I recently sold a pair of Poloron nativity blowmolds that had some missing paint. I wondered if I could touch them up without it showing too much. It turns out that is not likely to be successful as the original paint is likely faded and would be impossible to match. Those “in the know” advise a complete repaint job. Here’s the process I found online from two experts who know what they’re talking about, judging from the photos of their finished work.
Well, first thing I would do is strip the blowmolds down as far as possible. I’ve just discovered that Poloron paint loves to stick hard, so if your carolers are faded, you’re half the way there. I use Orange Gel Paint Stripper because it has a pleasant smell, is easy on the hands, and safe on the plastic. Then I use S.O.S. or Brillo pads and hot water to move the paint off the mold, and then rinse, and then Comet cleanser, then rinse. The Comet makes the paint stick to the mold better, and makes the parts you leave white glimmer.
As far as what order to paint them in, I usually start with the fleshtones, and I let them dry for at least 24 hours before moving on. You let it dry because you have to tape off each section for each different color, and you don’t want the tape to pull off your brand new paint job. Painter’s tape and old newspapers galore!
For Caucasion fleshtone, I use Krylon’s “Sweet Cream.” It’s the closest I’ve been able to find. For the blushing on the cheeks, again, wait til the fleshtone is completely dry, then tape off little circles on their cheeks, then use a lighter shade of red and barely let the mist hit the mold. You don’t want a direct hit when doing blushing cheeks. For African fleshtones, it’s up to you which shade of brown you’d want to use. Same goes for other ethnicities, if you really wanted to get diverse with your choir.
After that, just tape off each section, spray the color on, let it dry, remove the tape, let it dry completely, tape off the new section and repeat.
For the gold, I have been using Rustoleum hammered finish copper, painting it on by hand. But I’m using it on a Nativity. You may just want to wait til all your colors are completely dry, then tape off the parts you want to be gold, and use Krylon’s gold. I would say that you’ll definitely want to do the gold last as it’s an accent to the blowmold.
I hope this helps you out. I know it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. I look forward to seeing pics (before & after) when you get them done.
Creed Wolf Productions
Silver Creed Wolf Music (BMI)
Stripping first, I use a 3M Product called Safest Stripper, but Poloron paint can be resistant. I start out with the least toxic product I can (the 3M) and on second or even third strips, use increasingly caustic strippers.
Once, you have it stripped, this is where I do it differently than Joe. I do not do small sections at a time, not on these peeps. Take the head off and reserve it till later. Put a big cheap white garbage bag down over the peeps upper body and tape so that only the portion that is to be painted red shows. You want a cheap white bag so that there is some transparency. If you have an airbrush, use Createx Sunset Red, its as close to the original Poloron color that I’ve found (its sort of an orangey red). Paint it. Let dry. If you don’t have an airbrush, you can use red Krylon for Plastic spray paint.
With the bag still in place, cut out the bag that covers the hands (you should be able to see them through your cheap white bag) and carefully tape off so that only hands show. For flesh tone (airbrush – Createx Peach), other Sweet Cream Krylon. Paint the hands and let dry thoroughly.
To paint the book, carefully peel back the plastic bag to now expose the book only. Tape it off. You will now need to cover the hands. Use another plastic bag, cut out a section and carefully tape it in place over the hands. You need to be careful here that you seal the edge only, otherwise you might lose paint from the hands. The only thing you want to expose is the book. Krylon Metallic gold is what I use and make sure that when you use it, you spray lightly and evenly. Let dry thoroughly. Cover the book and hands area with more plastic and tape it down.
Going through the same process, expose only the bow at the neck, tape it off, and paint with the red you’re using. Let dry.
Carefully remove all the plastic and tape. When you remove tape, be sure to peel the tape back over itself. What this does is that it will cut through the paint rather than lifting the paint off.
Now you can apply the gold detail to the bottom and top on the upper body. I hand paint these areas using a swirled stroke and a fine artists brush. I do use spray paint (Krylon gold metalic) sprayed into the cap of the can. This takes a little practice, so I recommend you start at the back (if you flub it, whose gonna know? he he)
Got Blow Molds? I do!