Nancys Doll Restoration

Professional Doll Repairs and Restorations by Nancy Ringe

I see many dolls online that are advertised as "restored". There are a lot of people who claim to restore dolls when they are actually just covering up the damage. They will use a porous substance such as plaster or other substance to fill cracks or simply cover the crack with thick layers of paint and call it restored. They end up doing more damage to the doll than it had in the first place. They will paint the doll with a brush rather than using an airbrush. They often use inferior paint or paint that should not be used on a composition doll.

I have been restoring composition dolls professionally since 1999. The first rule in restoring a doll is to never do anything that would further damage the doll. A professional restoration should make the doll look well preserved and never look "restored". I use the highest quality products in my restorations. My dolls are guaranteed never to craze, crack, or blister. I am a perfectionist and pride myself in the quality of my work.

I hold a Certificate for Professional Doll Restoration, Morgan's Collectibles

Member UFDC - United Federation of Doll Clubs
Member Doll Doctor's Association

I am often asked what the process is for restoring a composition doll so I will share some of the basics:

It takes approx. 90 to 120 days to complete a full restoration on a composition doll. This is a process that cannot be rushed and the following is what it generally entails: (click the images for a larger view)

The cost of a full restoration is generally about $12 per inch of doll, but can vary depending on the extent of damage. Additional charges can be incurred if the doll needs replacement parts, replacement wig, or clothing.  Please send me an email if you are interested in having your doll repaired/restored.

First the doll is disassembled, I remove the wig, eyes, teeth, and tongue. All paint is removed to the bare composition. I am careful to preserve the detail on the doll during this process. If the eyes are crazed, I replace the iris's. I add eyelashes if needed.
I repair all compo damage and sand by hand until the compo is smooth and free of defects.
Once sanded, I apply about 6 coats of primer and sealant on each piece. When the primer is cured, I sand again until the compo is smooth. I repeat this process a second time. I sand again until smooth and free of defects.
The next step is to airbrush about 6 coats of acrylic enamel paint as a base coat. I let it cure about 2 weeks and then lightly sand again.

I airbrush the final acrylic enamel in the correct flesh tone and add blush, and eye shadow if the doll requires it. I let the paint cure for about 2 more weeks before handling.

The next step is to hand paint the lips, eyelashes, and eyebrows. The teeth, tongue, and eyes are put back into the doll head. The doll is then reassembled. The clean and styled wig is glued onto the head last.

If the doll has a cloth body, I remove all filling, then clean and mend the body if needed. If the cloth body is in such poor condition that it cannot be used again, I use it as a template to create a new body out of muslin cloth. If the original filling has no odor and does not have evidence of bugs, I refill the body with it. If it has a bad odor or bugs, I replace it with clean filling.

Nancy Ringe
200 S. Oakridge Dr. Ste. 101
PMB # 234
Hudson Oaks, TX  76087
E-mail –

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