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What Type Of Paint Can Be Used On Old Samsonite Hardsided Luggage


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Lani Chalmers



Welcome to our comprehensive guide on painting old Samsonite hardsided luggage! If you have a classic piece of Samsonite luggage that has seen better days, giving it a fresh coat of paint can breathe new life into it and make it look brand new. Whether you’re a vintage luggage enthusiast or someone looking to update their old suitcase, this article will provide you with all the information you need to select the right paint and successfully transform your old Samsonite hardsided luggage.


Old Samsonite hardsided luggage is known for its durability and iconic design, but over time, the exterior coat of paint can become worn, faded, or scratched. Painting your old Samsonite luggage allows you to personalize it, restore its original appearance, or give it a unique and stylish makeover.


However, before you embark on this exciting project, there are a few important factors to consider. Choosing the right type of paint, proper preparation, and following the correct steps will ensure a successful and long-lasting paint job. In this guide, we will discuss these factors and provide you with a step-by-step process to achieve professional results.


Whether you’re planning to use your repainted Samsonite hardsided luggage as a stylish travel accessory or as an eye-catching piece of decor, let’s dive in and discover how you can transform your old Samsonite luggage with a fresh coat of paint!


Factors to Consider When Painting Old Samsonite Hardsided Luggage

Before you start painting your old Samsonite hardsided luggage, there are a few important factors to consider. These factors will help you choose the right paint and ensure a successful outcome. Let’s take a closer look at what you should keep in mind:

  1. Maintenance: Consider how much maintenance you are willing to put into your repainted luggage. Certain types of paint may require additional care or touch-ups over time, while others may be more durable and resistant to wear and tear.
  2. Surface Material: Determine the material of your Samsonite hardsided luggage. The type of paint you choose will depend on whether your luggage is made of plastic, fiberglass, or aluminum. Ensure you select a paint that is suitable for your luggage’s surface material to ensure proper adhesion.
  3. Flexibility: Keep in mind that hardsided luggage can experience some flexing during use or travel. Look for a paint that has some flexibility or is specifically designed for surfaces that may bend or flex to prevent cracking and peeling.
  4. Color Selection: Think about your desired color and finish for your repainted luggage. Consider whether you want a bold and vibrant color or a subtle and classic hue. Additionally, think about the durability of the paint color you choose to ensure it won’t fade or chip easily.
  5. Environment: Consider where you will be using your repainted luggage. If you frequently travel to humid or rainy climates, it’s essential to choose a paint that is moisture-resistant and won’t be easily affected by such conditions.
  6. Personal Style: Keep your personal style and preferences in mind when selecting the paint color and finish. Whether you prefer a glossy, matte, or metallic appearance, choose a paint that aligns with your aesthetic vision.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing the paint for your old Samsonite hardsided luggage. Next, let’s explore the different types of paint that are suitable for repainting your luggage.


Types of Paint Suitable for Old Samsonite Hardsided Luggage

When it comes to selecting the right paint for your old Samsonite hardsided luggage, you’ll want to choose a type that adheres well to the surface material, offers durability, and provides a smooth and attractive finish. Here are some paint options that are suitable for repainting your Samsonite luggage:

  1. Spray Paint: Spray paint is popular for repainting plastic and metal surfaces. It provides even coverage and a smooth finish. Look for spray paint specifically formulated for use on plastic or metal, depending on the material of your luggage.
  2. Acrylic Paint: Acrylic paint is a versatile option that works well on a variety of surfaces, including plastic, fiberglass, and metal. It is available in a wide range of colors and finishes such as matte, satin, and gloss. Acrylic paint is durable and can withstand moderate wear and tear.
  3. Enamel Paint: Enamel paint is known for its excellent adhesion and durability. It is available in spray paint or brush-on form. Enamel paint provides a hard and glossy finish, making it suitable for hardsided luggage.
  4. Epoxy Paint: Epoxy paint is incredibly durable and resistant to scratches, making it a great choice for hardsided luggage. It provides a high-gloss finish and adheres well to various surfaces, including plastic and metal.
  5. Automotive Paint: If you want a professional and long-lasting finish, consider using automotive paint. Automotive paint is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and offers exceptional durability. However, it may require additional preparation and techniques for application.

It’s important to note that no matter which type of paint you choose, it’s crucial to use a primer that is compatible with both the paint and the surface material of your Samsonite luggage. The primer will help the paint adhere better and provide a smooth and even finish.


Before proceeding with the painting process, it’s essential to prepare your Samsonite hardsided luggage properly. In the next section, we will discuss the necessary preparation steps to ensure a successful paint job.


Preparation Steps Before Painting

Proper preparation is key to achieving a successful paint job on your old Samsonite hardsided luggage. Taking the time to prepare the surface will ensure better paint adhesion and a professional-looking finish. Here are the necessary preparation steps you should follow:

  1. Clean the Surface: Begin by thoroughly cleaning the surface of your Samsonite luggage. Use a mild detergent or soap and water to remove any dirt, grime, or grease. Dry the luggage completely before moving on to the next step.
  2. Sand the Surface: Lightly sand the entire surface of the luggage using fine-grit sandpaper. This will help to smooth out any imperfections, remove any existing paint or coatings, and create a rough texture for better paint adhesion. Be sure to wipe away any dust or debris left from sanding.
  3. Apply Primer: Apply a suitable primer to the sanded surface. The primer will create a smooth and even base for the paint and enhance its adhesion. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended application method and drying time.
  4. Mask Off Areas: If there are any parts of the luggage that you don’t want to be painted, such as handles or hardware, use painter’s tape or masking tape to mask off those areas. This will ensure clean and defined lines.
  5. Choose a Well-Ventilated Area: Select a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, to paint your luggage. This will help to minimize the inhalation of fumes and provide proper air circulation during the painting process.
  6. Protect Surrounding Surfaces: Cover the surrounding area with drop cloths or plastic sheets to protect it from any overspray or accidental paint splatters.

By following these preparation steps, you’ll create a clean and smooth surface to work with, promoting better paint adhesion and a professional finish. Once you’ve completed the preparation, you’re now ready to move on to the exciting part – the painting process. In the next section, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of painting your old Samsonite hardsided luggage.


Step-by-Step Guide to Painting Old Samsonite Hardsided Luggage

Now that you’ve prepared your old Samsonite hardsided luggage, it’s time to start the painting process. Follow these step-by-step instructions to achieve a professional-looking paint job:

  1. Shake the Paint: If you’re using spray paint, shake the can vigorously for a minute or as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This ensures that the paint is properly mixed and ready to use.
  2. Apply the First Coat: Hold the spray can or paintbrush at a distance of 6-8 inches from the luggage surface. Apply a thin and even coat of paint, moving in smooth and steady strokes. Start from one end and work your way across the luggage, ensuring complete coverage.
  3. Allow Drying Time: Follow the recommended drying time mentioned on the paint can or in the instructions. It is essential to allow sufficient drying time between coats to avoid smudging or uneven application.
  4. Apply Additional Coats: Depending on the desired opacity and finish of your repainted luggage, apply additional coats of paint. Two to three coats are usually sufficient for a solid and even appearance. Remember to let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next.
  5. Check for Imperfections: After the final coat, inspect the painted surface for any imperfections such as drips, streaks, or spots. If you notice any, lightly sand the affected areas and apply touch-up paint to ensure a smooth and flawless finish.
  6. Let the Paint Cure: Once you’re satisfied with the paint job, let the luggage dry and cure for the recommended time mentioned on the paint can. This will allow the paint to fully harden and provide maximum durability.
  7. Optional Finish: If desired, you can apply a clear protective topcoat to enhance the longevity of the paint and add an extra layer of protection. Ensure the paint is fully dry before applying the topcoat, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

Following these step-by-step instructions will help you achieve a professional and long-lasting finish on your old Samsonite hardsided luggage. Now that you’ve completed the painting process, let’s move on to some tips and tricks to ensure the best possible outcome.


Tips and Tricks for Achieving a Professional Finish

When it comes to painting your old Samsonite hardsided luggage, here are some valuable tips and tricks to help you achieve a professional-looking finish:

  1. Use Even Strokes: Whether you’re using a spray can or a paintbrush, make sure to apply the paint using smooth and even strokes. This will help prevent streaks or uneven color distribution.
  2. Work in Thin Layers: Apply thin layers of paint rather than thick coats. This prevents dripping, improves drying time, and ensures a smoother and more durable finish.
  3. Practice Proper Ventilation: Paint in a well-ventilated area or use a fan to circulate the air. This will help dissipate fumes and ensure a healthier painting environment.
  4. Maintain Consistent Distance: If using spray paint, maintain a consistent distance between the can and the luggage surface to achieve even coverage. Too close may result in drips, while too far may cause uneven application.
  5. Follow Recommended Drying Times: Allow each coat of paint to dry thoroughly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Rushing the drying process can lead to smudging or damage to the paint job.
  6. Protect Handles and Hardware: If you want to keep the handles or hardware untouched, remove them before painting or cover them securely with painter’s tape to prevent accidental paint splatters.
  7. Consider Sanding Between Coats: For an extra smooth and professional-looking finish, lightly sand the surface between coats. This helps to remove any imperfections and creates a perfect base for the next coat to adhere to.
  8. Be Mindful of Overspray: When using spray paint, be cautious of overspray. Always cover surrounding surfaces with drop cloths or plastic sheets to protect them from undesired paint particles.
  9. Allow Ample Curing Time: Patience is key when it comes to allowing the paint to fully cure. Follow the recommended curing time before handling or using your repainted Samsonite luggage.
  10. Clean Up Properly: After completing the painting process, make sure to clean your tools and dispose of any leftover paint and materials according to the manufacturer’s instructions or local regulations.

By implementing these tips and tricks, you can elevate your painting process and achieve a professional and visually stunning outcome for your old Samsonite hardsided luggage. With a little patience and attention to detail, you’ll have a beautifully repainted suitcase ready for your next adventure.



Transforming your old Samsonite hardsided luggage through painting is a rewarding and creative project that allows you to give new life to a classic piece. By selecting the right paint, properly preparing the surface, and following the step-by-step guide, you can achieve a professional finish that will make your luggage look brand new.


When considering the factors such as maintenance, surface material, flexibility, color selection, environment, and personal style, you can make an informed decision about the type of paint that suits your needs and preferences. Spray paint, acrylic paint, enamel paint, epoxy paint, and automotive paint are all viable options to consider.


Properly preparing your luggage before painting is crucial for the success of your project. Cleaning the surface, sanding, applying primer, and masking off areas will ensure a smooth and even paint application. Following the step-by-step guide, including shaking the paint, applying thin and even coats, and allowing ample drying time, will result in a professional-looking finish.


To achieve the best possible outcome, consider the provided tips and tricks, such as using even strokes, working in thin layers, practicing proper ventilation, and protecting handles and hardware. Additionally, take into account the recommended drying and curing times and ensure proper clean-up after completing the project.


Now, armed with the knowledge and guidance from this comprehensive guide, you can confidently paint your old Samsonite hardsided luggage and create a personalized and stylish travel accessory or a unique decorative piece. Let your creativity shine and embark on this exciting journey of transforming your beloved Samsonite luggage into a beautiful and functional item that will accompany you on your future adventures.