Chalkboard DIY, Coldspring, crafting, Decorating, glazing

Painted Chalkboard Suitcases; Hitting the Motherlode

Recently I made painted a suitcasethen put a chalkboard on one side. The idea was from another blog, and I loved the idea. The Southern Belle wanted the suitcase so of course I gladly gave it to her. It is now in her home in Charlotte, North Carolina. I decided when I made the first suitcase that I wanted to make one for Sweet Amanda’s friend Molly. She has started a business doing hair and make up for weddings and photo shoots. A fun suitcase can hold her treasures she needs to take to the locations. MollyDo’s
Sweet Amanda recommended a Huntsville thrift store, but I had trouble being in town when it was open. I finally made it to town when it was open and I hit the jackpot! I found four suitcases that will work perfectly for a painted suitcase. The sides are hard, not sunken in, with very little texture, and a vintage shape. I went to the store with my social planner, Tanis and together we agreed that $5.00 each would be the most I would spend. I was thrilled when the lady at the register told me that they were going to be $ 2.00 each! No haggling required. I happily took them all to the truck.
Four suitcases meant I was going to have several projects to give as gifts. This is the perfect week because I have time on my hands and the winter usually makes me hibernate and grumpy.

Here all all four of them!

My plan for the four suitcases was: one for Molly, one for Sweet Amanda, one for my social planner, Tanis, and one for me!
The largest is going to Molly. I researched Molly’s business Facebook page for her logo. Using the colors of the logo and her design for inspiration I chose fuchsia as the color. Not a perfect match but fun and cheery like her.

For Sweet Amanda’s suitcase I decided that a light yellow color would be fun for her eclectic home. Tanis was easy. Her new home is going to have a barn red front door and there will be touches of red throughout. Red was the natural choice. Tanis chose Heritage Red in the Allen and Roth line at Lowe’s. I bet we find other uses for the paint.
Because each one is unique, I decided to try different types of paint to see what I like best on a suitcase: cans of spray paint for Molly and Sweet Amanda (two different types) and brush on paint for the others. (Two different brands.)
For my own suitcase, I chose my favorite off white color, Olympic cinnamon cake. It was on hand in the Garagemahal so no cost. The off white will work well at the city house and on the porch at Star Hill.

The weather did not cooperate the week after Christmas. I feel sorry for those of you who live where it gets really cold and stays that way. I had to spray paint inside the closed garage with a mask on and a preheated space. Yay for Hubby’s Christmas present, a propane heater! I had nothing but problems with Sweet Amanda’s suitcase. The yellow Fusion paint did not cover well, it took a second can. I could not find an exact match so I decided to do something different with the two colors; I taped off a pattern on the front. I really liked the result but it took forever to dry- like hours, then a small disaster… the suitcase fell over. It took some touch ups, but the end result was great. Not a fan of the Fusion paint. Mark that one off my list.

My social planner, Tanis, pitched in to help. It was NOT that cold in the Garagemahal, I promise!


Molly’s suitcase painted like a charm. I am a fan of the Valspar paint + primer spray paint. It even said on the front of the can good for metal, plastic or wood. Go to Lowe’s and snatch up this paint. Less than $4.00 a can, great coverage, and a ton of colors. I will definitely use it again.

For the other suitcases I had to paint first with bonding primer then wait for the paint to dry then I brush painted them. It took a lot of work, and tim due to the drying time between coats but I think I like the brushed on, vintage quality. The next time I am going to use Annie Sloan’s.

I did learn a few things from the first suitcase that made the process go a little quicker and will hopefully make them last a little longer. I taped off the hardware including the bottom hinges, used my trusty liquid sand on the outside do each piece, then primed the brush on paint with a bonding primer.
I painted Molly’s handle yellow. I like the contrast but did not like how hard it was to cover. I will be wrapping the handle with twine next week. Tanis’ suitcase needs some touch ups. The chalkboard paint peeled off with the tape in one spot. Boo!

I glazed my suitcase and roughed it up. I liked the old quality.
All of the suitcases will look better with age, dings and time.
Here are the finished projects. I love them. I hope that the recipients like them too.