Sunday, November 24, 2013

Epoxy Repairs with Milliput

While cleaning up Kyou for his restring, dunce that I am, I saw a dark spot on his palm and went at it with the 'magic' sponge.  Which didn't work.  Shocked, I turned the hand over to look at it.  OMG! it's a paper thin spot! And there I was scrubbing away at it, making it thinner from the outside!

It looked like it happened when his hook was being put in.  There are little curls of carved out resin where this spot is, still firmly attached in his hand base.  All the rest of him is good thick resin, he's a solid guy, and without having taken him apart to clean and restring, I never would have seen this at all.

I have it held up against a lamp to show the thin spot from the outside. 
So, my first try out of the Milliput epoxy was a very small hidden job, a good practice start.  Now I've used epoxy patching compound before on my car and a fiberglass boat hull.  You can buy epoxy specifically compounded for different things like patching a hole in a gas tank, muffler, or a radiator.  DO NOT USE THAT STUFF ON DOLLS.  Use Milliput.  It's on Amazon for prices ranging from 4 to 10 or 12 USD depending on color.

It comes like this, in two rolls of sticky, but stiff clay like stuff. The instructions are very thorough and helpful. When the stuff is cold it's very hard and may feel dried up at first.  Don't add water, just warm in your hand, it will stop flaking as it warms up.

From habit, I used a plastic take out knife to cut it.  Cut off an estimated half amount of what you'll need of each. It's really goopy, but I didn't take the instructions advice and wet things with water because it also says water helps cure it faster.  Make sure you wrap the stuff up again tightly and use twist ties to keep air out to not let it dry up. It will last a long time if you don't let it dry up.  I've used the same package of automotive kind around the house and garage for 3 years running, and Milliput has a long list of uses besides dolls, so it's worth it to have around.

You rub it together, fold it and mix it, until you can't see any marbling of the two colors any more.

Keeping in mind that the cuff piece still has to fit into that area, I used the knife point and a wooden toothpick (they break, get a manicure stick) until it looked like the other hand inside.  Milliput can be sanded or carved once it's hard, so if it doesn't quite fit the cuff piece, I can deal with that later. 

Now, according to the instructions, it's supposed to set hard in 2-3 hours.  It was still soft enough to take a fingernail impression 5 hours later, but it's cold here right now.  I'm letting it dry 24 hours and testing it again. The instructions also say once it sets hard, before it's fully cured, you can paint over it or sand it or what ever.  I'm in favor of forgetting that and waiting 24 hours or more before painting.  I've heard some repairs and mods have fallen apart after using this stuff and perhaps the instructions, not the artist, are to blame.

So, we'll see.  One thing I did notice was the thin spot is still dark, as the putty isn't white, so yeah, but it's more important to have his hand never break.  I was just thinking as I was editing this, maybe next time, I would have painted the inside of the thin spot with with white acrylic paint before making the repair.

After Kyou is back together, I'm going to work on Kiki's hip repair, which is the main reason I bought the Milliput.

November 25, 2013

So this morning, I checked and the putty is dry enough to act like a slightly softer resin.  I was able to smooth it with an exacto blade, and fit his cuff piece in.  I could just kick myself for not thinking of the "paint the thin spot white first" idea before I put the putty in.  >.<;;  Lesson learned.

So, I would suggest mixing up a small amount of your chosen color putty, let it dry and fit it behind your doll's thin spots and see what color would be good to paint the inside first to block the darkening, or lightening effect if there is one. Let the paint dry over night, before putting the putty in.

This is how thin the resin in his palm was. To the bare eye, you can see the yellow color of the epoxy putty right through. It shows through in this photo just enough to prove what I'm saying.  Thank goodness I caught it before it broke through.  


  1. I've used the blue/ white 2 part epoxy before for backfilling holes and it's pretty strong. It works just like the Milliput and it's easy to get at Home Depot. The downside is that you must use gloves to work it (it's a bit toxic/ unpleasant). It's an easier color to hide though (sort of a blue gray).

    The only squishy stuff like this I really enjoy working with is LaDoll, and it's not as strong as the milliput or epoxy, but it's easier to work for mods and it's nice and white. I got mine at Hobby Lobby, though you can order it online too.

    1. Kyou being white as a sheet, and the porcelain white epoxy being so expensive for a first try, I thought the less expensive yellow grey will match most of my dolls for small, but visible repairs. The toxic stuff scared me away; some of the chemicals are destructive to resin.

      LaDoll is awesome stuff, I'm so glad the local Hob/Lob carries it now! ^_^ But for repairs, at heart, LaDoll is just paper mache. Chris' eye repair needs to be redone with the epoxy, the LaDoll had to be glued in with Elmers and it's getting shaky again. Although, if I were to make a whole new head for a doll, I would use Epoxy for the neck ring where it would get the most abuse from strings and hook, and the LaDoll for the rest of the head.


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