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Those tiny specks of dust...

Feb 18, 2012

    1. For those who have done faceups, you probably know how easy it is for a few tiny specks of dust to cling onto the doll between layers of sealant. Those specks are only visible if you inspect the doll at close distance but they drive me crazy whether on my own dolls or when doing faceups for others. And attempting to remove specks generally leads to damaging the half-finished faceup.

      What do you think? Do a few specks of dust sealed onto a doll bother you too? Would you be upset if you sent out your doll for a new faceup and you noticed a couple of tiny specks on it?
    2. Canned air is your friend. Blast the head with it before each sealant coating to remove any dust or hairs.
    3. On my own dolls, they don't bother me too much. Once I'm done with a faceup, I don't generally scrutinize them afterwards - I already know every line and shade of color that I put on. If there was a speck somewhere, I know how to angle any photos so that they aren't visible.

      When I do a faceup for someone else, then yes, the specks bother me a lot. I like to have my work be as nice as possible when I'm doing something for someone else; if there's dust or hairs, I feel like I've been sloppy. Now, I actually do once-overs before and after each layer of sealant. I gently blow them off before sealing, and look closely after. Then if I see some, I will actually use a needle or an xacto knife blade to try to get it off. Usually, I can get them up with minimal damage; and as long as I haven't fully completed the faceup yet, another layer or blush and sealant usually fixes any damage.

      When I get a faceup from someone else, I would probably be slightly bothered by a speck. I'd feel that, since I try my best to send out no-speck faceups, that others should strive to do the same, especially since I've paid them.

      I like the idea about canned air, Kiyakotari! We have a ton of it sitting around which we rarely use, I may have to confiscate it all! :D
      The only trouble is, when the specks get on during drying... I will make sure an item is clean, then spray it, and then place it in a box to dry. I close the top of the box, so that nothing can get in, but every now and again something gets in anyway... That's usually an easier fix, being that it is on top of the spray - the needle gets those off pretty easily. But still, it definitely is a hassle.
    4. I used to have a problem with them, but then I started watching Andreja's Weekly Face up Stories, and not I just pick them out with an exacto blade like she does. It's easy enough, and as long as you're careful, it not hard to avoid damaging the doll.
    5. That's pretty darn clever! Have to try that, thanks. :O
    6. If you catch dust/hair early, sometimes you can pluck it out with a pair of needlenose tweezers (those offset Volks tweezers are the bomb)... and/or buff it out with a dry cleaning-sponge, which can gently wear down the last layer of sealant until you can reach the offending speck. But if you bury it under too many layers of sealant as you work, it's in there for good.

      If it's a very small speck, I'm content with pretending he's just got a little birthmark or two. ^^ If it's a big squiggly hair or something, it's gotta go.

      And definitely yes, always prep with an air-duster. God gave us those things for a reason.
    7. You are my hero! I have to try this. Those specks and bits of pastel dust drive me to distraction. Picking the bits out rarely works for me as I just end up messing it up worse then just leaving the speck alone.
    8. Yes, it bothers me so much. I just noticed there was a small hair on my Miho's cheek that I sealed on there :( It's so small that I looked at his face 10+ times before I saw it, but it still bothers me a little. I've come to accept it within the last couple of hours though. If it was any worse it would make me cringe haha. I'll probably re-do it anyways ^^
    9. Dust is a total pain when doing my own faceups. I usually catch the obvious flecks, but I'm sure there are tiny specks I don't catch. And I do dig them out with an exacto blade or something similar.

      I often wonder how the companies manage to do so many faceups and be so dust-free. They must keep the space very clean! (makes me wish I were a better house-keeper, but dust is everywhere so I don't feel THAT bad)

      Anyway--I figure I could live with specks that aren't big or obvious. I have to admit, I don't go over all my dolls' faceups carefully enough to catch things that aren't obvious, so what I don't notice won't bother me. And I KNOW how easy it is for stuff to get caught in the protective spray, so I wouldn't fault someone if there was something very tiny and not obvious.

      Obvious dust would NOT be welcome, however. If I can manage to get the big specks out of the faceups I do, I expect those who are better and professional to not have noticeable dust specks left in the faceup.
    10. Wow! I never thought of using an exacto knife to fix a faceup! That is such a good idea, and the canned air too!

      I always wipe the head carefully with a magic eraser to remove any dust and blow on the head clean of magic eraser powder so to make sure the head is pristine before spraying the next layer of sealant. I suspect that the specks of dust settle on the faceup right after spraying, when the sealant is still tacky. Some just lay on the surface and are very easy to remove with one swipe of magic eraser. But sometimes there are specks that are so adamantly lodged removing them would cause layers of MSC to come off, in which cases they must have settled onto the head a few seconds right before spraying and so got sealed arrrrrgh!
    11. i have never found a way to avoid it personally. i also blow the dolls face before spraying sealant on. i also inspect them very carefully before i spray. but because i spray outside, dust from the air often sticks onto their faceup, and before i can pick it off it sometimes dries on there. sometimes i have to do the faceup over again. >< i even have a warning about it on my faceup thread. it's another reason i don't charge that much, because i've never found a way to avoid it totally. i don't mind it for my own dolls, unless it's a dark colored speck. today i did a faceup though and i got lucky - no dust. =)
    12. If I get specks while I'm doing a faceup, between sealing layers, I will sometimes remove them by very very carefully nicking them out with a pin point. The next layer of sealing smooths it out.

      ...You're a genius. How did this never occur to me?
    13. What if we got one of those cake lids and put it over the head after spraying, do you think that would help keep the dust from falling on the sticky MSC?
    14. Those tips with the exacto knife and the canned air are great, thanks for that!
      It has always bothered me. I am super careful about the enviroment where I spray and also clean the head carefully, before spraying I inspect it. But I can not fully prevent it from happening and when it happens I'm so annoyed by it.
      I'll keep that exacto knife close next time. :D

      Cake lid over them after spraying is a good idea too!
    15. Oh, and as soon as you're done spraying each coat, & are able to handle the head = that's when to examine the face as close as you can, in good light, with a magnifier if you need it. If any dust has gotten into that coat of sealant, now you can take care of it sooner instead of later (and you won't accidentally bury that speck under 3 more coats & make it permanent).

      I used to not notice, or not look hard enough... I let myself get away with things because I'm impatient. But I learnt the hard way that if I don't stop, take my time, & make myself see every detail before I move on, there WILL be a speck big enough to drive me crazy later. Patience is a very hard virtue!

      I just put a salad-bowl over the head as soon as I'm done spraying. Probably a cake-dome would look nicer. ^.~ My apartment building is old & extremely dusty, and I live on a busy city street, so we get airborne soot drifting through the windowframes-- there's always a ton of fallout around here. Simply covering up the freshly-sprayed head is a huge help.

      I use that Volks Zoukeimura powder-spray sealant, which dries to the touch super-fast-- it doesn't stay tacky for long, so I don't have to keep it covered for long. I think actual MSC takes longer to set up.
    16. Oh, that would bother me. I am a perfectionist.
      I am not at that point where I will be doing my own face ups... but that time will eventually come, and it looks like a can of air will be my best friend :)
    17. I usually inspect the head while it is drying, and I can usually pick out dust or hair with tweezers of my nails. Sometimes, if I do not find it until it's dry, I rub it with a Mr. Clean sponge, and it will come off.
    18. Those specks bother me like crazy and it always seems like, no matter how much effort I put in to stop them from being present, they always find a way to turn up on my dolls face.
    19. My faceups always end up having just a few dust specks sealed in. I've tried to remove them before and messed up a few faceups but now I just try to make the best of it and claim they are freckles.