DIY - Antique Tea Cart Makeover

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

 As most of you know I am very passionate about finding unique antiques or taking old household items and turning them into something new by either re-purposing them or giving them new life. When my Aunt Brenda offered this beautiful antique tea cart to me of course I absolutely flipped! Her grandmother had it when she was a little girl and she's told me it's definitely over 55 years old! I love thinking about the history this one piece of furniture holds. Sometimes when I get pieces like this it makes me nervous to paint, but I had an idea that inspire me to match my new decor so I ran with it. I just hope my Aunt likes it and that it will be around for another 55+ years in my family now. :) Kinda cool to think of it that way right?! That's why I love hand-me-downs so much.


 I had been waiting on the perfect opportunity to use the tea cart as we already had a bar cart and don't have much room in our kitchen areas, but after my husband and I moved we decided to sell most of our old furniture & start over. Well, it definitely takes a lot of money to refurnish a home with new pieces so we've been getting new things in small portions. However, we have a new couch in our living room but no where to put drinks so I had the idea to re-purpose the tea cart as a living room side table and I have to say, we could not be happier with the result! 


Here's what you will need:

- electric sander

- 120 Grit sand paper

- tac cloth

- wood glue/gorilla glue

- screw driver of necessity

- spray paint in color of choice ( I probably used 3 total cans)

- 1 can clear sealant spray paint

- 1 sample size paint of choice (for bottom tray and top of cart)

- Bucket of water & cleaning rag


With this project, I wasn't really sure where I was going to be using it when I began working so I started by taking apart as much as I could without damaging the cart to "examine the bones." One of the wheels were broken so I removed the table flaps from the cart and focused on fixing the wheel. I used a mixture of wood and gorilla glue and it took about two days to completely secure the wheel together so that it rolled normally again. Mainly I just squeezed a ton of wood glue in the broken cracks, wiped away the excess, and used clamps to hold it together overnight while it dried. I did this again one more time with gorilla glue the next day just for good measure. 


After everything was dried I took the water bucket and rag, wiped down the cart really well to ensure dirt or any residue left from age was wiped away as thoroughly as possible. I then sanded from the bottom up, making sure the surfaces were all as smooth as possible. 


Use the tac cloth to wipe away the sanded remains to prepare the cart for painting. I used Rustoleum Satin in "Blossom White" for the entirety of the cart. I used about 3 whole cans to ensure full coverage.


Once the whole cart is evenly painted and you can't find any exposed wood spots, get your sample size paint of choice to incorporate on the bottom layer and top. In hindsight I might have left the top plain white and only did the accent color on the bottom, but the great thing about paint is that it's never too late to go back and make changes!


After everything is well and dried use the clear sealant to cover the entirety of the cart with a major focus on the top. I'm in the market for getting a sheet of glass cut to the size of the top of the cart because I know there will be countless drinks and other things set on this table, and even though sealants can help with keeping the paint strong, glass tops are definitely the smartest move to make over top painted wood surfaces.

Hopefully I'll be able to find someone soon that can help with that but until then I will be the coaster monster! ;P


You may have noticed in the pictures that I did not reassemble the leafs onto the cart after painting them. I knew we would never use the tea cart with the leaves up, and I love the exposed shelves for displaying pictures and decor, so I thought I would re-purpose those as well which will be in an upcoming post featuring our new guest room! Can't wait for you to see! But rest assured those beautiful wood pieces will not go to waste.


But that was it! This was a really simple project and I held onto it for a long time because I wasn't sure how exactly I was going to be able to use it but my husband and I both love it in our new living space. Now we're trying to find a coffee table that resembles the same chic, french country look. :) I'm so happy I was able to keep this beautiful piece of furniture in the family!


Any suggestions you all have for coffee tables I would love to hear them! If you have seen a french provincial style coffee table, preferably long and skinny please email me!


Thanks for reading along guys and I would love to hear from you about your own projects too!! Happy Tuesday!












 Got out the fall decorations already! Loving it!!




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