DIY Colorful Bar Cart Makeover

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DIY Colorful Bar Cart MakeoverThe bar cart is finally done and OMG I can’t wait to show you! If you haven’t been following along to this saga on Instagram, this is a project I’ve been working on for a month or so now and it has quite the story. I gave myself a crafty challenge and think it really paid off. Now onto the backstory + the how-to:

DIY Colorful Bar Cart MakeoverA little backstory:

My friend was visiting NYC so I was showing her all of my favorite spots. We were walking a few blocks from Washington Square Park and this woman was putting items on the curb for pickup. She stopped us to chat and it turns out that her mother had just died and she was cleaning out her house. The cart was so rusted that she was afraid Goodwill would just throw it out and really wanted it to go to a good home. How could I say no to that?! In all my years of crafting, I’ve never tackled a project like this so I decided to give myself a challenge and try. 

So there I was, schlepping the bar cart through the city and on the subway on a hot summer day. Y’all, I am DEDICATED.

DIY Colorful Bar Cart Makeover First things first: the cart needed a major clean up. It was covered in rust and spider webs and I honestly didn’t think it would even be possible. I tried a few different methods and then a combo of all three: soaking in vinegar, WD 40 + steel wool, chrome cleaner. The breakthrough was when I was able to take the legs off the cart so that I could clean and de-rust the pieces individually. With a ton of elbow grease, the cart polished up nicer than expected! 

DIY Colorful Bar Cart Makeover

DIY Colorful Bar Cart Makeover

DIY Colorful Bar Cart MakeoverOnce all the rust was removed from the cart, there was discoloration throughout, so naturally it was time to give it a colorful paint job! Here’s how:

– Montana Metal Primer
– Montana GOLD in Yellow Cab (2 cans)
– Montana Varnish
– Tarp 

DIY Colorful Bar Cart MakeoverThe first step was to prime the surface. Once that was dry I applied two coats of paint, waiting for it to dry in between layers. It helps to spray in long sweeping strokes to ensure no runs or drips. To finish it off and seal, I applied a few coats of varnish. 

DIY Colorful Bar Cart MakeoverBecause the cart also didn’t have bottom trays, I had to find my own. I used acrylic rounds that were measured to size. 

DIY Colorful Bar Cart Makeover

And for an extra splash of color, I painted a colored blocked tray! Here’s how I did that:

DIY Colorful Bar Cart MakeoverMaterials

– Tray
– Montana Primer
– Montana GOLD in two coats of paint
– Varnish
– Tape, foil, paper

Start by priming your tray. Once that’s dry, tape off the area where you want to paint. Spray your paint, remove tape and let dry. I suggest giving a day in between before going to paint your second color. To avoid any overspray, it helps to use foil to cover the area already painted, and then tape off. For extra security also use paper or cardboard on top. Let dry then seal with a coat or two of varnish!

So that’s the cart! It adds such a warm pop of color to our living room and is such a special piece. If you should happen to see anything on the curb, don’t be afraid to take the risk, learn something new, and save the piece from going to the landfill! 

DIY Colorful Bar Cart Makeover