Unlike the painted toolboxes, which are a real hot item, my painted suitcases can be very hit or miss. I’ve painted quite a few suitcases in my day, you can check out most of them in this post from April 2021.
One of my favorite suitcases was this one …
Although I guess technically that one is not painted. I just added some I.O.D. transfers to it. It did sell really quickly though.
But lately my suitcases are mostly a miss, rather than a hit.
Last Christmas season I painted this one …
I loved how it turned out. But you know what? It didn’t sell.
I think it would be adorable just sitting under the tree, or maybe placed in your foyer to greet Christmas guests. As an added bonus, you could store Christmas ornaments in it when you pack it away with your decorations at the end of the season.
I still have it available if any of you locals are interested. It’s priced at $45.
More recently I painted this one …
This time I also spruced up the inside thinking maybe that would help sell it.
But last I checked, this one is still unsold (it’s at the shop where I sell on consignment).
It’s priced at only $35 if any of you locals are interested.
Due to lack of sales, I’ve placed a moratorium on bringing home any more vintage suitcases. Well … maybe I should clarify. The moratorium is on paintable suitcases. I’ll still grab fabulous vintage suitcases for my own non-collection.
However, I still have a couple of suitcases remaining in my ‘to be painted’ inventory including this one …
So decided to go ahead and get this one painted up.
This time I used Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth paint, and then I added I.O.D.’s June, Ode to Henry Fletcher transfer.
This was a super simple project. I just painted the suitcase, gave it a light sanding with 220 grit paper, added the transfer and then finished with a topcoat of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat.
Oh, and I did also sand over the transfer very lightly with 220 grit to give it a more worn appearance before applying the topcoat.
That is such a pretty transfer! The last time I used it was on this toolbox …
It sold really quickly and one of my regulars missed out on it. So when I finished up this suitcase, I shared it with her and she called dibs on it. So today’s suitcase is spoken for.
But I wonder if part of the reason the suitcases don’t normally sell as well as the toolboxes is because they are often musty inside. This one actually isn’t too smelly, but it is quite orange.
Here are some q tips for mitigating that ‘I’ve been closed up for 50 years’ smell.
no 1 – fill the suitcase with crumpled newspaper and close it back up for a week or so. The newspaper will absorb some of the odor. Repeat several times with fresh newspaper if necessary.
no 2 – throw a scented dryer sheet inside. Maybe pick a nice lavender scented variety.
no 3 – spray with Fabreeze.
no 4 – give the suitcase its day in the sun. Open it up and set it outside in a sunny spot to air out.
no 5 – if you’re really fancy, create your own lavender sachet to place inside the suitcase.
I’ve tried all of these options … well, except I’ve never made my own sachets. Usually I employ several of these options at once. But, I haven’t found a 100% fool-proof way of totally removing that musty-ness. Once the suitcase goes back to sitting around closed up all the time, it will likely return. For that reason, I use my own vintage suitcases to store things that won’t pick up odors like my glass tree toppers.
If nothing else, a suitcase like this one is just pretty to look at. You can put it at the foot of your bed, or next to your dresser, or anywhere really.
Do you have any tips on freshening up the inside of a suitcase? If so, please be sure to share them in a comment!