I wanted the piece to have a slightly cleaner, more elegant look. Like suitcases from the QE2, not a Carnival Cruise. After debating extensively over what color to paint it, I decided on Chalk Paint® in Old Ochre and mixed in a teeny tiny bit of Burnt Sienna (acrylic paint) to warm it up a little bit. I really wanted to show off the leather straps and handles since they were in such fine shape, and this color combination would make them "pop."
Painting this was not easy! I didn't mask all the leather, instead chose to paint around it very carefully, and wipe off any paint that might get on it. This actually worked well, but was a little tricky, and destroyed a few finger nails. Also, the textured surface was hungry for paint and took 1.5 good coats to cover.
After letting the paint dry, I mixed up some Annie Sloan Clear Wax with a little bit of dark wax (about 5:1), and waxed and buffed all the painted areas. A little wax on the leather didn't hurt it at all, and actually helped clean it up nicely. The results? Stunning!