Making plastic not look so…. plastic?

Techniques, Tutorials 0 comments

Ahh those Chinese plastic dollhouse sets…

They only cost a couple of dollars but there is so much goodness to be had!

Here are most of my pieces.  So lovely and plasticcy.  Of course we can’t have that.  So I took these 2 lovely fluted style bowls and tried to turn them into old style plaster bowls that look like they have been around the block for a few generations. They will look really nice displaying some artichokes or something on a big farmhouse table.

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First I gave these a bit of sanding to add some grip because I am using enamel paint for the base coat and to remove any sticky outy bits.

Base Coat

It’s  Hammertone in gold because that’s something I had around.  You could use any colour you like – I use nail polish a lot because you can get it cheap and easy to store! However I had this gold from some project around the house. I also had this Q-tip! .. I am so hard on brushes that I avoid using them as much as possible.

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Top Coat

After letting the enamel dry for a couple of hours (the MOST painful bit of mini making – waiting!) it’s time for the top coat.  Chalk paint is my fave and I make my own and use it for just about everything.  I added two coats in an antiquey kind of white. Luckily it drys very quickly but to make sure it is good and hard for detailed sanding I leave it for an hour or so if I can control myself.


Using a 400 grit sandpaper I lightly scuffed it all over and did some harder sanding to let the base coat show through.  I also went a little too far and sanded down to the plastic a bit as you can see.  I have since done a very diluted paint wash over those areas to muffle the plasticness. I like to seal but wanted to keep this project very matte.  My old fave for sealing chalk paint is to give it a rough buff with some beeswax.

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And here’s a bowl I did with a base coat of enamel silver and a topcoat of enamel bronze (both nail polishes)

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I am quite happy with the way these turned out.  Being so cheap it doesn’t matter so much if you manage to destroy the piece. But aside from melting it or sanding it to a nub, there is not much you can do to this hard plastic that can’t be undone anyway!


Author Loverat

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