Arts & Crafts Magazine

Don’t Pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52

By Barbarayesspaces @Barbara_Miller

The Issue

Like to entertain but don’t have a large kitchen or a big dining room buffet to serve on? Want to dress up your space but are living in a small space and need to make every piece count? A bar cart could be the perfect answer. They are hot right now and for a good reason. They are small pieces that can be easily moved and can serve multiple purposes in crowded spaces. This beautiful cart is over $1,200 but we can make it for under $52.

Arteriors home 1200 Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52
Arteriors Home $1,200 from Lamps Plus

The YES Design Solution

When I found this rolling wooden tea tray in a thrift shop I knew immediately it would make a beautiful bar cart! It was in good shape, had fairly simple lines and four operational wheels – score.

tea tray before 700x440 Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52

I decided I would paint it a soft gold and create a faux mosaic tile technique with wooden craft sticks and metallic paint. These finger tiles make a beautiful pattern and I thought I could make an inexpensive version, especially because the tea cart I found had a glass top, so nothing I used had to be water proof or flat, the glass would take care of that! Putting a pop of color behind the tiles would create the perfect contrast to set them off since I would not be using grout.

Amazon tile Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52

The Materials

tea tray materials 700x469 Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52

  • One wooden tea trolly, check Craig’s List, they are not difficult to find
  • Gray spray primer
  • 1 box of jumbo wooden craft sticks
  • Gold spray paint
  • Bronze spray paint
  • Platinum spray paint
  • I used a soft aqua blue paint I already had to be the contrasting color on the top, use any color that works with your decor
  • Glidden sample size golden brown paint
  • Martha Stewart gold metallic paint
  • Scissors
  • Glue

The Process

Watch the video first, these instructions are meant to help you remember the order or answer any additional questions

  • Remove the glass (if your piece has any) and wash the tea trolly thoroughly, let it dry
  • Prime the entire piece
  • Paint the entire piece (including the wheels) with the Glidden golden brown. Use a brush and make sure you have nice even coverage
  • Paint over the golden brown with the Martha Stewart gold metallic paint – if you don’t have a rich base coat the metallic does not look warm enough and it is fairly transparent and would take MANY coats with out an undercoat
  • painting gold 700x515 Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52
    Paint the top of the piece – inside the upper tray – with your contrasting color (you actually don’t have to cover this part of the cart with the golden brown and gold)
  • Cut the round ends off the wooden sticks, then cut them in half in the middle, then I split them in half length wise so they would be a more interesting shape – they were not all even and I wanted them that way – hand made tiles are not even only machine made items are each exactly the same
  • Paint the pieces with all three colors, bronze, platinum and gold – I lightly dusted the bronze pieces with gold because the bronze did not seem to have much life
  • painted sticks 700x403 Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52
    Lay the pieces out in the pattern you like – I began with darker bronze in the corners and used a random color pattern working toward more silver in the center
  • I left large areas of the blue exposed because it became less interesting to me when the entire top was covered
  • Once I had the pattern I liked I washed the glass top and put it back in place, it protects the wooden “mosaic”
    mosaic top finished 700x402 Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52

Watch the video if you are confused about any part of this process, or comment and I will respond!

The Outcome

bar tray after 700x517 Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52
I love this piece. It is fresh but blends with my traditional furnishings. It is also stylish but not too fancy to roll out onto the deck for cocktails.

And when it is not in use for entertaining I found a great use for it as part of my home office! I can pull it out to put papers on or tuck it under the counter. It would also make a great printer stand all by itself. How many ways could you use a piece like this?

YES spaces tray as office storage 446x700 Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52

The Budget

$5.99 –I box jumbo wooden craft sticks

$3.79- Platinum spray paint

$3.79- Bronze spray paint

$3.79- Gold spray paint

$2.94- Sample size Glidden Golden Brown paint (Home Depot)

$9.95- Martha Stewart Gold Metallic Paint

$19.95 - Wooden rolling tea tray from thrift shop (it came with a glass top)
TOTAL: $50.20

52 projects smaller Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52
This project was Week 10: we will be adding a new video to our YES Spaces DIY page every Thursday for the next 42 weeks! And based on your input we will have directions and when needed measurements and plans here every week as well. So be sure to subscribe here and over on YouTube so you don’t miss anything! I am currently cooking up all the projects and simultaneously pulling together our MESS to YES makeover schedule for the year so if you have projects or spaces you are struggling with and would like some inspiration let me know and I will try to tackle as many as I can here this year.
Signature Transparent Dont pay $1,200, Upcycle a Gold Bar Cart for Under $52
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