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Upcycling for Good

Paint a suitcase

Turn an old suitcase into a glossy glam decorative piece!

Resene upcycling for good with Sarah Herring - Project 01

Finished painted suitcase

You will need: Testpot brushes, Detail brushes, Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer, Resene testpots in your choice of colours; Sarah used Resene Green Pea, Resene Palm Green, Resene Witch Haze, Resene Suzie Q and Resene Pale Rose, Resene Aquaclear Gloss (optional) Twine.

Tips and tricks: To protect your paintwork, and for an extra glossy finish, you might like to apply a few coats of Resene Aquaclear to finish.

Prior to refinishing Before
Finished projectFinished suitcase
Finished painted suitcaseFinished suitcase
Step 1
Step one
Step 1
Step one contd.
Step 2
Step two

Step one: Clean and check your item in case any repairs are needed. Make sure you clean off any dust that could affect your paint application. Once clean, apply one coat of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer all over the suitcase to prepare it for painting. Leave to dry.

Step two:  Once the Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer is completely dry, apply three coats of Resene Lustacryl White to the main top and bottom surfaces of the suitcase. Allow to dry.

Step 3
Step three
Step 4
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Step five

Step three: Apply two coats of Resene Lustacryl Black to the centre panel of the suitcase. Using your testpot brush, cut in to the white to get a nice clean line. If you find this a bit tricky, try using masking tape or a detail brush.

Step four:  Once all the paint is dry, take a large dinner plate or similar and use it to draw a pencil circle in the middle of the top surface of the suitcase.

Step 5
Step five contd.
Step 5
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Step five: Using the circle as a guide, paint a floral wreath design using Resene testpots in your choice of colours; Sarah used Resene Green Pea, Resene Palm Green, Resene Witch Haze, Resene Suzie Q and Resene Pale Rose. Apply one colour at a time, and gradually complete your wreath with leaves, vines and flowers. Don’t try to make it perfect, the more carefree the better. Tip – it can be fun to swirl two colours together when painting flowers, give it a go!

Step six: To complete the whimsical look of the suitcase, wrap some twine around the handle. Place your completed suitcase on display in your home, take it on picnics, or use it to store books or toys.

Suitcase detail
Painted flowers
Detail of design
Detail of design
Detail of design
Detail of handle

Upcycling for Good

You can find a huge range of treasures, from ornaments and picture frames, to furniture and toys at your local Salvation Army store that you can easily upcycle with a little Resene paint and some imagination.

"Our Family Stores are full of treasures generously donated by members of the public. We value these donations and try our hardest to re-purpose and sell as much as possible. We’re all about re-using and recycling, so teaming up with Resene on Upcycling for Good was a perfect match. Resene’s products and tips are a natural fit with our pre-loved furniture and accessories, which are usually great quality but could sometimes do with a lick of paint to ensure they fly off the shelves.

Each year, nationally, our stores save 16,000 tonnes from landfill. This initiative increases the value of the donated product, improves the range of goods for our customers, and furthers The Salvation Army’s mission and Resene’s community activity.” Gareth Marshall, The Salvation Army's National Family Store Manager.

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.