How to paint reborn doll hair

Written by judy kilpatrick | 13/05/2017
How to paint reborn doll hair
Reborn baby dolls are sculpted of translucent vinyl, allowing reborners to paint the doll's skin to resemble a live baby. (baby mit Puppe image by Angelika Bentin from

Reborn baby dolls began as disassembled vinyl dolls that were tinted, painted, scented and weighted and then put back together to look and feel like a real live baby. Due to the growing popularity of reborn dolls, kits, called blanks, are now available. According to Linda Hopkins, reborner and owner of Sissy's Nursery of Belhaven, North Carolina, "The painting process consists of several layers of paint, heat set between layers, to give the baby the skin tone and colouration of a real baby. Painting hairs requires a very fine liner brush. The paint is thinned with paint thinner to the consistency of water."

How to paint reborn doll hair
Use two or more colours of paint to simulate real baby hair. (soft focused portrait of a newborn baby image by Vladimir Melnik from

Select a photograph of a real baby to use as a painting guide. Match the paint colour to the hair colour desired.

Thin heat-set paint with paint thinner until the paint is the consistency of water.

Begin at the crown of the doll's head. Paint thin lines in 1- to 2-inch strokes in the direction of hair growth. Dip the brush in paint after every 2 to 3 strokes. Paint shorter strokes around the face and hairline.

Paint a second layer of hair using a lighter colour to add a depth dimension to the painted hair. A pinkish or slightly flesh colour works well with lighter shades of hair colour.

Build layers until you are satisfied with the results.


Some reborners paint one or two layers of hair on the doll's head and then root hair for a realistic effect.

Tips and warnings

  • Some reborners paint one or two layers of hair on the doll's head and then root hair for a realistic effect.

Things you need

  • #0000 brush
  • Heat-set paint, colour of choice
  • Paint thinner

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