MH Removing Frankie’s Stitches or Toralei’s Stripes

This is a tutorial on removing all factory paint on the bodies of Monster High Dolls.

So the other day I bought my first Toralei and Frankie doll.
I was so excited to get started on customizing her. But when I tried removing Frankie’s stitches with nail polish remover, bad bad things happened. Using nail polish remover/ acetone for the vinyl heads of the dolls is fine, as long as you don’t soak it for long. But the plastic of the bodies isn’t nearly as strong. When doing faces, remember to rinse the face with water after using acetone, if needed also rinse between removing the makeup.
Learn more about why acetone eats plastic dolls but not it’s plastic bottle/container here.

I repeat; on the heads is fine, on the bodies… do so at your own risk. For Frankie, the nail polish remover started to melt her ankle. The remover I used was supposedly acetone-free, but it still melted. If it’s not acetone, they use a different solvent that does the same thing. That’s what nail polish remover is- a solvent for the chemicals in nail polish. What’s a solvent? “a liquid, solid, or gas that dissolves chemicals”. I used acetone nail polish remover on Toralei, and darker skinned doll’s plastic turned a blotchy lighter colour and changed the texture. If you are going to use it, do so carefully and sparingly.

NOTE: I’ve gotten 2 comments strongly expressing how they have had no problems using nail polish remover with frequent rinsing. I’m not going to say its not possible, I’m just going to say that I really don’t recommend it because it doesn’t seem to be worth the risk. Especially when there is a perfectly safe alternative. End rant.
Here are some examples of nail polish remover damage on the bodies:

Nail Buffer

So, on with how to remove them properly: The solution is simple: Nail Buffers, or sandpaper. Don’t know what nail buffers are? You can find them at your local drugmart in the nail section, just ask. They are rectangles with very fine sandpaper used for nails, and range in prices but mine was 5$ (Canadian, at Shopper’s Drugmart). Its worth it, filers are too rough and will leave scratches/rough surface.
Most of them come with more than one side, for mine it was labelled:

  • Contouring Side: Very rough sandpaper, use sparingly because it will take off a lot and leave scratches. Good for raised edges/seams.
  • Smoothing: Your main one, takes off the bulk of your stripe or stitch.
  • Buffing: Less grip then the smoothing one, takes longer to remove stripe. Good for finishing, removes dust and small scratches and makes it look smooth and professional.
  • Shining: Really does make it shiny, and new looking! Use at very end.

I got a second one recently that was not labelled, and had no contouring edge so I figured out what they were by touch and what it was doing to the doll.
It’ll take a little while, but just experiment and work with until you get every bit buffed out. This tool also works for sanding the edges/seams of the dolls. I’m sure you’ve noticed the factory imperfections on the dolls where arms or legs will have a thick seam of plastic. You can also buff off the panties texture on the dolls but that takes a very long time without using a mini mechanical sander.

Also, How to Remove Frankie’s Bolts: Pliers! Just grip and twist out. Does leave a hole, which you can seal up with air dry clay or apoxie (can be bought at most art or craft supply stores).

MHScreamQueen’s Youtube video on the removal, this is where we found our info before trying it ourselves. (Be warned, the process is not actually as instant as as shown there, but is definitely easy)
Taking Frankie’s Bolts out. A short clip

Here is our Toralei doll without her strips! You can see on her leg where the seam has been buffed and where it hasn’t. I also sanded over the acetone parts to remove the damage.

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One thought on “MH Removing Frankie’s Stitches or Toralei’s Stripes

  1. I’ve used “Crown” acetone (from the hardware section) and a cotton ball. Cleans the paint right off, then you wash the item with warm soapy water. Zero damage. The washing neutralizes acetone residue and also preps the plastic for painting. You should never soak plastic in the stuff, not even the vinyl heads. Soaking is totally the wrong way too use acetone. You can also use Denatured alcohol to remove the paint. It takes a little more elbow grease, but it won’t melt the plastic.

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