How to DIY a Gold Bar Cart
Lately I've been obsessed with mid-century modern furniture. Chairs, tables, bar carts, dressers - you name it, I was in love. I've decided that I want a true mid-century credenza for an awkward spot in our living room, under a few picture rails.
However, my budget doesn't align with this love.
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Enter the bar cart. I thought I'd find a cute one as a placeholder until I can afford a beautiful wood credenza. Perfect compact size, a bit smaller, so I figured more affordable right?
No. Not even a little bit.
I saw these handsome fellas on the West Elm website and promptly almost passed out at the prices. $399?! $799?!!! For some metal and glass? No siree, thanks.
Then I tried perusing my usual antique and used furniture stores. No luck there, either. Not only was there nothing in my budget, there was literally nothing in the store that was like what I was looking for. Apparently bar carts are a big trend right now (and I'm late to the party. Nothing new there.)
What's a girl in search of a bar cart to do?
A few weeks later I happened to be in Ikea and I found this.
Perfect height. Nice glass shelf in the middle. Metal frame. It just needed a few alterations. It was the Ikea VITTSJÖ shelving unit for $59. A little pizazz and it would be exactly what I was looking for.
I brought the shelves home and assembled the metal frame, following the instructions (crazy, right?). It went together pretty quickly with only a screw driver.
I brought it into my homemade spray paint booth and primed it using Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch White Spray Primer (affiliate link). This primer is amazing and goes over pretty much any surface. I've personally used it on wood and metal and couldn't be happier with the results. When spray painting, I also use a spray paint grip (affiliate link) to save my fingers from cramping. It makes a huuuuuuge difference to how long you can paint without feeling like your hand is going to fall off. For the gold, I used Rust-Oleum (are you sensing a trend?) Metallic Gold Universal Spray Paint (affiliate link).
All the spray paint I used comes from a recommendation of one of my favorite blogs LiveLoveDIY. She has done several posts about painting and spray paint that are pretty much my painting cheat sheets. She has done the dirty work of trying several different brands of metallic paint and raves about the Rust-Oleum ones, so I immediately chose that and I love the results.
I also used a paint respirator (affiliate link), gloves, and a nifty hat I found at Home Depot to keep the paint out of my hair. This paint is sticky and next to impossible to get off of skin and hair, so the more you cover, the easier it will be. Don't make my mistake.
I'm not going to lie. This small metal shelf took a lot of coats. I'm not sure if it was the paint (unlikely) or my painting technique (likely), but I used probably a can and a half for just these few pieces of metal.
After all the metal was painted gold and had dried for a few days, I used a top coat for durability, Rust-Oleum (shocking, I know) Gloss Clear (affiliate link).
While I waited for the metal to dry, I took the shelves inside to add wire stemware racks. They're not available on the Ikea website, but they were with the beer and wine glasses at my local Ikea and were only a few dollars each. I bought three, but only ended up needing two. I also bought two wine racks that I didn't use because I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to organize everything.
The shelves came with screws to hold the wood shelves in place, but I decided they would be fine without them, and used those screws to attach the wire glass holders to one of the shelves. I measured and centered the racks on the shelf, making sure to keep the wider openings on the same side.
Once that was done and everything was dry, it was time for assembly. First I added the adjustable feet that the shelf came with to the legs and put the shelving unit in place and leveled it. Then I worked from the bottom up and first I put the wood (I say wood loosely, they're laminate) shelf onto the bottom rack. I then added the glass shelf in the middle, and then the wood shelf with the glass racks on top and added the glasses.
We owned a few wine glasses, but not enough to be a set, so I ventured out to Ikea again. I stocked up on white and red wine glasses, a few different types of beer glasses, margarita, and martini glasses. Ikea had a great selection and a lot of variety which it let me completely stock up at cheap prices.
After adding the glasses, I put all the liquor on the bottom shelf and got a few decorative accessories to go with our bar accessories. And that's it! A few days of painting, a bit of Ikea hunting, and we have a beautiful bar cart that was well under $100. (bar shelf? It has no wheels, but I'm totally cool with that).
Will you be making your own bar cart? Do you prefer the more modern ones or the mid-century versions?
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