How To Fix A Bad Paint Job On Your Plastic Dollhouse?

In a former blog post, I shared with you how to do a dollhouse makeover. Now, you might have messed it up a little (sorry 😉 ), and the paint job of the dollhouse didn’t work out so well. So yes, a plastic dollhouse specifically can suffer from a bad paint job, and it can be more common than you might think.

You’re not alone in this, because when it comes to plastic surfaces, paint doesn’t always stick well as expected, leading to a finish that may peel, chip, or fade.

Now what, is your dollhouse a goner? Well, there is good news and there is bad news. Sometimes you’ll have to take your loss, but there ARE solutions and I will try to help you with that today!

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Let’s try to repaire a crappy paint job for your dollhouse.

There’s good news: Repainting plastic is totally doable. However, it’s not always a walk in the park.

You’re going to need a few essentials: a bristle brush or a sanding sponge with a light grain, a good quality plastic primer, paints suitable for plastic surfaces, and a clear protective sealant.

First: safely remove old paint.

To remove old paint from plastic safely you will need:

  • hot water
  • vinegar
  • soda bicarbonate
  • something to gently scrape off the paint, like a hard bristle toothbrush, especially if you have crevises in your plastic dollhouse

Wash off the plastic piece or dip it into this mix of ingredients if you can.

Then, you can gently scrape off the paint as shown in the video below, but I would NOT use a kitchen knife though, that would be to harsh for a plastic dollhouse!

If however, this method takes too long, just use Easy-Off and a soft scrub brush.

Step 2: How to repaint your plastic dollhouse?

  1. Preparation:

    • Take out all dollhouse furniture and accessories from your dollhouse. (you probably already did that by removing the old chipped paint anyway)
    • Clean the dollhouse further with a moist piece of cloth to remove dirt and dust.
    • Gently and lightly scrub the surface of the dollhouse with sandpaper to improve paint adhesion.
    • Tape off areas that you do not want to paint with masking tape.
    • If you will be using spray paint, wear gloves, safety glasses, and a mask.

  2. Priming (optional, but not really):

    When repainting plastic things, applying a primer first is always the way to go. Follow the instructions for the product you’re using.
    Using an all-purpose primer can be fine, but I would use a particular spray primer specifically for plastic.

    Leave the primer to dry completely before moving on.

3. Paint:

  • Apply the paint to the dollhouse in thin, even layers. Use a paintbrush or spray can, depending on your preference.
  • Allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next layer.
  • Apply multiple layers if necessary to get full coverage.
  • Let the paint dry completely and remove the tape. Place the dollhouse furniture and accessories back in the dollhouse and DONE!

Another final step can be to use a clear sealer that can protect your paint job from scratches and wear, keeping it smooth and vibrant for the long haul. But that’s a personal choice, I haven’t done this yet.

What type of paint too use to repaint your dollhouse?

Acrylic paint is a popular choice for dollhouses because it’s water-based, dries quickly, and comes in a wide variety of colors.

Look for acrylic paint for plastic specifically, as it adheres better and is more durable.

But lots of people use Spray paint for plastic: This can be a good option for covering large areas quickly and evenly. Using spray paint requires more ventilation and protecting surrounding areas from overspray.

To Repaint or To replace, that’s the question.

Sometimes, it’s not about whether you CAN fix something. It’s about whether you SHOULD.

If the paint job is really poor, with paint peeling off in chunks or the surface looking like the moon’s cratered landscape and the integrity of the plastic might be compromised, you might just get a new dollhouse or get another older one to try and renovate it again.

Consider the cost of materials needed for a repaint – the primer, the appropriate paints, and any tools you might need.

If the shopping list starts looking longer than your arm and the cost is higher than the price of a new dollhouse, the financial argument is pretty strong for replacement.

With a little creativity, however, transforming your dollhouse from drab to fab might still be within reach, dive into the next tip!

An easy Alternative instead of repainting a Plastic Dollhouses

Repainting your dollhouse is too much of a hassle? Consider the easy way out and look out for dollhouse decals.

They can add elaborate designs or simple detailing that paint alone might not achieve. Plus, they’re easy to apply and remove, giving you the freedom to change your dollhouse’s look as often as you like!

There are heaps of choices in designs and prints and you literally just need to stick it and go! This is ideal for non-demanding kids as well who don’t need a dollhouse to look like it is “very real” haha!

Self stickers by @ StickandGoWalltiles on Etsy.

My Final Conclusion

I hope that you now know how to fix a bad paint job on your plastic dollhouse? If not, you could always try to renovate one from scratch again haha! Because I know: painting plastic surfaces isn’t always that easy.

If you have any more questions about this topic, please feel free to leave them down below in the comment section or join me on my socials, especially my YouTube channel where I create at least weekly tutorials!

I wish you happy crafting!

Kind regards,


3 thoughts on “How To Fix A Bad Paint Job On Your Plastic Dollhouse?”

  1. Since paint doesn’t always stick well on plastic, you have provided the essential details to get the job done well. Also, dollhouse decals are a wonderful option for those who do not desire to spend the time painting their dollhouse.

    Thanks for this excellent information that makes this process much more efficient and effective.


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