Garage Sale Hard Body Suitcase French Inspired Makeover

August 08, 2022

Photo of three hard body suitcases.
I purchased these three suitcases at a garage sale for $10.

They are not really old, but they still can become fun decor pieces with a few supplies.

(When you click on the bold Amazon, Old Sign Stencils or Dixie Belle Paint Company affiliate links you will be taken to the products I used for this project. If you order it does not change the price or service at all. As an Amazon Affiliate, Old Sign Stencils Affiliate or Dixie Belle Paint Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Photo of hard body suitcase sprayed with primer.
After cleaning up the blue suitcase, I sprayed it inside and out with Painters Touch Flat White Primer.

Photo of inside of old suitcase removed.
Removing the quilted blue lining was pretty easy, however there was a lot of glue spots remaining on the inside.

Photo of old hard body suitcase with plastic lining removed.
I sanded the glue a bit, but decided it was too big of job for a decor suitcase.  No one will be packing clothing in it, so I decided to just make sure it was clean and painted. I store books, magazines and vintage linens in my old suitcases.

I painted the inside and outside with two coats of Dixie Belle Sawmill Gravy Chalk Paint. 

Dixie Belle describes Sawmill Gravy as "Sawmill Gravy is a smooth beige. Just like the delicious comfort food dish, this calming color has the warmth of brown mixed with the softness of white.  Sawmill Gravy is a versatile neutral that will make any space feel light and airy."

Photo of old suitcase being painted with chalk paint.
Here the top of the suitcase is painted with Sawmill Gravy and the bottom is just primed.

Photo of the French Inn Stencil taped on a suitcase.
Next I pulled out an older stencil from my bin.  This is a Decoart French Inn Stencil.  It fits the suitcase perfectly in size and theme.

Photo of a garage sale suitcase upcycled with paint, stencils, and rub and buff.
I swirled the stencil onto both sides of the suitcase using Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash.

Photo of a garage sale suitcase upcycled with paint, stencils, and rub and buff.
I rubbed Antique Gold Rub N' Buff on the metal suitcase hardware using a combination of my finger, a Qtip, and a cheap artist's brush.

I left the white primer paint showing through the gold in small areas. The gold finish appears a little scratched or worn.

Photo of a garage sale suitcase upcycled with paint, stencils, and rub and buff.
Like I said, besides being decorative, the suitcase can be used as storage too!

Photo of a garage sale suitcase upcycled with paint, stencils, and rub and buff.
I sprayed the exterior with Painters Touch Clear Matte Spray.

Thanks for reading my blog, Carlene

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  1. Very cute, Carlene. I have one or two old hard-sided suitcases that I could paint now that you've given me the idea. Also, I never thought of using them for storage, but I think that's a great idea! Thanks for the post!

    1. I really like them for my vintage linens! I have them on the floor and on shelves. Thanks Naomi!

  2. Wow! That came out so lovely!! - Briana from Texas


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