upcycled bar cart

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com
upcycled bar cart

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

More than 3 years ago, I jumped on the Minimalist bandwagon. I traded in my 7,000 square foot home for a 1700 square foot urban condo, so it goes without saying that I got rid of a lot of “things.” Except for one thing. This rickety, rolling push cart.

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

You see dirt and rust. I see memories.

This little cart is way more than a discarded piece of factory equipment. It is a piece of my past. In 2007, I opened the doors of It’s a Wrap Ideas, a small design and embroidery factory. What began with one clever idea and a sewing machine in my basement quickly found its identity as a US made wholesale company, designing free-spirited tea towels for boutiques across the country. Some of my designs even landed in the product lines of Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn

I’d be lying if I said my ego didn’t love the glamour of it all, but my heart belonged to the little cement-floored factory, filled with fabric bolts and embroidery machines and a staff that breathed life into my artistic ideas. Oh, and we also had an “order picking” cart, rolling down the aisles of inventory every day. Despite all the high-priced equipment we had, this little gray cart became one of our most essential pieces.

Just like people, many objects have unused potential. I just knew there was more in store for my cart (now retired from factory work) than housing potting soil and garden spades. 

step 1

I hosed it off, scrubbed it clean, and sanded off several spots of rust.


step 2

Because I plan to use this cart on my balcony, I drilled several tiny drainage holes in both the top and bottom shelves to prevent rain from pooling. A regular drill bit did the trick; no masonry bit needed.

step 3

Time for fresh paint. I came across this Stainless Steel Finish spray paint that I thought would look great on the inside of the upper shelf. It took several coats, and once it dried thoroughly, I needed to gently brush away the grainy top layer. Then a smooth stainless steel shine began to emerge.



step 4

After securely covering and taping off the freshly painted inner top shelf, I sprayed the entire cart with a light layer of white primer.

Once dry, it was time for the final color. Fire Orange satin finish. A dose of patience was needed, because it took several coats.


step 5

For an added touch of fun, I ordered this chrome wine glass holder. All I needed was 4 bolts and nuts and my drill to mount it under the top shelf.

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

step 6

Plan your party. 

That’s right. Just roll the cart right out onto your patio, porch or deck. Stock it with some chilled drinks and glasses. It can even serve as a perfect barbecue cart. Invite some friends over. And enjoy.


upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

If you’re dying for a sweet little cart like this but don’t feel like thrift store trolling, you can buy a new industrial cart for your project here.

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Comments · 16

  1. This is absolutely an amazing makeover and I love the orange color too. It looks stunning on your patio. Thanks for sharing it with us at the Waste Not Wednesday link party. Looking forward to seeing more of your creativity next week.

  2. Amazing! I love what you turned it into! I think you’ve done an amazing job. I really need something like this for my patio!

  3. This turned out so fabulous! I love the bright orange colour that you chose! Perfect for those warm summer nights to enjoy a bevvy or to!

    Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous project with us over at Waste Not Wednesday!

  4. Upcycling is always the best thing to do when we have any ideas to upgrade our old stuff. I like your idea for a bar cart. It looks so cool at the end! Thanks for sharing your tutorial with us 😀
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