What do you look for when buying or admiring a repainted doll?

Fellow collector, inti, posed this question on Prego this morning. Along with her question, she posted a montage of the eyes of her repainted Ellowyne dolls. For inti, the eyes are the most important factor in making a decision. 

She said,  "The most important thing to me in a repaint are the eyes, especially and specifically the irises & pupils. Of course, it has to all blend together with the rest of the face and other parts of it but it is usually the eyes that attract me to a repainted doll...Lots of times though when artists display pictures of their dolls, they don't provide close ups of those beautiful eyes or of the doll looking straight forward. It really turns me off when that is done, but it doesn't stop me from contacting the artist/ and or the seller if I am motivated enough with the whole face repaint and do ask to see pictures of the eyes up close."

Link to original post where you can see a slide-show of the eyes.   
Please remember that you need to be a member of Prego (it's free) to log-in there.


  1. With the dolls of larger size and prominent eyes like Ellowyne, a buyer should definitely be able to obtain accurate straight on photos of the doll's eyes. When I was collecting larger sized dolls, the eyes were the most prominent feature likiely to have a defect. Either from the factory, in the case of Tonner's Tyler and Sydney dolls, and with many of the lower end repaints ( below $500 for the repaint service).
    A very few ( maybe 3) of my earliest repaints also have lip color bleeding to a minute extent now. I assume this is from a lack of proper or adequate sealing. Since some wonderful foreign repainters do work in paint materials specific to their country, I think it's still a good idea to ask about the repainted areas being sealed, just to make certain the beautiful repaint will stay beautiful. ( My repaints of this size are a few years old and the techniques and materials have evolved).

    With 12" dolls, to me, a repaint is a hit or miss thing regardless of the photos sent. SOME people "clean up" and style their dolls with a ton of messy " bed hair" in the photos excessively, while some repainters are not excellent photographers. There is a very well known and respected repainter, for example, whose photos tend to show a messy looking eye. Like there's some black smudging or paint fall out around the lower lids. However, I bought two dolls on sale from her, because the dolls didn't sell at the original prices, thinking I could have this feature cleaned up by someone else. I love what she does with the lips, the overall eye, and her unique looking contour blushing, so each doll would still retain her wonderful and unique soft features. When I received the dolls, the eyes were totally clean, clear and beautiful. No smudging or messy painting anywhere. My conclusion is that she is a fantastic repainter with a specific " look" that I like a lot, but her repaints sometimes suffer from less than stellar photography. OR she photographs them before she is completely finished with the repaint. Not sure why anyone would do so, but her photos are NOT representative of her excellent work most of the time.

    I've also bought repaints from eBay which had multiple photos of beautiful eyes, and when I received the dolls, the eyes were smaller than the original factory painted eye. Squinty, lacking lashes ( painted or applied), you name it. These dolls had to have been examples of another type of altered photography-- bait and switch? Not sure. I use them as clothing models with sunglasses hiding the teeny eyes. Sad, eh?

    The trend seems to be " enhancements", at least for smaller sized dolls. A straightening of a crookd eye, a change of eye shading or lip color, but not an entire repaint. I like this option best of all because of the price point, because the customer can say exactly what they want changed and to what color and receive that service, because the hair will not be cut, gelled or otherwise sexed up for photos, and because a certain manufacturer will hang up on a customer before they will accept a return of a doll with a factory painted crooked eye. YKWIM, Terri!!

  2. I don't invest in repaints mainly because my first experiences with them were so bad. I've either sold those dolls or had them done over. What a waste.