You never know what you are going to find at thrift stores. They are a potential treasure trove of antique items for DIY projects.
However, sometimes, even professional crafters are surprised by the results of their upcycles.
That’s what happened to Thrift Diving expert Serena Appiah when she took a vintage bar cart from her local thrift store and transformed it into a perfect modern piece for the home. She paid just $6.99 for it.
Appiah speculated that the cart she found was from the 60s or 70s.
The wooden shelves were scratched and dated-looking, plus, the metal frame was totally rusted. However, Appiah looked towards the future. She had a vision in her mind of how she would upgrade the cart and modernize it for the 2020s.
“Whether I’m transforming old furniture into pretty pieces for the house to save money decorating, or using power tools to upcycle or build something from scratch, it’s all about making home affordable while flexing our creative muscle,” explains Appiah on her YouTube Channel About page.
The first step was cleaning the cart off.
During that process, it became clear to Appiah that she was going to have to do something about the wooden shelves of the cart. They were very bumpy and old. Her solution was to replace the surfaces with entirely new boards, but unfortunately, that meant taking everything apart.
Piece by piece, she broke the cart down.
Then, while the frame was separated, she also used to opportunity to remove some of the rust.
She laid the pieces down on top of a plastic sheet and applied a rust remover to all of the sides.
After leaving it to sit for three days, the silver shine of the metal was completely restored.
Although, she then remembered that she had to remove the rust from the nuts and bolts too.
They would look pretty out of place against the new metal surface otherwise!
That was just the start of the project.
After experimenting with various colors, Appiah painted the parts of the metal frame that hold the shelves white.
She cut out new boards too, but instead of painting them, she found a beautiful marble paper that she could use to cover them up.
The white and blue swirls matched perfectly with the rest of the design.
“This is like hand-crafted paper guys, it is freakin’ amazing! The color in it is just gorgeous,” exclaimed Appiah.
Appiah sprayed the back of the paper down with Gorilla adhesive, then attached it to the boards using a rubber brayer to smooth out the wrinkles. The excess paper around the edges was then cut off with a box cutter.
Appiah was blown away by the result.
She couldn’t believe how good the shelves looked.
Although, exposed paper probably isn’t really what you want for a bar cart.
After all, what if a drink spills while wheeling it around? It would ruin everything. However, Appiah had an ingenious solution. She went to the hardware store and got some glass cut out to overlay on top. Appiah was worried that the measurements would be off, but in the end, it all fit together perfectly.
The before and after pictures are unbelievable.
It’s like we are looking at a completely different cart! Even Appiah herself couldn’t believe how amazing it turned out.
“I knew that the cart was going to look good but I didn’t realize that it was going to look this good,” she said excitedly.
She also joked how incredible it was that everything with the project went so smoothly. Normally, some blunders and issues pop up, but not this time. The bar cart makeover was a huge success!
Watch the full video of the rusted bar cart upcycle below.
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