Everything You Need to Know
What does composition doll restoration involve?
Composition dolls are made from a particle board like substance that is pressed into molds that are in the various forms of doll bodies. The wood composition is then dipped in a glue like substance composed of glue and pine resin. The glue composition smooths out the rough wood composition and gives the doll parts a smooth skin. The doll is then painted with an oil-based paint. The dolls are 80 to 100 years old. Over time the wood composition expands and contracts with the humidity in the dolls environment and that causes the skin to crackle and peel. The wood composition can actually get rot in it and it is very destructive to the doll.
Why do my dolls sleep eyes look cloudy or shattered?
Composition dolls have glassene eyes. They breakdown over time and no longer look like an iris and pupil. Some people paint over them and they are very happy with the results. When a composition doll is restored the eyes are removed from the dolls head, the metal part of the eye is sanded, primed and repainted and the blown out iris/pupil is replaced.
Never put sewing machine oil on the dolls eyes. The oil will contact the wood composition and damage your doll.
Why is composition doll restoration so expensive?
Composition doll restoration is a very tedious and time consuming task. All of the paint/glue composition must be chipped off of the doll. The wood composition layer is then sanded and repaired with a two part epoxy. Fingers, toes and hair is sculpted to repair or replace broken or missing parts. The doll is then primed with an oil base primer. Several coats of primer are required to get a smooth skin appearance. The doll is then painted with oil based paint. All the facial features are meticulously painted and the eyes are reset. The materials used in restoration are costly as well. However your doll will be restored to as close to new as possible and will be an heirloom you can pass down for generations to come.
I have decided to have Arlington Doll Rescue restore my doll, how do I send it to you?
Once you have indicated that you would like me to restore your doll I will email you an intake form that you can print and fill out. My address will be on that form. Please include the form with your doll. I will email you when your doll arrives so that you know it made it safely. Within 5 business days I will take photos of your doll and prepare a repair estimate and email it to you. After you have signed the estimate and emailed it back to me I will begin the restoration work on your doll. It typically takes me 3 to 4 months to complete a restoration. Oil based paint needs time to dry (days) so a lot of time is spent letting the paint dry and cure before the next coat can be applied.