Personalize Vinyl Figures: 5 Top Tips & Techniques
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Choose the right vinyl figures
  2. Select your design and colours
  3. How to prepare vinyl figures for painting
  4. The art of painting on vinyl
  5. Protect your work with sealant

Are you ready to dive into the colourful world of personalized vinyl figures? Perhaps you're a seasoned collector looking to add a touch of uniqueness to your collection. Or maybe, you're a creative soul yearning to transform a blank vinyl figure into a masterpiece. Wherever you stand, this blog will guide you on your journey to creating customized vinyl figures that truly represent your style and personality. Let's get started!

Choose the right vinyl figures

Before you can bring your creative vision to life, you need to find the perfect blank canvas— that's where the right vinyl figure comes in. But with so many options available, how do you choose? Here are a few things to consider:

Size Matters

First off, let's talk about size. Vinyl figures come in all shapes and sizes. From petite 3-inch figures to towering 9-inch ones, the choice is yours! If you're just starting out, a medium-sized figure—around 5 inches—might be the way to go. They're easy to handle and have enough surface area for you to flex your creative muscles. But remember, the size of your personalized vinyl figure should match your comfort level and the complexity of your design.

Brand and Quality

You're about to invest time and effort into creating a personalized vinyl figure that's uniquely you. It only makes sense to start with a high-quality figure. Brands like Funko Pop, Kidrobot, and Munny are well-known for their top-notch vinyl figures. These brands offer figures that are smooth, well-shaped, and durable— perfect for your customization projects.

The Right Shape

Last but not least, consider the shape of the vinyl figure. Some figures have more intricate shapes, with detailed features and accessories. Others are more basic, with simple, rounded shapes. For beginners, a figure with a simple shape might be easier to work with. As you gain more experience, you can explore figures with more complex shapes and details. The key here is to choose a figure that complements your design ideas and allows you to fully express your creativity.

Choosing the right vinyl figure is your first step towards creating a masterpiece. So take your time, explore your options, and choose a figure that resonates with you. Remember, the best personalized vinyl figures are born out of love, creativity, and a whole lot of fun!

Select your design and colours

Now that you have your perfect vinyl figure, it's time to plan the design. This is where your creativity truly comes into play. But don't worry, you don't need to be a Picasso or a Van Gogh to create stunning personalized vinyl figures. Here are a few steps to guide you in selecting your design and colours:

Sketch out your design

Start by sketching your design on paper. This doesn't have to be a masterpiece—it's just a rough guide to help visualize your ideas. Play around with different design elements. Do you want to paint a face on your figure? Or maybe you prefer a pattern, like polka dots or stripes? Whatever your style, sketching out your design will give you a clearer picture of what you want your vinyl figure to look like.

Pick a colour scheme

Next, it's time to pick your colours. Here's a tip: Stick to a colour scheme. You can go for complementary colours, analogous colours, or even a monochromatic scheme. The key is to pick colours that work well together and match the mood you want for your figure. For example, if you're creating a superhero-themed vinyl figure, bold, bright colours might work well. On the other hand, for a fantasy-themed figure, you might opt for more muted, dreamy colours.

Prepare your tools

Finally, gather your tools. You'll need paintbrushes in various sizes, and acrylic paints in your chosen colours. Why acrylic paints, you ask? They're easy to use, dry quickly, and are great for beginners. You can also mix them to create custom colours—perfect for adding a unique touch to your personalized vinyl figures.

Remember, the goal is to have fun and express your creativity. There's no right or wrong way to design your vinyl figure. So let your imagination run wild and create a design that truly reflects you. After all, that's the beauty of personalized vinyl figures—you're the artist, and the possibilities are endless!

How to prepare vinyl figures for painting

Alright, you've selected your design and your colours. Now, before you dive in with your paintbrushes, there's one crucial step you need to take—preparing your vinyl figure for painting. This ensures your paint adheres properly, and your final product looks polished and professional. Here's how to do it:

Clean your vinyl figure

First things first, you need to clean your figure. You might be thinking, "But it's brand new, why should I clean it?" Well, even new vinyl figures might have dust or oils that can affect your paint job. So, grab a mild soap and a soft cloth, and gently clean your figure. Rinse it thoroughly and let it dry completely before moving to the next step.

Sand your figure (if necessary)

Depending on the finish of your vinyl figure, you might need to sand it. If your figure has a glossy finish, lightly sanding it with fine-grit sandpaper can help the paint adhere better. But be gentle—you don't want to scratch your figure! If your figure has a matte finish, you can usually skip this step.

Apply a primer

Finally, apply a primer. This is a special type of paint that helps your regular paint stick to the vinyl figure. There are many types of primers available, like spray primers or brush-on primers. Pick one that you're comfortable using. Apply a thin, even layer of primer to your figure, and let it dry completely before you start painting.

Preparing your vinyl figure for painting might seem like a lot of work, but trust me, it's worth it. By taking the time to properly prepare your figure, you're setting yourself up for success. Your paint will adhere better, your colours will pop, and your personalized vinyl figures will look more professional.

The art of painting on vinyl

Now that your vinyl figure is thoroughly prepared, we can move on to the exciting part—painting. This is where your vision for your personalized vinyl figures comes to life. But before you start, let's go over a few things to keep in mind:

Choose the right paint

Not all paints work well on vinyl. Acrylic paint is usually your best bet—it adheres well, dries quickly, and comes in a wide variety of colours. Plus, it's water-soluble, so you can easily clean your brushes (and any accidental spills) with water. When choosing acrylic paint, look for one that's highly pigmented for vibrant, opaque colour.

Use the right brushes

The type of brush you use can dramatically affect the look of your paint job. For large areas, use a flat brush. For smaller details, a fine tip brush is your friend. And remember, always clean your brushes thoroughly after each use to keep them in top shape.

Paint with precision

When painting your personalized vinyl figures, patience is key. Start with a base coat, let it dry, then add your details. Remember to let the paint dry completely between each layer to prevent smudging or blending of colours.

Painting on vinyl is truly an art. It allows you to create unique, personalized vinyl figures that reflect your personality or interests. And the best part? There's no right or wrong way to do it. As long as you're happy with the result, that's all that matters. So go ahead—grab your brushes and paints, and let your creativity shine!

Protect your work with sealant

After all your hard work painting your personalized vinyl figures, the last thing you want is for the paint to chip or fade. That's where sealant comes in. Applying a coat of sealant to your figure can help protect the paint and keep your design looking fresh and vibrant for longer. So, how do you go about doing this? Let's break it down.

Selecting Your Sealant

There are many types of sealants available, but for vinyl figures, a clear acrylic spray sealant is often the most effective. It provides a strong, clear coat that doesn't distract from your design. When buying your sealant, look for one that's non-yellowing to ensure it won't affect the colours of your paint over time.

Applying The Sealant

When it comes to applying the sealant, less is more. Start with a light coat, holding the spray can about 12 inches away from the figure. Let that coat dry completely, then, if needed, apply another light coat. Make sure you're in a well-ventilated area, and protect your workspace from overspray.

Let it Dry

After you've applied the sealant, you'll need to let it dry completely before handling your figure. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on the type of sealant and the number of coats you applied. Be patient—it's worth the wait!

And there you have it: a complete guide to protecting your personalized vinyl figures with sealant. By taking this extra step, you can ensure your work of art will remain just as vibrant and beautiful as the day you painted it. Happy creating!

If you enjoyed learning about personalizing vinyl figures and want to explore related techniques, check out the workshop 'Digitising Handmade Illustrations' by Jola Pictures. This workshop will teach you how to bring your vinyl figure designs to life by digitizing your handmade illustrations, allowing you to create unique and personalized works of art.