Thursday, October 23, 2014

Artful Storage: Retro to Romance Suitcase Makeover

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?

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

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. 
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! 

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.  As soon as I had covered the stencil evenly with the VP product, I lifted the stencil straight up to reveal my beautiful raised design!  Depending on how thickly you apply the VP Antico, 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.

 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.

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!
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.
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!

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

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. 

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

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!

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

Thank you so much for your visit today!
Best Wishes and Blessings,
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.

Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 





Nellie's Cozy place said...

Wow, what a beauty...........she really came out so charming and romantic. I have 2 old samsonite pcs.
just like her in cream, that I store my Fall decorations in..............will be thinking about where I might
can use them in my house, and do something pretty to them. I am sure gratitude fit, cause you were
so grateful for how lovely she
Great are very talented.

Blessings, Nellie

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words, Nellie! It's a pleasure to hear from you! Great idea to store seasonal décor in suitcases! If you decide to paint yours, have fun with it and send me photos!

Shabby chic Sandy said...

This is awesome! So the product you used is different from the fine stone we used in class? I think they both look great. I can't wait to find a project to use my fine stone on. I think all of us Oregonians have the same idea--this rain is making for perfect working on projects weather :) Thanks for sharing this beautiful storage/suitcase!

Susan Stillwell said...

This is SO beautiful! I have seen some raised stencil-like texture on some pieces recently and wondered how they did that. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tutorial and lovely artwork!

sissie said...

Amanda, This is fantastic. I've painted many suitcases but none have ever looked as beautiful as this one. I'll have to try this method.


A Joyful Cottage said...

This is gorgeous. I love it! ~ Nancy

Amanda said...

Hi Sandy! Yes, the VP Antico is a smooth product, and thicker than the Fine Stone but can be used the same way with the stencil. I can't wait to see what you do with the Fine Stone! This is great project weather, isn't it? I love it! Have a wonderful weekend!

Amanda said...

Thank you, Susan! Nice to hear from you! Have a great weekend!

Amanda said...

Hi Sissie! Lovely to hear from you! I know that all of your painted suitcases have turned out beautiful as well! Definitely try the VP Antico! You will be hooked! Have a wonderful weekend!

Amanda said...

Thank you so much, Nancy! Have a wonderful weekend!

Maureen said...

It looks beautiful. I have some texture medium that I've been wanting to try and a suitcase calling my name!

Amanda said...

Thank you, Maureen! I hope you will share photos of your creations! Have fun!

Jamie @ Domestically Vintage said...

I love how pretty the paint and stenciling are on your suitcase. Amazing job as always! ~ Jamie

basi basilyus said...


Denise Biggins said...

Beautiful, Amanda! :)

The Charm of Home said...

That is beautiful!

RPK Interiors said...

Thank you sooooo much for this tutorial! I've been eyeing their products for a long time, but wasn't sure how to use them. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Curtains in My Tree said...

That is just plain fancy beautiful, you could sell those i'm sure


designgirl said...

Ok, that's just too cool! Now I'm
gonna have to try it on my walls!

Amanda said...

Thank you, Jamie! Always so sweet to hear from you!

Amanda said...

Thank you for your comment! :)

Amanda said...

Thank you, Denise!

Amanda said...

Thank you, Sherry!

Amanda said...

You are so welcome, Robin! Have fun! Happy creating!

Amanda said...

Thank you, Janice! I hope so!

Amanda said...

Thank you! Oh, would be stunning on a wall! Go for it! Send me photos!