The painting starts with colouring various body parts. For a few toys, wood primer is first applied before colouring. There are three kinds of paints being used - oil, vegetable dyes and enamel. Oil paints are used for regular toys, vegetable dyes for export quality toys and enamel paints on pieces created for special occasions. A coat of linseed oil is given to toys painted with vegetable colours to make them waterproof.
In earlier times, artisans used vegetable colours which involved a lengthy process for its extraction. Later on, chemical colours came into use, which was found to be dangerous if consumed accidentally and so their use was discontinued. These vegetable colours are prepared by the artisans themselves from locally available materials which are extracts of plants like Karakkai, Moduga etc.