DIY Painted Vintage Suitcase

March 18, 2013

I recently saw a fabulous vintage suitcase do-over.  It had bold stripes painted across it and I loved it! 

It got me thinking and googling.... googling and thinking. 
And here's another one I drooled over from The Concrete Cottage.

Dontcha just love those colors?

And here's another one.


So, my wheels started turning and my thoughts went to a small vintage suitcase I had just picked up at Goodwill for $1.99.  It's not even a suitcase, really. I think it was actually an album case.  I found a sticker inside it that looks like it might have come from a music store.  I guess I'll never know for sure.  All I do know is that it's definitely old.

I figured it could stand a bit of work.  So I literally scrubbed it clean and decided on a color and pattern for the paint.

My original idea was to recreate a grainsack pattern, but that idea went downhill pretty fast when I realized that the width of the stripes would have to be fairly substantial in order for it to be proportioned correctly on the case. But fat stripes wouldn't really look like a grainsack, now would it?  So I compromised.  I used the paint color I had originally planned to use, but I made the stripes fatter than you would find on a grainsack.  I left that paint job for another day (and a textile of some sort, like a pillow).

Out came the acrylic paint (49 cents at Hobby Lobby), masking tape ($1.00 a roll at Dollar Tree), painter's tape (already had) and a small paint roller (two for $1.00) that I got from Dollar Tree.

I taped the stripes off at 2, 1 and 1/2 inch respectively, with 3/4 of an inch between each stripe.

       I marked the stripes off with masking tape and then added some painter's tape to the sides of that so there would be some extra room on each side of the stripe for the roller.

I just placed the tape in one continuous line all the way around the case.

Here it is after I painted the first stripe but before I peeled off the tape.

And here it is finished.

I wasn't thrilled with the lack of crispness (there was some bleeding) but hey, I think it all adds to the vintage charm!  And I think it was a nice trial of sorts for me.  In other words, vintage suitcases, look out!  I think it would be fun to paint the stripes in two complimentary colors.  And there's always that good old standby - white!

I also wrapped the handle in jute since it was looking a bit too new (once I scrubbed it clean!) if you know what I mean.  I think it added just the right touch.  And I can always take it off if I change my mind.


And now I get to sit back and admire my handiwork.  And decide how to take advantage of it's other benefit -- hidden storage!

I'm an official vintage suitcase addict now. 
You can see my madness on my
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Leave a Comment!

bahar006 said...

I love vintage suitcases and they make the house look beautiful. Your suitcase is so pretty, like the color:)

Donna Wilkes said...

It is a record album case. You did a great job with the stripes and the wrapped handle.

Betsy @ Anna Nimmity said...

This looks great! If it really is a record case, I need to find one of these for record storage! I didn't even know they existed!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Love this look Kathleen! I'm hooked on suitcases and cases of any kind these days, so good for storage. Thanks for sharing. said...

Newest follower here! I found you through the blog hop, you have a wonderful blog! You can find me at

-Melanie @

Ann said...

Love what you did with your case. The handle wrap is really nice.

Art and Sand said...

How fun! I clicked on your post at the party because of the suitcases. My husband keeps bumping into a glass top table in the living room and wants a "redo". I was thinking a stack of suitcases or maybe a stack of baskets might be in order.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

So pretty! Love the color and the jute handle was an inspired idea!

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