Artful Storage: Retro to Romance Suitcase Makeover

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Old suitcases make wonderful and unique storage pieces for anything from craft supplies to treasured mementos. With a little imagination and a few art supplies, they can be as beautiful as they are useful! I have painted many vintage suitcases and trunks over the years, most of which I have shared with you here. This time I decided to forgo my standard striped luggage look for a more artistic, romantic style. After all, what could be better than a beautiful piece of art that doubles as storage?

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This makeover started with 2 coats of Antoinette. Once the paint was completely dry, it was time to get artsy!

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I love this Floral Scroll stencil from Artisan Enhancements! Artisan stencils are unique in that they are cut on a thicker, heavier stock which makes them great for creating raised relief designs with products such as VP Antico, Fine Stone and Pearl Plaster. For this finish, I chose VP Antico, a synthetic polishing plaster by Artisan Enhancements with a neutral base.

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After attempting and failing at creating stencil reliefs with everything from trowels to kitchen spatulas I finally discovered this fabulous tool called a color shaper from Artisan Enhancements! It works beautifully for pushing thick product through stencils!

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I started by taping the stencil into place with a few pieces of painter’s tape. And yes, I cut a couple of corners off of my stencil! It was necessary in order to work around the handle and closures of the suitcase and still be able to lay the stencil flush against the surface. I scooped some of the VP Antico product out onto a plate and gave it a good stir before slathering it over the stencil with my color shaper. This product reminds me of a very thick frosting, and applying it feels a bit like frosting a cake. Depending on how thickly you apply it, it can take up to a couple of hours to dry completely. I find that this works to my advantage because it gives me time to fix any smudges and even enhance and manipulate the design a bit.

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While the product was still pliable, I used my small paint brush to add a little texture to the design and give it a more custom look.

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Because I have little patience and always seem to be pressed for time, I hit my VP Antico designs with a blow dryer to speed things along. I knew this would create a little bit of crackling and I welcomed the additional texture! Within a few minutes, the reliefs were rock hard and I was ready to move onto the next step!

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Scumble by Artisan Enhancements is a tintable glaze like product. I mixed approximately 1 part Coco to 4 parts Scumble to create a soft brown glaze that I then stippled onto my paint surface with a small sea sponge. I love the silky finish this product has as it dries.

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The Coco Scumble mix really gave my paint finish the antiqued look I was going for, but I wasn’t done with it quite yet!

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I mixed a second Scumble concoction, this time with Old White and applied it over top the Coco glaze.

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On the right you can see how the Old White Scumble mix lightened the overall look and gave it another layer of dimension and complexity.

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Once I was happy with the new finish on my suitcase and the Scumble glaze was completely dry (less than 20 minutes!), I sealed it with Artisan Enhancement’s Clear Topcoat Sealer. This product is a No VOC, exterior grade sealer that dries to a matte sheen. I used my Topcoat Brush, also from Artisan Enhancements to apply a thin layer over the entire suitcase. Artisan Enhancements recommends waiting 24 hours before applying a second thin layer for optimum protection.

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The little Samsonite plaque above the suitcase handle popped off easily with a small screwdriver and I happened to have this label frame from the craft store which seemed to be the perfect replacement. After sifting through some old ephemera for inspiration, I found the word “gratitude” in an old Hymnal and cut it out to put inside the frame. It wasn’t the word I thought I was looking for but somehow it worked for me. I like it!

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Who knew an old, discarded suitcase could be turned into something so lovely and useful? Think of the possibilities!

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I love that I was able to create this pretty piece on a stormy day in the comfort of my warm kitchen without exposing myself to any harmful toxins! Artisan Enhancements has a wonderful selection of No VOC artistic mediums to take your paint finishes to a new level without the harmful chemicals present in traditional products!

Disclosure: This is an Artisan Enhancements sponsored post, however the opinions and ideas expressed here are mine and I will only ever promote products that I enjoy using and feel may benefit my readers.
~Amanda Bachelder

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2 thoughts on “Artful Storage: Retro to Romance Suitcase Makeover

    • Hi Marie. We apologize for the delayed response. We do not have retail prices for the stencils on this site. The prices vary with each retailer who sells our products. If you are looking to have them shipped, we can help you coordinate with the right retailer.

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