Unique Decor: How to Spray Paint a Suitcase

Add an accent piece that doubles as storage in two easy steps.
By: Alix Adams
DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

My mom is like a thrifting ninja. As she browses the flea market fields or scans second-hand store shelves, she always turns up with the best finds. And I’m not talking about the kind of finds your eccentric aunt brings you when she cleans out her attic. Nope, my mom will turn up with that last teacup to complete your set of thrifted China. She brings home the good stuff. A couple of years ago she gifted me an old Samsonite suitcase. As my nursery remodel came together I knew that the suitcase would soon find its home in that little girl’s room, but it looked pretty out of place amongst the white, yellow and coral nursery furniture. So I decided to paint it! Painting suitcases can kind of be tricky business, so let me share a few tips and tricks I learned along the way!

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase


  • (1) suitcase (or any piece of vinyl furniture or accessory that you want to paint)
  • (1) can of white spray paint (this will act as primer)
  • (2) cans of spray paint in the color of your choice (I chose metallic gold)
  • newspaper

Step One

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

The first step is to prime your suitcase with white spray paint. Covering the suitcase in white paint will help the colored paint go on more evenly, and it will have a brighter finish. When applying spray paint, lay your suitcase down on several sheets of newspaper in a well-ventilated area. Hold the spray paint can about 2 feet above the item you are spraying and begin spraying just off the suitcase. Then spray the suitcase back and forth, making sure to spray off the edges of the suitcase, which will help avoid any drips.  

Step Two

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

Once the white spray paint dries, apply the gold spray paint using the same technique. There were several detail areas around the locks and handle that I made sure were fully covered in paint as well. I added three coats of gold paint total to give it an even and vibrant metallic gold finish.

More Tips:

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

If you think the piece may need another coat of paint, then add the extra coat of paint! I am always more happy with a finished piece of painted furniture when it has a clean final coat of paint. Just make sure that you let every coat dry completely before you add another.

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

DIY Metallic Gold Suitcase

If you are looking for more even and smooth coverage, use spray paint. But if you want to use canned paint on a smooth surface like vinyl or waxed furniture, I would recommend using an oil-based primer can of paint for the first coat. Then you can use any water-based paint after that.

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