have suitcase, will travel.

I really didn’t mean to have a ‘suitcase’ theme lately, but I seem to have been on a suitcase painting frenzy.

In addition to the two thrifted suitcases I brought home a week or two ago (I shared one of them last week), I also had a third suitcase waiting in the wings.  This is one that I shared a while back when my picker, Sue, found it for me.

I took into Reclaiming Beautiful to sell ‘as is’, and guess what?  It didn’t sell.

I wasn’t really surprised because this style of suitcase doesn’t appeal to many.  It was nice quality though, so I thought it was worth a shot.  But it hadn’t sold after months and months, so I brought it back home to give it a paint job.

When re.design with prima sent me some of their brand new 2020 transfers they included this one called Spring Flowers.

Wouldn’t that one on the lower right be perfect for a piano!

Anyway, it turned out that these were the just the right size for the suitcase from my picker.  So I chose the one on the bottom left to use on it.

I started out by painting it in Dixie Belle’s Sea Glass.  Once it was totally dry (I usually wait overnight) I applied the transfer and then distressed the edges of the case.  Then I added a thin coat of clear wax.

Super simple.  But so pretty.

The second thrift store suitcase was the same style, but a bit larger.

The makeover of this one could have been just as simple as the Sea Glass one, but oh no.  I decided to switch horses mid-stream, as you’ll see in a minute.

First I decided to use the top half of the Fresh Flowers transfer on it, the part with the pick up truck.

I had used the bottom half on a table last summer …

so I was waiting for something to come along that would be perfect for the top half.

I thought painting the suitcase black would be the perfect choice to work with that black pick up truck.  So, I started by painting the suitcase in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  The transfer itself is one solid sheet, but it’s not completely opaque.  So the color behind it will impact how it looks and I felt like black would be too dark.  Therefore I measured out where the transfer would go and painted just that area in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth (a creamy off-white).  Once dry, I applied the transfer.

Then I took a step back and looked at it.  Nope.  It wasn’t working for me at all.  I should have taken a photo, but it was evening and I didn’t have good light.

It’s possible someone else would have loved it, but I didn’t.

I decided it would look so much better if the whole thing was painted in Drop Cloth.

This project would have been SO much simpler had I just painted it Drop Cloth to begin with.  Instead I had to carefully paint around the transfer with two coats of paint.

In the end, I love how it turned out, but it could have been so much easier.

Not only did I have to go back to the drawing board while painting this one, I also had to start over not just once, but twice when trying to photograph it.  I felt like the first two attempts just didn’t do the suitcase justice.

I ended up setting up some garden themed staging just to create a backdrop for the suitcase.

Talk about overkill.

But, it was fun.  I love dreaming about gardening in the middle of January, don’t you?

I think I’m done painting suitcases for a while now.

On another note, by now you guys must be wondering ‘is Quandie ever going to paint another piece of furniture instead of all of these smalls?’

And the answer is yes!

I gave myself a bit of a break from the larger pieces over the holidays.  Then I got on a roll trying to finish up a bunch of smaller things that had accumulated over the course of last year’s garage sale season.  But I’ve been missing the furniture too.

First I had to find some though.  So over the last week or so Mr. Q and I brought home four pieces of furniture.  Here’s a couple of them …

I’ve also brought home another bed that my handyman Ken is working on turning into a bench.

The fourth piece is a dresser that I’m painting as part of a collaboration between the re.design with prima design team and a paint that I’ve never used before, Amulent Decor Paint from The Chippy Barn.

So, be sure to stay tuned, I’ll definitely have a few furniture makeover posts to share in the coming weeks.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co and re.design with prima for providing the products used on the two suitcases I shared today.

24 thoughts on “have suitcase, will travel.

  1. Do you HAVE to clean the furniture before painting it with Dixie Belle? I love the simplicity of ASCP and the non-cleaning aspect! Can’t wait to see what you do with the dressers, but oh, that one….unless it was really messed up that we can’t see, I couldn’t do it myself! (paint, that is 🙂 )


    1. No, you don’t HAVE to clean before painting with Dixie Belle. I think it’s very comparable to ASCP in that regard. But I prefer to clean my pieces. It can be fairly disgusting to see how filthy the water gets after using it to clean something, even when you can’t really see dirt on the surface. I use TSP Substitute in a spray bottle that I get at my local DIY store. I spray it on lightly, then wipe with a clean, wet rag. Takes less than five minutes to do, and it just seems more hygienic to me even if it isn’t totally necessary for the paint job.


  2. I love both suitcases. I have been looking at that old truck w/flowers transfer for months, but haven’t found the right piece to put in on. I’m counting the days until spring! Thank you for your inspiration and entertainment until we get there!! January and February and a little slow for me!!


    1. I usually find it difficult to get through November and December. Those months are just very dreary here, and the days just keep getting shorter and shorter. I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel by the end of January. Days are starting to lengthen just a bit and there is more sunshine (although they can be bitter cold). Spring will be here before we know it 🙂


  3. OMG !!!! I am in LOVE !!! I have that same suitcase along with about 12 more. I can see I will be ordering more transfers soon.
    Thanks again for your wonderful ideas.


  4. Lovely, lovely project. But I’m not going to lie – finding out that you, too, sometimes change your mind on paint color mid-project may have been my favorite part of this post. . 🤦🏼‍♀️
    I mostly paint smalls at the moment (serving trays are my latest kick) and have repainted the outside portion on my last 2 trays because I wasn’t loving my initial choice once I completed a blend on the flat (serving portion?) of both. Just yesterday I mixed up palmetto & antebellum blue and painted over the plain palmetto sides with an artist brush – because of course I did. It’s what all sane woman do, right? lol But now i’m happy with how she looks and will be adding a transfer today. I hope she looks as nice as your suitcases. 🤞🏼


    1. LOL, yep, I’ve repainted my fair share of items. Over the years I have found that I’m just happier if I bite the bullet and repaint rather than trying to make an off color choice work. I just ordered some Antebellum myself and am looking forward to giving that color a try!


  5. YOU are TOO AWESOME for WORDS. I live for your emails! As well as painting things at least three times before I am satisfied. I appreciate knowing someone as gifted as yourself has “those” episodes too. The highlight of last week? (that I am still laughing about and showing everyone) was Mr. Q’s comment on the “crotch crown”. I love your life and I love your work. 🙂


  6. Oh Miss Quandie, I LOVE seeing your smalls! A dollar bill is one thing, a dollar in change makes it seem like you have more! Wish I could find such cool things around here 😉 I’m curious, does Sue just love to go thrifting and funnel her finds to you or is a “picker” an official position?


  7. I always love your work and the detailed information you provide to us rookies. I’m anxiously looking forward to what you do with the Empire dresser. I have an Empire given to me several years ago by a family friend and in several of my previous homes it worked out great. But right now it just doesn’t seem to fit in any of my rooms and I can’t bear to paint it. I wish there were some other options for beautiful antique wooden/veneer furniture. Maybe it just needs to be cleaned well – what would you use to clean an Empire Dresser whose veneer is in pretty good shape but the finish now looks very orangey and dark?? Thanks, Rhonda Spence


    1. There are definitely other options for you than painting your piece. Let me start by saying you aren’t going to get rid of the orangey darkness by cleaning alone. If you really want to put in some time, I’d suggest stripping your piece and refinishing it with a white wax. That way you can still admire the wood grain, but lighten your piece up a bit. Check out this piece by Cindy at Redesigned Space. It’s partially painted, with just one drawer front and the top refinished. That’s a great solution if you don’t want to strip the entire piece. You could also paint the body and strip and wax/stain all of the drawer fronts. It’s not terribly difficult to strip and stain flat surfaces like drawer fronts.


  8. I love how your suitcases turned out! And I can’t wait to see your upcoming furniture projects. You always inspire me!


  9. I love your suitcases but i don’t understand how you painted Drop Cloth over the Midnight Sky. I assume it was just around the edges. They are awesome but i cannot wait to see what you do with your new pieces. Cannot wait to see this new paint i have never heard of. thank you for your inspiration.


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