The metamorphosis of Kit’s lips…

You may remember my purchase of a Kit doll that was, shall we say, a bit “over the top” with her painted lips! I bought her for a good price thinking I could re-paint them… after all, how hard could it be? Well, let me tell you, it was quite a project. This is what she looked like when I took her out of the box. Even I was shocked to see her lips in person… Talk about pink…there’s not too many words to describe them…

[If you click on any picture, it will enlarge.]



I started by stripping the old acrylic paint off with some Winsor and Newton paint remover. It worked at getting the paint off, but she was still left with this “ravioli like stain” around her mouth.



I tried mixing my acrylic paints and tried and tried and tried to come up with a decent color and one that looked good on her skin, but it just looked like I had taken enamel fingernail polish and painted her lips. It really wasn’t much better than how she looked when she arrived.


So I decided to give up on the paints and try using my oil pastels… they are a very fine medium, almost like a piece of chalk that you use a brush to apply. The problem with them is it’s like an ultra ultra fine glitter and the flecks stick to the vinyl skin so it made Kit’s mouth sort of shimmer. I wasn’t too happy with this look either, so I put her away. I had probably spent 6 hours working on her lips and was beginning to regret my purchase. Maybe I wasn’t as “crafty” as I thought I was…



This is how she has spent her “holidays”… with crummy glittery lips and a mom who seemingly didn’t care to fix them…


Well, yesterday, Allie asked about Kit and I got to thinking that I really needed to either fix her lips or sell her as is. She was such a good price, because of her lips, and she had a tear in her body, and a mark on her chin and her legs… that I would never be able to find another one like her for that price, so I decided to try again today and see what I could do. I got in the brightest light I could find and stripped off her old lip paint/pastels again…I painted the Winsor and Newton paint remover on her lips and around her mouth and let it set for a little while. I think I finally got rid of her “ravioli stain” and decided to proceed. I mixed up some paints and decided to give it my best shot again…


It seemed to work this time. I really thinned down my paint with the Textile Medium I had bought before. I made it almost like a watercolor paint and dabbed my tiny paint brush on the paper plate until it was almost dry. Then I painted her teeth first and then her lips. It turned out pretty well, and I only had to start over 3 times.. :o)


The color was a little brighter than I had hoped… I really wanted a coral color, but it went on so well, I decided a little extra color was okay since she was an older Kit and a bit washed out…



I guess I could have kept trying to mix the perfect color of paint, but things were going so well, I just decided to keep going…


After I took these close up pictures of her lips, I noticed the right side was a bit lower than the left side…



So I used the Winsor and Newton paint remover and a very tiny brush and ran it along the edge of the bottom lip…



I blushed her cheeks with some color and called it quits!

I was SO SO pleased, I decided Kit just moved into the number one slot for a Valentine’s Day dress…. this is what I picked out for her…




She isn’t perfect and her lips don’t match the quality of what they look like from the factory, but I’m happy and she’s VERY happy, so I think we’re good to go!

WHEW… glad that’s done!

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Jeanne, I think she is perfect. You have such a great talent and loads of patience.

  2. Marilyn Grotzky says:

    That print goes beautifully with Kit’s new lip color. She has very nice hair too. The print seems perfect for her time period. What do you use for blush and how do you apply it? There’s always something new to learn from you.

    • Hi Marilyn,
      Thanks so much for your comments about Kit. I am very pleased with her new lips and thin she looks so much brighter. I blushed her cheeks with the same paint as her lips but just thinned it down a lot and dabbed it on her cheeks and blended it with my finger.
      I think the fabric looks very much like something from the 30’s.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Linda Doyle says:

    Lookin’ good, Jeanne! Wow, what a difference between the first picture and the last! Kit is now ready for a new dress! Are you using both patterns, or are you trying to figure it out?

    • Hi Linda,
      Thanks for your comments on Kits new lips. She does look remarkably better, doesn’t she?
      I am thinking of making her dress out of the print and a little jacket from the lace…if I can master the edges. I did it once before with a lacy fabric like this…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Hi Jeanne,
    The factory painted Kit lip paint is so light, her lips almost disappear. I like the rosy lips you gave your Kit. You made her one happy doll; the poor thing deserves to be pampered after the hard life she’s had!
    Looking forward to seeing her all dressed up for Valentine’s Day! <3

    • Hi Cindy,
      I’m so glad to have her looking like a doll again instead of this faceless little girl. I hope she photographs well when I get her dress finished and she’s ready to model for me…
      Thanks Cindy,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. I think she looks great. I know you are happy to have it completed. Oh, and I love the fabrics you picked for the dress. Kit is going to look so nice in it. I love your new Addy. She is one of my faves, although her hair can be a challenge for me. When you get ready to tighten her, I hope you will share the pictures with us. My Samantha needs her legs tightened, and I have all the supplies purchased to do it, but haven’t ever been able to work up the nerve to unstuff her. Hope you have a great day!

    • Thank you Carolyn,
      I am very glad to mark this off my to do list, but nobody is happier than Kit!

      I am going to show how to tighten up Addys legs…maybe next week. There are 2 ways you can do it, so I think I’ll share both ways and whoever wants can choose the method they prefer. It isn’t hard…it just takes a little time, but it is So worth doing!!!
      Stay tuned Carolyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. I too think she looks great. You’ve done a marvelous job on her…you and she will be so pleased with her upcoming Valentine outfit….can’t wait to see it. I love it when folks restore dolls. As we both know, the dolls give a big thank you to the restorer.

    • Hi Becky,
      Thank you for the compliments on Kits new face…she can’t stop saying thank you. I bet I’ve heard it 50 times since yesterday…and she can’t quit smiling.
      Thanks so much, blessings, Jeanne

  7. Great job on the Kitt lips. So I guess None of the Above won the voting for which fabrics to use. The other girls will be jealous. My eyes are not too bad, but I don’t think I saw those materials for Kitt in your stash. You didn’t buy new, did you? Great choices, though. I really like the fabrics you chose. I suspect you’ll use both and more. Isn’t it funny how every picture reflects a different color of her skin depending on how close it is taken and how the light reflects.

    I should let you know I didn’t receive an email you mentioned forwarding to me. The Post Office did report that something I sent got to its destination right before the big storm. I only bought four fat quarters as I haven’t used them before and want to see how much fabric there is to work with. Also I have found hats on eBay that will give me inspiration to use up the fabric I already have. Too much of a stash already for someone for whom it is just a hobby.

    • Hi Susette,
      Thanks for thinking Kits lips looked okay…at least good enough to model something for me.
      As far as her fabric goes…after I had her lips done, I held her up to my fabrics and decided this one looked best with her coloring AND her new lip color….gotta get it all coordinated, you know…
      I’ve been there before with buying fabric…at one time I was just going to use up what I had in my stash and then go out of business, but then I needed this fabric to go with that fabric and before you knew it, I had way more than I could ever use and the thoughts of going out of business was out of the question…oh well…nice try…
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Kit is simply adorable. My daughter got Kit the week she debuted back in 2000. We had to have her, first girl with freckles, new dark blue eyes and lives in my birthplace, Cincinnati, OH. My daughter’s Kit has light pink lips, but I’ve seen others with almost no color at all. Still I prefer the early Kit’s with the longer hair to the BF one, but you know I prefer the oldest I’ve seen them. We started after the WB, so I don’t care for WB Samantha and Kirsten, having seen first tan bodies first. I think it varies by the batch and who did the painting She has more color now which will be perfect since you photograph your dolls. I love the fabric on her left shoulder, so bright and cheerful. Looks like Addy will have to move into second place.
    Okay, so once I get an PC German Addy it looks like we are both set for historical dolls until AG makes something spectacular. Thank you for saying I would know. Yes, I do know the historical ones, but I would be hard pressed to name the GOTY farther back more than 3 years and that’s just because of AGPT and members discussions.

    • Hi Laura,
      My Kit is a Pleasant Company doll, so I don’t know how faded her lips were before the little girl decided to “paint” them, but I like her new lip color that I gave her. She looks much more alive to me. Her eyebrows were pretty light so the lips give her a little more vibrancy.

      Yes, sorry but Addy is taking a back seat to Kit but she was very kind to Kit knowing that next week she is getting NEW legs…or at least the ones she has, tightened up.
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. very well done! Happy is now the girl you envisioned when you first opened the box.

  10. She looks so much better than when she first arrived. Great job with persevering and making Kit very happy! 🙂

    • Thank you Christine,
      It feels like a good save to me too. We are both pretty happy with the results.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Kit looks so good now, great job! Love the fabrics you chose for her Valentine dress!

    • Hi Regina,
      I hope I can get her dress to look good…especially with her new lips.
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Even no lips was an improvement on that poor girl, but you did well, and she certainly now looks great! Much better, I’m sure, than I could do. Your patience and determination paid off. 🙂 Love the print fabric, but the lace seems a bit large. I try to keep to the hint of the pattern not being larger than the dolls hand, to be in the best scale. You never seem to have that problem, though. Have fun with her! You both deserve it!!

    • Thanks so much for asking about Kit, Allie…
      It was your reminder that got me moving on her… I’m happy that you think she looks good.
      I use that same rule of thumb about the scale for the doll not being any bigger than her hand, but this might work for a jacket or a hat….I’ll have to see.
      Thanks again for your nudge at getting Kit finished…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  13. Wonderful job on Kit. She’s a very happy girl now. And the material you chose for her is lusciously pink!! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for her dress.

    I have one of the first Kit’s and I always liked her because she had the short blunt hair cut and with the freckles and blue eyes, she is a very pretty doll styled just right. I also have some of her outfits and accessories from the early years.

    Have a great day!

    • Marilyn Grotzky says:

      Paula, you are absolutely right that the key to Kit is to style her just right. I always know when I haven’t been successful.
      And thanks, Laura, for letting me know that the earlier Kits (mine is one of the first) had longer hair. I have often wondered why Kit’s hair looks different from the pictures. Now I know, her hair *is* different.

    • Hi Paula,
      When I was looking for a Kit doll, I was searching for a short haired bob on a doll too. I like her hair short and sassy…
      I hope her dress turns out to be a perfect match to her new lips…
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  14. Wow, such an improvement. Bet Kit is very happy with her makeover. The fabrics look wonderful for her too. Can’t wait to see what you do with them.

    • Thank you Joy,
      Yes, Kit is very happy with her new lips and I am thrilled too!!!
      I hope to turn her into a pretty little 1930’s cutie.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  15. Great job Jeanne!

    • Thanks Cindy,
      I can’t believe it took me so long to get her done. I am glad this project is over with.
      Thanks for commenting…
      Love you, me

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