Sealer for Vinyl

There aren't many sealers that can be used on vinyl. Varnish is absolutely NOT a good choice: it will crackle as soon as the vinyl is flexed. The same thing will happen with wax.

If you want to apply a sealer on the doll after blushing it, then I recommend Vinylex, which is very similar to Armorall - but Armorall stopped making the low gloss formula so, we stock Vinylex in our doll shop now. The high gloss silicone sealers are not appropriate on dolls.

Vinylex is better than most brands because it has conditioners and UV protection. We know that dolls are easily damaged by sunlight, so UV protection is a very good feature. Vinylex is almost invisible on the doll, which is what we want.

Some hobbyists complain that silicone is very bad for collectibles. They say that it dries them out. But vinyl is oily to begin with, I don't know if that's really a problem with vinyl dolls. For the Reborn craft, silicone surface protectants are almost the only thing I've found that works the way we need it to.

I use a cotton pad to rub the Vinylex all over my doll and then I use a soft cloth such as a worn terry washcloth and wipe her down to get the excess off of the doll. It does not take much Vinylex to get results.

Vinyl dolls go through many processes at the factory before they are done. The doll does get a final surface coat of some kind... possibly the factories use silicone based sealer just like we do.

Factories definitely do not use varnish, or else we would notice the crinkly edges of the varnish when it begins to wear off. The sealer they use does not crinkle up with age, it just wears off. The surface can be renewed with Vinylex.

By the way, if your doll is too shiny, you can dust her with a bit of flesh color face powder (compact powder is fine), or use a bit of baby powder.


If you have just finished blushing your doll using lipstick or lipliner, then wait a few days before applying a surface finish to your doll. The blush color needs to soak into the vinyl and "set" or else you might rub some of the color off. Oil based pigments do take longer to dry. This is true of oil paintings as well.

If you use oil paint on your reborn dolls, then wait at least 6 weeks before applying a sealer. You don't want to trap moisture in the vinyl.

Be sure that any and all of your paints are completely dried and cured on the vinyl, before applying a final surface sealer.

Copyright (c) 2002, 2012 Cynthia Stevens All Rights Reserved