Ventriloquist Doll Restore

This little project had me excited!
Many years ago when I had my hair businesses, one shop was decorated with retro vintage things I collected on the weekends.

My clients saw what I was doing, some thought it was junk for the skip, others saw it’s value, especially one client an antique dealer Val Booth from Malvern Antiques. Others mentioned they had some old junk at home that they were happy to swap for a haircut. So the bargaining began!

One of the bargains was a little fella I have recently named “Rebel”. He has had a restoration and I’m so proud of him he is a prize in my collection.

I did the restoration myself, and I’m a male! BUT I DO NOT ADVISE THIS FOR OTHERS…~! Rebel started to fade quickly in his shoe box as the years went by, somehow the heat and moisture in the atmosphere was “cracking” him up!
Having a hectic life for many years I saw his deterioration and decided if anything, I would lightly spray him with a hairspray I knew was not full of chemicals to hold him together until I had time, as the paint you can see in the images was being destroyed and I wasn’t keen for this to happen to my ventriloquist toy doll !

If you read my other pages on PetersMilkBar you will see I have had a “revival” of sorts for my vintage collection. Rebel was bothering me with his sad condition, so I got on the web and found the most valuable information about restoring dolls. Truly, the most valuable.

After reading the above information I had decided that Rebel and I couldn’t afford to go see the doll doctor, so this special surgery had to be done at home! Yes peeps a “backyard” job OMG!! Do you feel the nightmare coming on?

Well, most of you can rest assured, this advise has saved Rebel’s life. Rebel is pimpin the “BRAND NEW ya’ll!” It is probably not the 100% professional job of a qualified doll restorer, but hey, me n Rebel is chuffed with the make-over, check it out for yourself.
I cannot THANK ENOUGH the information that I scored at “” Lousies Little Ladies , your words on the web are worth spreading. PLEASE, DO NOT try this RESTORATION at home if your not way confident ! If you have a doll that is precious, please seek professional advise or services, this is not for the faint hearted!!!

Sorry to not take your advice Louise, but Rebel was my defintie “basket case” so he was “it”, & this restoration had to work, so I took my time. Being a graphic artist and hair colorist and artist gave me an advantage. This process is not as easy as it seems and the hours it took were many.

There was the process to remove the “brownish” stain seeping from the composite or maybe the hairspray residue, either way it was removed with a 2% peroxide by lightly dabbing, this was done before the acrylic paint went on as I thought this would eventually bleed through again, hence my OWN choice to do this. Not sure what Louise would say about this, I thought it was a fairly safe option, I could be wrong.

Also, somehow a bloody cockroach got in the box and laid an egg right on his eye as you can see in the pics. This disgusting thing was removed without damage with a dab of 5% peroxide and tweezers.

The painting part of him was intense, I could have been over zealous with my application in areas but hey, Rebel was a case, see the photos for yourself. The black paint nearly gave me a coronary, just as it can when coloring hair with multiple colors, so DEFINITELY DON’T do the black paint yourself. The red on the lips was done with one of my lorikeets feathers so I could get a fine line, again not a recommendation to yourself though!

Thanks for reading, hope this information gave you the inspiration to restore a doll professionally, or even by yourself, but do remember this is a skilled procedure. Similar to what Louise says, if you want a good color for your hair, you seek a professional, doing it at home can have dire consequences. Otherwise, have fun with it! I DID!

Some finer details and tweaking are yet to be done on Rebel’s paint job, I hope to update pics of these minor things at some stage, and also when I find him the coolest clothes ever.. Long Live Rebel!!!
PS. Thank Jennifer Harry for your paints and hairdresser quality mixing of the paint to get the right color, you’re supreme!

6 comments to “Ventriloquist Doll Restore”

You can leave a reply or Trackback this post.

  1. Louise Sleeter - April 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Wonderful job Peter! Thank you so much for the perks about my website in your Blog. Regards, Louise Sleeter
    Louise’s Little Ladies Doll & Toy Repair

  2. Michelle vintagecobweb - April 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Peter, your doll looks a bit like Gerry Gee. You did a great restoration job, not for the faint hearted, I wouldn’t tackle it.

  3. - April 16, 2013 at 10:38 am

    Yeah he is like Gerry Gee, Im not sure where he is made, would like to know more, but he does have that look… maybe he was a prototype of sorts for ol Gerry!?

  4. John Nehez - October 31, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Could I ask if you can repair an old gerry gee junior doll with hair loss and to update facial features and loss of some figures



    • Pete

      Pete - November 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Hi John. Good to see a few fellas brave anough to give this a go!!!
      John, Are you asking me personally can I restore it or asking can you do it yourself!?
      If you are wanting to try yourself, and you think you have the skill, then yeah, if you have patience!
      Keep in mind tho what I say in this blog, restoration like this is not for the weak hearted!
      Gerry Gee is definitely a “classic”, and pending on the restoration required, usually they are better left in thier
      original condition from a collectors point of view. If however you want to make him re-live for your own display purposes, then by all means give it a go on a small hidden piece first and progress from there… Is the hair molded like this one or real like? Good Luck champ!

Login to Comment Here