Be prepared to be blown away by this amazing faux suitcase dresser upcycle! The transformation is truly amazing. What started as an old basic dresser is now a stylish faux suitcase dresser. By using paint,  decoupage, new hardware and plenty of talent this dresser is the perfect stand out piece of furniture for any home.

This faux suitcase dresser upcycle was styled and completed by Mel Cavanaugh owner of Old-Fangled & Chalked By Mel. Be sure to head over to her facebook page and have a look through her work. Mel’s range of projects that she has worked on and completed is sure to inspire.

Faux Suitcase Dresser Upcycle

Faux Suitcase Dresser Upcycle

OLD-FANGLED & CHALKED BY MEL focuses on chalk painted pieces, as well as unpainted pieces. Mel also occasionally paints customer ordered pieces. She loves to work on unique pieces, no “cookie-cutter” pieces here! If you are looking for something unique, then be sure to check out the Old-Fangled & Chalked By Mel facebook page.

Today we have the pleasure of showing you one of her latest pieces, her faux suitcase dresser. There was plenty of planning and loads of work but the results are well worth it.

Faux Suitcase Dresser Upcycle

The Process

When starting a large project like this firstly you need to have a vision in mind. How to do you want it to look when finished? A great place to start is online, reading articles like these and searching Pinterest for related projects. Mel spent considerable time considering what colors to use, and details to add. Once completed it is almost impossible to imagine the faux suitcase dresser to look any other way. This is the ultimate result of a finished upcycle project!


First things first the dresser needed to be cleaned and sanded. The dresser was sanded, washed and then towel-dried. Some putty was needed and then plenty of extra sanding.

The backboard, sides, and trim above feet were painted. To be stained was the top as well as the feet, and front trim.

Upcycled faux suitcase drawers the process


The drawers are the main feature of the piece and were completed in stages. Chalk paint was used, handles & latches were purchased from Amazon. Mel already had some of the hardware and she used leather and buckles from old purses.

The two small drawers were decoupaged with road trip paper. Decoupaging is a method of gluing paper or fabric onto almost any surface before coating in many thin layers of sealant. Some of this process is shown in the collage photo below.

Upcycled faux suitcase drawers the process

The other drawers were all painted. The top drawer is cream crocodile over aqua blue. The second drawer is cocoa brown with cream stripes. Third, is yellow with possible brown stripes pending. Finally, the fourth draw is burgundy with black stripes. The dresser is charcoal gray with a black stain top.

Two coats of paint were used to paint on all drawer sides. The drawers were then done one at a time. Each drawer has a black stripe which gives each drawer the impression of being where the “suitcase” opens. After all of the paint has been applied each drawer then has its own unique hardware and details added.

Upcycled faux suitcase drawers

Drawer Details

Drawer #1- retro drawer. Cream crocodile over aqua paint with a brown wax to make the croc show more & look worn. This drawer features a diamond-shaped keyhole, brass hardware with brown handle.

Drawer #2- travel drawer. Featuring stickers & stamps and a luggage tag attached to a black handle. For the hardware, two gorgeous decorative pieces were added as well as a round keyhole. Brass looking nail heads on the cream edges. A cream-color was used for the drawer sides.

Drawer #3- yellow & olive with a brown handle. Faux stitching was painted on the top row. This drawer also features hand-stitched leather straps. Leather decor on the 4 edges with brass looking nail heads. The drawer sides have been painted in an olive color.

Drawer #4 -burgundy. This draw has been kept simple with a black handle and black decorative tacks on drawer sides. The black follows on to the drawer sides.

Upcycled faux suitcase drawers

The Finish

Once all of the drawers had been completed it was time to finish the piece. Touch-ups that were needed were done. Staining was completed and clear coating applied to finish this stunning faux suitcase dresser.

A lot of time and effort has gone into this faux suitcase dresser and the results are a unique and truly special piece of furniture. More photos following the progress of making this piece can be found at Old-Fangled & Chalked By Mel. Thanks to Mel for creating such an outstanding piece of art and furniture.

Upcycled faux suitcase drawers
8 ways to upcycle a chest of drawers

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