Tin Shelf Kitchen Cart Makeover

September 11, 2016Allison Murray
Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

I was given a free sampler set of Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint and Guard Dog Top Coat to test out. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

So we went into the Goodwill in my sister’s town in Oklahoma and Rob and I got giddy. Yes, giddy. You see we had been looking for furniture to DIY but you can’t really find stuff like that where we live now. And in this Goodwill there were so. many. things. that we really, really loved. It’s amazing when you think about it. This time last year I would have looked at everything and maybe taken home half of the stuff we actually wound up buying.

But then we realized that we had to get everyone and everything we purchased back home. Erm. How exactly was that supposed to happen? So Rob wound up having to get rid of this furniture we had just purchased because we only had room for a single thing.

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We wound up choosing the $5 kitchen cart for a very, very good reason… because our kitchen is dinky as all get out and we don’t have enough counter space. I could see myself beating cupcake batter on top of this thing with my ingredients spread out on the counter and finally having enough room to kind of sort of cook more easily. Of course, when Rob saw the finished cart he started pushing for us to buy a portable dishwasher again. I did not fancy this baby up so that it could be used to cart a huge dishwasher around! I need my extra cooking space! Cupcakes, here we come!

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

Now this thing was in BAAAD shape. Like, I didn’t realize how nasty the thing was. I first set about cleaning it and found that it was sticky with old grease or something yellow and thick and very difficult to remove. Notice that the people who thought about DIY-ing this thing before me, with a blue makeover did NOT try to clean if first. YUCK! They painted on bubbles of dried grease and ew. Just EW.

It turned out that the boards for the shelves were badly warped with the laminate peeling off so they were going to be a total loss. The top of the cart, like the frame of the thing, was a good, heavy duty wood but it had been used as a cutting board for years. Deep grooves that I could only imagine the germs inside of riddled the top so that it needed to be sanded over and over and over again.

I started to see dollar signs, worrying that my $5 cart was going to wind up costing me more than it would ultimately be worth in the end. But luckily the good people at Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint (yep, the guys and gals from the DIY Salvage Dawgs show) sent me a sampler so I could check out their wares meaning that portion of this project was free. Yippee! Plus I got to test something new which is always super fab. (spoiler alert, I really, really like this paint A LOT).

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

Since they were kind enough to send it to me, let’s talk about this paint for a moment. The adhesion on this stuff is AMAZING and I totally believe their claim that will work on varnish, lacquer, poly, paint, stain, bare wood, metal and glass. There is so little odor that I didn’t even notice that it didn’t have an odor when I was painting in the middle of my living room floor. The finish is super matte and it covers in one coat. ONE COAT. You can brush it like I did but it is also spray-able which can be super convenient.

Now a lot of chalky paints have a wax top coat and I largely hate them. Flat out they are too much work. I’ve found one that I like because you don’t have to buff it out. Seriously. That buffing is a pain in the derriere that I can simply do without. This line features a topcoat rather than wax that comes in matte or satin. I got to test out the satin and I love how well it self levels when you brush it on. Good stuff. Now let’s get on to this makeover, shall we?

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

For this project I used:

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

Because my wood pieces were pretty much a loss I was only really able to use them as templates to cut my patterned metal sheets using some tin snips.

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

Now I went to the craft store to get 40% off of a piece and then go back again later but they didn’t have THIS pattern (that I ultimately used) in stock. My cost would have been less than $16 with tax if I could have gone that route. But I really wanted this pattern because, while airy and punched it’s also mostly still intact meaning it’s going to be much, much sturdier than something with more of the metal cut away for the pattern. I wound up going and spending $27 on a big sheet from the hardware store (which just about KILLS cheap ol’ me) but in the end I think it was a better call. Also, it might be a bit thicker than the craft store version but that’s just a hunch.

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

You can get wooden dowels for cheap at the hardware store so I snapped up 4 for about $1.30 apiece and cut them to fit on top of my metal shelves to hide my raw cut edges to keep them from being seen or cutting anyone. They also gave the piece a look like the metal is built in and meant to be there rather than I just slapped it in there.

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

I used industrial strength glue to glue the metal sheets onto the lip the old wooden pieces sat on top of and then used industrial strength glue and clamps to place the dowels on top of the metal shelves.

My use of clamps damaged my paint job here and there but I was able to easily touch it up so no problem-o.

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

Now we never seem to have anyplace to keep clean dish towels around here so I snagged up some fancy knobs for half price from the craft store running me $4 for the pair. At the end of the cart opposite from the handle I drilled two holes and then screwed the knobs in place. There is a about 1/8-1/4 inch of the bolt that sticks through the inside of the wood but you can’t see it so I didn’t sweat it.

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

The top piece was sanded for DAYS (it would seem to melodramatic me) and then I was finally able to hit it up with my fave stain Special Walnut. Doesn’t it look lovely with that black finish? LOVELY.  P.S. I’m slightly addicted to the Pioneer Woman’s collection, in case you couldn’t tell!

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

This thing came with some cheap ol’ computer chair looking roller wheels that I planned to replace with metal wheels I purchased for $3 apiece at Walmart but, after realizing the expense of the project I decided to put those cheap ol’ black plastic wheels back on and get my $12 back! The black ones work just fine and you don’t really notice them, plus one set of these don’t swivel making it easier to move this sucker around. Otherwise it would be like those IKEA carts. I crash those suckers every time. Why do all the wheels need to go everywhere at once, IKEA? I’ll tell you why. They don’t. :)

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

This guy looks great in my kitchen and goes really well with the kitchen table I painted black and my chairs I went bonkers on with lots of colors. It also looks good with my dogs but they make every thing look good, right?!? Yeah they do!

Now this cart doesn’t only look good it’s super functional. The top won’t be used as a cutting board ever again but it will still serve as a good amount of additional cooking space for me and I’m super stoked about that. In the end this cart wound up costing me $5 for the piece, $27 for the metal shelves, $5.20 for the wooden dowels and $4 for the dish knobs. For around $40 (which would have been about only$29 if I had driven out to another craft store and gotten the less expensive metal) I’ve got a sturdy wood cart that I love the look of and even though I feel the project wound up running more than I would have liked, I’m still in love with the results and I’d totally do it again.

Thanks again to Black Dog Salvage Furniture Paint my way. They’ve got a new fan in me so be sure to check ’em out!

Turn an old kitchen cart into a thing of beauty with chalk paint and tin shelves!

Comments (2)

  • Pat Schwab

    September 11, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    It looks great in your kitchen. I love the pretty knobs for hanging towels.

    1. Allison Murray

      September 18, 2016 at 3:16 PM

      Thanks so much!

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