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Custom MLP: Repaint Tutorial by The-Lancastrian Custom MLP: Repaint Tutorial by The-Lancastrian
Note: this is a HUGE picture. Download to see it full size.

Second Note: I use acrylic paint for this tutorial and all my ponies.

The second of my promised tutorials: how to do a full body repaint. This is how I take an already prepared pony bait and make it the color I want to work with. Quite honestly I find a full body repaint a bit of a hassle, but since Hasbro only makes certain colors of ponies it is a necessary thing. You can also dye a pony to make it a different color, but I don't know how to do that. Here's a good tutorial for dying if you're interested. [link]

If you want a tutorial on a specific aspect of customizing, please ask! I'll be hitting the major points (Bait prep, full body repaint, symbol painting, eye painting, rehairing), but anything else will only be posted if requested. Enjoy!

Bait Prep Tutorial: [link]


My Little Pony belongs to Hasbro.
Above tutorial and photography belong to S.A. Lancaster aka the-lancastrian
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:iconrainbowshine-mlp:
RainbowShine-Mlp Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
it's costum
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:iconluckykitten29:
luckykitten29 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Student Artist
don't forget a detail you must get a very light coloured pony to repaint it (like white it's perfect for any color)
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:iconemers909:
Emers909 Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Using this tutorial now! Thank you so much, also using it on the newest generation of ponies. I'm sure it will be the same ;) thank you for this amazing tutorial! I was about to just jump in and start painting.
Reply
:iconkawaiimizukicharms:
KawaiiMizukiCharms Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Hi, I'd to know what the acrylic selaer/varnish is called(The brand ) Please : )
Reply
:iconrosiegirl27:
RosieGirl27 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012
I think the first picture of the green and purple mlp's looks better than the others.
Reply
:iconpolaroiddestiny:
PolaroidDestiny Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! Without this, I would be just using paint, without water XD
Reply
:iconblairaptor:
Blairaptor Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I wouldn't have known to use thin layers. Thanks for the tip!
Reply
:iconrainbowfrosting:
RainbowFrosting Featured By Owner May 14, 2012
I got a Rainbow Dash pony from a blind grab bag and I wanted to repaint her hair. There's a huge green stripe at the top and I wanted to get rid of it. What paint would you recommend I use? I don't want it to look like I repainted it.
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:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner May 18, 2012
I'd still use water-based acrylics. If you're not going to seal it I'd use a more expensive artist brand as that will give you a similar glossy look to the paint it already has. If you seal it you can use whatever paint you want because the sealant will give the glossy look.
Reply
:iconrainbowfrosting:
RainbowFrosting Featured By Owner May 18, 2012
Thanks!
Reply
:iconthelittlemissus:
thelittlemissus Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the tutorials, they are super helpful! :D

However, if someone wanted to add a glossy topcoat / finishing coat, what kind would you recommend?
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012
I use a varnish made for use with acrylics - there's lots of choices if you go to an art supply store. I've also seen people use watered down mod podge and other glues.
Reply
:iconthelittlemissus:
thelittlemissus Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you very much! :)
Reply
:iconpurplemelons:
PurpleMelons Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012   Digital Artist
I've noticed that when painting, if you're lazy and only want one coat, you can use artist's acrylic paint that comes in little squeeze tubes. It makes the pony slightly tacky, but a couple coats of varnish will fix that.
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012
I've found that stuff will still show brush strokes with one non-thinnned coat, which I am not a fan of so it's not in my tutorial. Do you get visible brush strokes when you do it?
Reply
:iconpurplemelons:
PurpleMelons Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012   Digital Artist
Generally not, because I try not to use a thick coat. Sometimes they're slightly visible but pretty minor.
Reply
:icondemonneuro-of-hell:
DemonNeuro-of-Hell Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2012
Would this also apply to the G4 ponies? I have no idea if they're made of the same stuff.
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:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2012
Yep! They're made with the same materials, just smaller with slightly different head to body attachment.
Reply
:iconlightxd94:
lightxd94 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do youhave an eye paint tutorial
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2012
Yep, it's in my gallery.
Reply
:iconlightxd94:
lightxd94 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cool this I'm actually thinking about making a bubastis from watchmen ive taken a liking to her
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2012
Ooo, good luck! I'd love to see her when you finished.
Reply
:iconice-cream-dragon:
ice-cream-dragon Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Wow! Thank you so much for making these tutorials!!! I was wondering, I noticed that your ponies you painted have a gloss to them. Is there a way to get a matte paint job?
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011
The gloss is from the varnish I use to seal them. You can get matte varnish as well. Just make sure it's for acrylics.

Glad to help!
Reply
:iconice-cream-dragon:
ice-cream-dragon Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Thank you!!!
Reply
:iconequigoyle:
equigoyle Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What about using a sort of spray-on paint? Does that get a more even coat? Or is it preference?
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011
I've never used spray on paint, so I don't know how it would work. My worry is that most spray paints are enamels, which work differently than acrylic.
Reply
:iconequigoyle:
equigoyle Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I've never really used acrylics or enamels though, so may I ask what the difference is?
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:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011
The paints I use are water-based acrylics, which is a pretty basic kind of hobby paint. It has a non-acidic base and you can water it down easily. Enamels are basically nail polish. They dry with a hard shell and have to be thinned with acetone instead of water.

If you do some googling you'll find much better explanations on their differences. :)
Reply
:iconequigoyle:
equigoyle Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ah. I see. Thanks! :)
Reply
:iconx-seion-x:
X-Seion-X Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2011
Hi ^^
I'am costumizing a pony for the first time, I'am painting my pony in white and it is becoming to look very nice ^-^ but... I have a problem, there are now around 7 or 8 coats of paint on my pony, but now my pony is really sticky... because of the paint, but I used enough water so the paint was thin enough... but the many layers I paint the more sticky it becomes...
Did I do something wrong? Or do I need to use something after I finish painting all needed layers, like mod podge or so? Do I need to make it waterproof does that make the stickyness go away?
It is really annoying because I'am really far but that stickyness is bothering :S And I also tried several paints I had to clean the pony 3 times... and start all over again...
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011
What brand of paint are you using? Are you letting the pony dry fully between each coat?
Reply
:iconx-seion-x:
X-Seion-X Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2011
Thanks for replying ^^
Doesn't really have a brand it just says acrylic... but I think my home is damp... I tried with a hairdryer and it is less sticky, but when the warmth from the dryer is decreasing the pony gets sticky again...
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2011
I asked about brand because some brands have a stickier finish than others. In the future you might want to try Delta Creamcoat or Apple Barrel, as they dry with a non-shiny, non-sticky, almost chalk-like finish. They are also dirt cheap, which is nice.

Amount of paint could also be an issue - the thicker the paint the stickier the pony, generally.

To fix this particular pony, seal it when you're done. Acrylic varnish will lock in the paint, protect it from damage, and isn't sticky.

And yes, if you have high humidity that can definitely effect water-based acrylics. I believe sealant will fix that for you though.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this, and good luck! Let me know if anything helps.
Reply
:iconbluerage10:
bluerage10 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
i have a question do you know if this method would work for a monster high doll? please help.
Reply
:iconkappa-neko:
kappa-neko Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Student Digital Artist
All of your tutorials are so helpful! I was going to do a custom pony but had no idea where to start! This makes it so easy! :3
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2011
Glad I could help!
Reply
:iconwebecamethewolves:
Webecamethewolves Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thankyou! this has been very inciteful. I actually paint rubber ducks rather than MLP's but was wondering how to make the paint look as smooth as the MLP's I've seen around deviant. I always ended up with bumps and brushmarks D: But I'll definitely give the watery paint method a go. Thanks for the tips ;)
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2011
Sure, I hope it helps! And wow, customizing rubber duckies looks like so much fun. :D
Reply
:iconwebecamethewolves:
Webecamethewolves Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I've just uploaded my first duck using the style of painting you suggest in the tutorial and it looks so much smoother. Thankyouuuu! :dance:
I hope you don't mind but I've linked to the tutorial in my duck's description, so others can find your tutorial as useful as I did ;)
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011
I'm glad it helped and thanks for the link!
Reply
:iconhilson97:
Hilson97 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2011   General Artist
I've used this style so many times, it's allways great!

The only exception is over clay, but enough coats usually does it... (:
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2011
I tend to use thicker coats over clay, or use clay that's as close to the final color that I want. Otherwise you're right - white clay takes forever to paint! XD
Reply
:iconkibapuppypaws:
KibaPuppyPaws Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm just starting out with MLP customs. Is acrylic paint the best type of paint to use? And is that how the ponies go shiny when theyre dry? (I sound like a total nOOb...)
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2010
Yes, water based acrylic is very versatile and sturdy, and won't eat away at the vinyl the pony is made of. Some of the paint I use is quite shiny, but my shiniest ponies are the ones I sealed with acrylic sealer, which you can pick in varying levels of shiny to matte at any place that sells the paint.

Hey, we all start somewhere! I wasn't born knowing this stuff, although the person I learned it from may have been. ;) Welcome to the world of MLP customizing!
Reply
:iconkibapuppypaws:
KibaPuppyPaws Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Okey, thank you :3
Reply
:iconsasukeroxmysox2:
SasukeRoxMySox2 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
thats similar to what i now do, except i make up kinda thin pain and dip the pony right in and hang it up :D
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010
Interesting! How well does that work? Do you get any drips or streaks?
Reply
:iconsasukeroxmysox2:
SasukeRoxMySox2 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
No, suprisingly i didnt, you have to frequently take little drips of the hooves with a brush while its still wet, and sort of have to take any excess off around the nostrils and eyes and suff as i think maybe the paint was a little too think :D but it really coats the pony well! you should try it *thumbs up*
Reply
:iconthe-lancastrian:
The-Lancastrian Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2010
I will! Thanks for the tip.
Reply
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