After searching high and low for vintage metal outdoor furniture (that we could afford), we brought home a whole (mismatched) set from the antique show in Round Top. Including a vintage metal bar cart!
I was so excited! Not only did I finally find one, but I only paid $10 for it!
Of course, in true Mandee fashion, it was covered in rust and missing hardware, but that couldn’t dim my excitement. I couldn’t wait to get it home and refurbish it!
Here’s how we turned this rusty trash into treasure:
Gather Your Supplies
- WD-40 (lubricant)
- screw driver
- wire brush
- angle grinder
- flap discs
- spray paint
- miscellaneous missing screws
- rubber protectors for metal legs
DEWALT Angle Grinder, One-Touch Guard, 4-1/2 -Inch (DWE4011), Yellow, SmallBenchmark Abrasives 4.5Rust-Oleum 7780830 Stops Rust Spray Paint, 12 Ounce, Flat White Clean Metal Primer, 12 Fl OzWD-40 Specialist Dry Lube with SMART STRAW SPRAYS 2 WAYS, 10 OZAmazon Basics 12-Piece Magnetic Screwdriver Set, TurquoiseWire Brush,Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Wire Scratch Brush for Cleaning Rust with 10Rust-Oleum 355057 Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Spray Paint, 12 oz, High Gloss Macaw BlueSoftTouch 1
Take It Apart
The first step to refurbishing this vintage metal bar cart was to take it all apart.
It was a pretty simple process and only required a screwdriver and WD-40 for the stubborn screws that were rusted in there.
Grind Away the Rust
The next step was the most tedious. It was time to grind away the rust.
Initially, I started out using an orbital sander, but that just wasn’t getting the job done. So, just like we did with the vintage metal chairs that we brought home, we used an angle grinder and flap discs to clean up the metal.
The bar cart was almost completely rust-free by the time we were done grinding. We used a wire brush to remove the rust that was hiding under the lip of the trays.
This method is SO MUCH FASTER than using a sander. I highly recommend using an angle grinder if you’re refurbishing metal furniture.
Finally, it’s time for the most rewarding step….painting!
First, use a primer to help block any future rust. Then spray on your colored paint.
For this project, we used Rust-oleum Metallic spray paint in ‘dark bronze’ for the legs. And for the trays, we used Rust-oleum’s spray paint in ‘Macaw Blue’.
We did 2 coats on everything to make sure that we covered any rust that might try to creep through.
Put it Back Together
After letting the paint dry overnight, we put the vintage bar cart back together again.
We used some screws my husband had laying around to replace the missing ones. Other than hunting down screws in the bottom of his messy toolbox, the bar cart was pretty easy to put back together.
We also added some rubber protectors for the bottoms of the legs.
Eventually, I would love to find some casters for it, so I can roll it around. But I couldn’t find any to fit these skinny legs at the hardware store and I was too impatient to wait for some to ship.
And it’s DONE!
I love how vibrant this blue is! It goes perfect with our outdoor rug.
This was one of our quicker and easier projects and I LOVE how it turned out!
Together with the metal chairs, this vintage bar cart is the perfect addition to our back porch. We use it as a place to set our drinks and phones when we’re out there. And I also use it as a plant stand!