5 Proven Tips for Customizing Your KAWS Toy like a Pro
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Choose the right paint
  2. Practice on a dummy figure
  3. Apply multiple thin coats
  4. Create your own design
  5. Use varnish for protection

Stepping into the world of KAWS toy customization can be a thrilling adventure. It's a great platform to unleash your creativity and put your personal touch on these famous pieces. In this blog post, we'll share five proven tips to help you master the art of KAWS toy customization, starting with the first step - choosing the right paint.

Choose the right paint

When it comes to customizing your KAWS toy, the kind of paint you use can make all the difference. But with so many options out there, how do you find the perfect one for your project? Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

The Importance of Quality

While it might seem tempting to reach for the cheapest paint, remember that the quality of your paint can directly affect your final result. A higher-quality paint will provide better coverage and lasts longer. It's a good idea to invest in brands like Citadel or Vallejo that are known for their superior quality in the miniature painting community.

Finding the Right Type

Not all paints are created equal. Acrylic paints are a popular choice for KAWS toy customization because they're easy to use, dry quickly, and come in a wide range of colors. Plus, they're water-based, which means you can easily thin them out or clean up any mistakes with just water.

Color Matters

  • Matching the Original: If you're trying to keep the look of the original KAWS toy, you'll want to match the colors as closely as possible. Take your toy with you when you go paint shopping to help find the best match.
  • Creating a New Look: If you're going for a completely new look, the sky's the limit! Play around with different colors and see what inspires you. Remember, this is your chance to make your KAWS toy truly your own.

Choosing the right paint is an important part of the KAWS toy customization process. But it's only the first step. Stick around as we walk you through more tips to help you customize your KAWS toy like a pro. Next up: practicing on a dummy figure. Stay tuned!

Practice on a dummy figure

Once you've got your paint, it's easy to want to dive right into customizing your KAWS toy. But before you do, it's a smart idea to practice on a dummy figure first. Here's why and how you can go about it.

The Value of a Test Run

Think of it this way: you wouldn't run a marathon without training first, right? The same logic applies to KAWS toy customization. Practicing on a dummy figure allows you to test your paint, hone your technique, and make mistakes without ruining your actual KAWS toy.

Choosing a Dummy Figure

So, what should you use for practice? You could pick up an inexpensive vinyl figure from a local toy store or an online marketplace. The key is to choose something similar in size and material to your KAWS toy. This way, you'll have a realistic idea of how the paint will adhere and how the colors will look once applied.

What to Practice

  1. Brush Strokes: Practice using different brush strokes to see how they affect the finish of the paint. Some brush strokes will give a smooth finish, while others can create interesting textures.
  2. Mixing Colors: Experiment with mixing different paint colors to create unique shades. This is especially useful if you're trying to replicate a specific color on your KAWS toy or if you want to create a unique look.
  3. Applying Thin Coats: Try applying multiple thin coats of paint rather than one thick one. This often results in a better finish and allows for more control over the opacity of the color.

Practicing on a dummy figure might seem like an extra step, but it's one that can save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run. And remember, practice makes perfect! So, keep experimenting and refining your skills. Soon, you'll be ready to take on your actual KAWS toy. Next, let's discuss the art of applying multiple thin coats.

Apply multiple thin coats

Once you've practiced your technique on a dummy figure, it's time to apply that knowledge to your KAWS toy. One of the best KAWS toy customization tips is to apply multiple thin coats of paint. Here's why this technique works and how to do it effectively.

Why Thin Coats?

Imagine you're trying to cover a wall with a poster. If you use too much glue in one go, it'll end up being a sticky, clumpy mess. But if you use thin layers of glue, letting each layer dry before adding the next, you'll get a smooth, clean finish. Painting your KAWS toy works the same way. Thin coats give you a smooth, even finish and prevent the paint from globbing and obscuring the toy's details.

How to Apply Thin Coats

  1. Less is More: Dip your brush lightly into the paint. You want just enough to cover the brush, not so much that the paint is dripping.
  2. Smooth Strokes: Apply the paint in long, smooth strokes. Try to move in one direction to keep the look consistent.
  3. Patience is a Virtue: Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next. This can be a test of patience, but it's worth it for the end result.

Applying multiple thin coats is a simple technique, but it can make a huge difference in the final result of your KAWS toy customization. It might take a little longer, but the smooth, professional-looking finish will be worth it. Now, let's move on to the next tip: creating your own design.

Create your own design

Customizing your KAWS toy is a chance to let your creativity shine. Having your own design is one of the key elements in KAWS toy customization tips that sets apart amateurs from pros. Let's dive into how you can develop a unique design for your toy.

Finding Inspiration

Coming up with a unique design can be tough, especially if you're a beginner. Thankfully, inspiration is all around you. You could draw from your favorite TV show, comic book, or even the wallpaper pattern in your room. The key is to find something that resonates with you and then translate that into a design for your KAWS toy.

Sketching Your Design

Once you've got an idea, it's time to get it down on paper. Sketching helps to visualize your idea and makes the painting process easier. Remember, your sketch doesn't have to be perfect - it's just a guide.

  1. Start Simple: Begin with basic shapes to capture your design idea.
  2. Add Details: Once you're happy with the basic shapes, start adding details to your sketch.
  3. Use Colors: Color your sketch to get an idea of your color scheme. This will help when you start painting your toy.

Creating your own design is fun and rewarding. Not only will your KAWS toy be a one-of-a-kind piece, but it's also a reflection of your personal style. Once you've nailed down your design, it's time to protect your masterpiece with varnish. But more on that in the next section.

Use varnish for protection

Another critical step in our list of KAWS toy customization tips is using varnish. It's a bit like applying sunscreen before a day at the beach. Just as sunscreen protects your skin from harmful sun rays, varnish shields your toy from the wear and tear of everyday handling. Let's see how you can apply varnish like a pro.

Choosing the Right Varnish

Not all varnishes are created equal. It's essential to choose a varnish that suits your needs. Here's a quick rundown:

  • Gloss varnish: It gives a shiny, vibrant finish. Perfect if you want your KAWS toy to steal the spotlight.
  • Matte varnish: It provides a flat, non-reflective finish. Ideal if you prefer a subtler look.
  • Satin varnish: A happy medium between gloss and matte. It offers a slightly glossy finish that's not too over-the-top.

Applying the Varnish

Applying varnish might seem intimidating, but it's easier than you think. Here are some steps to guide you:

  1. Ensure clean surface: Make sure your toy's surface is clean and dust-free before applying varnish.
  2. Take your time: Rushing can lead to streaks in your varnish. Apply it slowly and evenly.
  3. Let it dry: Give your toy ample time to dry after each coat of varnish. Patience is key here.

There you have it. Protecting your work of art is as important as creating it. With the right varnish and application technique, your customized KAWS toy will stay fresh and vibrant for years to come. Keep these KAWS toy customization tips in mind and you'll be creating masterpieces in no time!

If you enjoyed our tips on customizing your KAWS toy and want to explore more about staying inspired and creative in your artistic journey, check out the workshop 'Staying Inspired As A Freelance Illustrator' by Kissi Ussuki. This workshop will help you maintain your creativity and passion for your work, ensuring you continue to produce unique and captivating art pieces like your customized KAWS toy.