll’s best friend. (There are equivalent products in other countries.) This product is generally safe for gently cleaning dirt from your doll.  Be careful around the face-up as it is possible to scrub too much and remove the spray coating and the face underneath if you are overzealous.  For minor spots, an artist’s kneaded eraser or crumbly white eraser may also work just as well. 

-Clothes and wigs can sometimes stain a doll: Those lovely black dresses or those cute dark denim jeans can leave dye stains on your doll’s body.  Magic sponge can often but not always take this off.  Dark wigs can also have dye that could stain the headcap.  the easiest way to avoid this problem is to buy a wig cap which additionally will help hold your doll’s wig securely on its head. These are available on line in doll stores and on ebay.

-Eye putty:  BJD dolls have eyes made of glass, silicone, urethane, or acrylic.  They are held in place with soft doll eye-putty.  In addition to putty made specifically for dolls, many collectors have found ingenious substitutes.  Kneaded erasers can work well on smaller dolls, and putty-like ear plugs made of silicone can also work.  DO NOT USE SCULPY. Sculpy has chemicals in it that are so strong that it can dissolve an acrylic eye.  

-Seam lines.  When the manufacturer casts a polyurethane resin doll, the areas where the mold parts meet create seam lines.  Some collectors find these more bothersome than others.  Seam lines can be carefully sanded away. If the doll owner is a bit nervous about doing it, there are customizers that will do it for a fee. These people can usually be found on BJD doll forums. It is  very important however, to not sand the seam lines of tan or dark-skinned dolls. The dark resin color on these dolls is usually only on the outer layer of the doll, and sanding will expose the lighter colored resin undeneath. 

-Restringing a doll:  Eventually, a doll will need restringing.  Elastic for re-stringing is available through doll stores and ebay.  This can be a daunting task for a beginner, but it is do-able.  If you don’t wish to restring yourself, just like with line seam sanding there are people that will happily do the job for you for a fee. 

-Careful handling: Resin isn’t nearly as fragile as china, but be careful not to drop your doll on hard surfaces.  They can chip, and sometimes crack. Fingers are susceptable to damage as they are thin and delicate. Some people put plastic bags over their doll’s hands when dressing them to keep fingers from getting stuck inside the sleeves. Either way, treating your doll with some degree of care is a no-brainer.


note: Some of the things described above can easilly be tackled by the doll owner.  In the future, each of these topics will have DIY articles. 

1 Comment

  1. Mary W. said,

    That;s a good list to taking care of your resin doll. Keep all of our dolls clean!! 😉

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