ostheimer daughter 2 painted orange and green

Repainting Figures

  • Emily 

Recently I’ve had a little bit of fun repainting figures–a tree that arrived in a color that didn’t suit us and a couple of Ostheimer friends. I’ve linked the Materials we used at the end of the post (click on the product images).

This tree was the first project. The shape is lovely, but it arrived quite a bit more brilliant than I had hoped. I’d never approached a DIY wooden toy before, but one that wasn’t getting any love in its original form seemed like a great first template.

I set to work with a bit of sandpaper, but was dismayed to find how thick the paint had been applied on the edges, and particularly under the branches. The sanding process was more tedious than expected, but not dreadful, in the long run. I started with rough grit sandpaper to pull most of the paint off, then went over it with a fine grit piece to make it smooth

I painted the new tree colors using Stockmar liquid watercolor paints for the green branches and brown trunk, and then a white paste watercolor for the snow. (that was a mistake–another time I’d use an acrylic for the snow–the white ran dreadfully when I put on the sealant)

Satisfied with how the tree was going–my mind wandered to the new Ostheimer family, and how I wanted more black people in our play (Ostheimer–if you’re reading this, we’d love to see more ethnic variety please). I’m not bold enough to sand an Ostheimer, or brave enough to attempt to modify skin color, but the new daughter has a light bright yellow dress, and she intrigued me. I used the two shades of red Stockmar watercolor paint to turn one yellow dress orange and give her red shoes. I used Green for the dress and the blue to give the other girl her own colors. I worked with brand new figures for maximum absorbancy (no hand oils worked in) and kept the paint pretty thick for a rich color.

To seal the figures (girls and tree) I used CrystalLac Flat Matte varnish–about 5 coats each (with the reccomended 5+ hours drying time between coats

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