Introduction: Restoring a Drawing Mannequin

Picture of Restoring a Drawing Mannequin

When I was in college, I had a good friend who was an art major. She had a wooden drawing mannequin and with it she could make the most amazing drawings of people. It always amazed me how such a simple tool could make something so intricate. So when I saw a drawing mannequin that had been vandalized by some kids at a thrift store, I had to save it. I may not be an artist, but I still appreciate these for what they can help create and wanted to give this one a second chance.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

To give this mannequin the new life it deserves, you are going to need a few supplies.

• Course sandpaper
• Fine Sandpaper
• Rotary Sanding tool
• Masking Tape
• Paint/ Stain

Step 2: Sanding the Head

Picture of Sanding the Head

I first wanted to tackle the head of the mannequin since it had the most markings. As you can see it was not only painted but also was drawn on with marker. To remove both, I started out by removing as much as possible with the rotary tool and the course sandpaper. This was able to remove the paint fairly easily but the marker had been absorbed into the wood and was a bit more stubborn. Originally, I would have liked to stain it but after some initial sanding attempts, I saw that it would need painting as the marker had seeped into the wood.

Step 3: Torso Touchup

Picture of Torso Touchup

While the head and the limbs got the worst of the decorating, there was just a little bit of paint on the shoulder. Using a little fit of fine sandpaper, it came off with minimal effort.

Step 4: Limbs

Picture of Limbs

This step took the longest out of the entire project. While the arm and leg sections were large, they also had some nice curvatures that I wanted to keep. In addition, the hands and feet made a particularly difficult task. Because of their small size and articulating joints, it was not possible to quickly remove the paint. As a result it took a lot of slow and precise sanding with both of sandpaper and the rotary tool. It is also noted that during this step, I removed the metal stand that held up the mannequin. In doing so it allowed me to get to the legs easier without the stand being in the way.

Step 5: The Base

Picture of The Base

As the base is also covered with the ugly paint I also wanted to repaint this is well. By unscrewing the base from the stand, it was very easy to remove the paint in preparation for its face lifts. Once it was removed, I placed a piece of sandpaper on a flat surface and sanded the base over it until the paint was removed.

Step 6: Painting

Picture of Painting

Once I was confident that I've gotten as much paint off as I was going to, re assembled the stands and covered it with masking tape for painting. that being completed, I took a can of black spray paint and covered the entire mannequin with two coats to ensure that I was completely covered. In between each coat however, I re-positioned the mannequin to ensure that all the joints or properly covered by paint. It is necessary to wait until the roads are dry in between re-positioning otherwise you'll get finger marks where you touched the mannequin.

Step 7: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up

After both coats of paint are completely dry you can remove the masking tape from the stand. You can now proudly use this as an intricate tool to assist you in your artwork or just as a decoration piece. It has gone from something that looks like it belongs in the trash, to having a chance at a new life. Thanks for reading.

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