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I've purchased a few of the Lego keychain minifigs. Each time I've bought a new one was to replace the previous one because it had most or all of the paint rubbed off from going in and out of pockets and whatnot.

Here is my most recent example of the wear on my minifig keychain. Worn minifig keychain

You can see that the mouth is almost completely missing.

Is there something that I can do to protect the paint and keep it from rubbing off?

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    I was going to say don't keep them in the same place as your keys but I realise how stupid that sounds. I'm just curious, do you know what Minifigure it is? – Ambo100 Dec 17 '14 at 20:13
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    Yep, I have to say I've resigned myself to replacing my keychains every year or so as they tend to lose their hands and printing. – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Dec 17 '14 at 22:13
  • I actually lost a hand on this one and then my wife mysteriously found it in the back seat of her car a few months later. It's a shame they have to be replaced instead of just 'retired'. – Matthew Green Dec 17 '14 at 22:26
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This guide here in the BrickJournal magazine has a section titled "Step Three: Protecting Your New Figure – Application of a clear top coat". It recommends Future’s floor wax or Badger overcoats and discourages the use of nail polish due to its tendency to yellow when exposed to sunlight.

They suggest applying two layers, each dried with a hair dryer to achieve a smooth, bubble-free surface.

Admittedly, these instructions are for display models, not figures that are going to endure the wear during play or everyday carrying along several keys, but these layers can be reapplied when they are damaged and will protect the figure and its paint while the overcoat is intact.

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zovits recommends not using nail polish. I once had a chipped tile floor that I painted with nail polish. It stayed looking good for over 5 years. This was in a high-traffic part of my kitchen. The polish stayed shiny and prevented the tile from chipping further.

I suspect that a keychain probably isn't going to be sitting in the sun too much, but even so, the ABS plastic will discolour anyway, irrespective of the nail polish.

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I would think a clear coat of paint would protect it fairly well, until the clear coat rubs off, so you may need to reapply periodically or apply multiple coats. Just make sure whatever you use is approved for plastics and it should work fine.

A thin coating should still allow most of the joints to work, if that isn't a requirement you could apply a thicker coating of a clear epoxy.

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    Have you tried something like this? I figured this would be the answer but I was hoping to hear something a little more definitive with relation to using on a minifig of some kind. – Matthew Green Dec 18 '14 at 21:45
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http://www.customminifig.co.uk/custom-lego-painting-guide/

Here's someone that paints legos. The seal they use should work for you. You would probably apply more coats for more protection. -Linnea

  • Tip: You should include the name of the sealer in your answer in case the link ever breaks. – David Lechner Oct 29 '16 at 0:46

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