Vintage Bar Cart Spray Paint Project Transformation Tips


Good afternoon!  We were thrilled to have our Affordable Autumn Tablescape for Two featured last week at Inspiration Friday at The Picket Fence–thank you so much, Vanessa and Heather, and check out all the wonderful projects that got shared there!

Today I have a cool little vintage bar cart to show you that went from being a do-nothing outside cart to one that will soon help to set a swanky party mood in our living room.



I picked this metal cart up last year at the Camas Home and Garden plant sale for $15, and I loved that it not only had ample shelves for storage and display purposes but it also had hard plastic wheels and was easily mobile.  I painted it dark turquoise to match my other outdoor hardscape and furniture, and parked it out under the pergola with our table and chairs.





It looked fine for outside use, but I found that we really didn’t use it that much out there.  So I brought it inside, and it sat in the basement and I passed by it every day when I went down to work out on the treadmill.  Finally, after looking at it a zillion times, I decided that what it really wanted was to start its life over as a glamorous bar cart, and I proceeded to give it a Hollywood makeover.


Since it was already painted,  I didn’t bother priming it.  I just went to work and wrapped the wheels completely in painter’s tape, and then I broke out the Rustoleum Gold Rush Metallic spray paint of which I am so fond ($5.79 a can, and they are not sponsoring me but I wish they would :), and applied it liberally to the tops of all the shelves and supports.  I let it dry overnight, then turned the cart over and sprayed it again to get all the bottom parts as well, and let it dry again.


After the cart was dry, and while it was still turned upside down so the wheels were on the top, I unwrapped the wheels and had to come up with a way to bring them back to life, because they were pretty beat-up looking.  I knew I wanted them to be shiny black, and after thinking over several options, what I finally ended up using was a Krylon Short Cuts Paint Pen that we’ve had for a while in my crafting supplies.


One tip I have for you is to try out these paint pens, because they are versatile for use in tight areas where it would be impossible to focus a stream of spray paint and time consuming to try to paint it with a brush.  You shake the pen well (it has a little ball in it like a can of spray paint), then take the cap off and press the little felt-pen top up and down a few times on the object that you want to paint to get the paint flowing, and then just use it like a felt pen to apply the paint where you want it.  It was quick and easy to use, and the paint came out black and glossy, which is exactly what I wanted.  It has a small tip, which made it perfect for getting into all the nooks and crannies of those wheels.  I do recommend wearing disposable gloves for this, because I ended up having to rotate the wheels to get the paint where I needed it, and it was a little messy on the fingers.  One pen was more than enough for this project.  I could no longer find these Krylon paint pens for sale in my area, but I did find a similar pen at Craft Warehouse, which is the DecoColor Fine Point glossy oil-based Paint Marker,  and they were on sale for $3.79.


Another tip for the wheels is to apply some polyurethane to the wheel treads after the paint dries.  This will help to not only seal the black paint on the wheel tread, but will also protect your floors when you use the bar cart inside your home.  I used a small foam brush to apply a coat of water-based Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish in Clear Satin to the wheels, and then I let it dry for 5 days to cure.


I think it now looks sleek and ready to add some vintage style to our living room!  (I’m ready to invite Cole Porter, Cary Grant and Ava Gardner over for drinks! :)  Not bad for a project that cost less than $25 total.  It should go well with another piece of furniture that I hope to have ready to show you next week, so stay tuned!



Do you love spray paint projects?  What projects have you been working on lately for your home?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments, so stop by for a visit!


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Till next time, 

I’m participating at:

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps On The Porch

Mod Mix Monday at Mod Vintage Life

A Return to Loveliness at A Delightsome Life

Tutorials and Tips Link Party at Home Stories From A 2 Z

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Newbie Party at Debbiedoo’s

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life

Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits at Stone Gable

Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground

Potpourri Friday at 2805

Inspiration Friday at The Picket Fence

Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors

 The Sunday Showcase at Under The Table and Dreaming

Sunday’s Best at My 1929 Charmer

Fridays Unfolded

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

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About AthenaMG

Athena McElrath is a Master Gardener with a love for gardening, decorating and cooking inexpensively. She enjoys working out in her urban garden in Southwest Washington State, watching the hummingbirds and other birds and insects, eating the wonderful vegetables, fruits and herbs that she produces from her garden, and just having a great time hanging out under the pergola with her family and friends (that is, whenever it stops raining long enough).
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31 Responses to Vintage Bar Cart Spray Paint Project Transformation Tips

  1. Donna Wilkes says:

    Great transformation! I think I hear Hollywood calling right now!

  2. debbiedoos says:

    Great tips and wonderful cart. Thanks for sharing with my party.

  3. Athena,

    I love the blue color of your new cart. That was a great find.

    Yael from Home Garden Diggers

  4. Your cart looks amazing! Gotta love spray paint! Life to the full, Melissa

  5. Ann says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Athena. I love your cart redo. That blue is delicious. I’m following you.

  6. Thistle says:

    If Carey Grant is coming to dinner…..I’m there :) This is so pretty! I love the new gold spray paint!

    Thank you so much for inspiring me today!


  7. Pam says:

    Great cart. I love the lines on those old things, but normally they are all dinged up by the time I see them in the thrift store. I’ll just grab a can of paint next time!

  8. Vanna says:

    Hello my Washington neighbor!
    I love the redo on your bar cart. And I really appreciate your tips. I will be keeping my eyes open for those paint pens…They sound like something I NEED *winks* I’m with the blogger who said “If Cary Grant is coming to dinner I’m there”…I’d like to add if anyone who even looks remotely like Cary Grant is there……I’m coming too! Lol! Vanna

  9. I love your cart with its glam new finish! Very retro-stylish. :)

  10. Angela says:

    Your bar cart is gorgeous! I love the gold!


  11. Linda says:

    Wonderful cart. Love how you changed the look. Thanks for visiting.

  12. Sandy says:

    I’m so glad to find you cart transformation tips! I have a cart in great need of priming and painting, but I haven’t used spray paint much and have been unsure how to proceed. I’ll save your post and gear up my courage before it gets too cold to paint outside!

  13. I remember having a cart like that growing up, and it was gold also! I love the metallic spray paint. In fact, I used it in a project I linked up this week. Painting the wheels was a great idea. If you had left them alone, it really wouldn’t look nearly as nice as it does. Great tip? I also used a paint pen for an art project I did fairly recently and I don’t know what I would have done without it!

    This cart belongs in a James Bond movie :).

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  15. That cart is fantastic. It looks so good and the dark turquoise colour was a great choice.

  16. Kathy says:

    Love it! Spray paint can take anything and make it better – wonderful find and great color! I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  17. I don’t know where I would be without spray paint. It makes everything beautiful. What a cute cart, and I love the color so much. Who would of thought of painting the wheels – you would! Thanks for sharing your inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!

  18. Shannon says:

    Very cool. I am going to look for a bar cart of some kind because I’ve got a project in mind for one. Yours is great and I love the blue!

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