So I was antiquing with my mom in Stillwater earlier this summer and an old AV cart with clear acrylic wheels caught my eye. My mom said, “I have one like that in my basement.” She must have seen my eyes widen and my ears perk up, because then she said, “do you want it?” Um… yeah I do! I told her I was searching for one to use as a snack cart in the basement.
The cart my mom had needed a little work. The trays were loose and it was listing noticeably to the side. The olive drab color left something to be desired. It had an old extension cord screwed into one leg. But, it has clear acrylic wheels and bucket loads of potential. I knew it would make the perfect bar cart or snack for the basement.
The first step was to fix ‘er up. I removed the old extension cord by undoing the two small screws holding it on. Then, it was time for a little straightening. The middle and bottom shelf are attached to the legs with a screw and nut. A little tightening and she was standing straight in no time.
Now, to do something about that drab color and the not so pretty looking chrome. I wrapped the wheels in tinfoil and taped them off at the top. The rest of the curtain was destined for a new color. I gave the cart two coats of spray primer.
For the new color, I chose navy. I have been crushing on navy lately. It and charcoal gray are the perfect dark neutrals. I just don’t like black. It is too harsh. Navy and charcoal are good alternatives. With the rest of the plans I had for the cart, I knew navy was the way to go.
I used Rustoleum’s Protective Gloss Enamel spray paint in Navy. This is a little different than your regular spray paint. Since it is a gloss enamel, it takes longer in between coats and longer to cure. But, I think it was well worth the extra time for the high-gloss finish. The glossy goodness shows up best on the tray edges and legs. On the large flat surfaces on top of the trays, it doesn’t appear to be as glossy. But, the tops of the trays get covered up with goodies anyway.
She was looking pretty good in navy, but there was still something missing. I mean, she still looked like an AV cart. The big difference between her and a swanky bar cart was rails and handles. My solution was a bunch of long cabinet handles from Ikea.
For just under $40, I bought six short 9″ handles and four long 17″ handles. To create a railing around the top shelf, I used two short and two long handles. Not wanting to drill a bunch of holes through metal, I used E6000 glue to attach the handles. I think the glue will hold up just fine, since the rails are purely decorative.
I also added a rail on the bottom shelf. This time I used two short and one long handle, leaving the front edge of the shelf open.
Lastly, I added a single handle to one side of the cart. I tried to glue this one on, but gravity got the best of me before the glue fully cured. Instead, I drilled holes in the cart and used screws to secure the handle. The handle is the perfect size for a tea towel.
On the top of our new bar cart, I made a healthy drink station. Healthy = water :) Since my studio is in the basement and we don’t have a working kitchenette or bathroom yet, I have to go upstairs to get water. The bar cart gave me the opportunity to change that. The drink dispenser from my party supply cabinet is perfect for serving water in the basement.
For extra flavor and cuteness, I put out my favorite Anthropologie bowl filled with lemons. The colors on the bowl are perfect. The bamboo striped cutting board was a $4 steal from HomeGoods. And, I could not resist putting out the corked glass jar full of pretty birch paper straws.
The middle shelf is snack central. We aren’t big snackers, mostly fruits and nuts, so one shelf is enough for us. The turquoise drawer is one of these I found at a garage sale. It is the perfect width for popcorn packets. The gold-dipped bowl is filled with snack packages of nuts. And, the cookie jar is all cuteness. It doesn’t even have cookies in it. I might change it up and fill it with organic lollipops for the boys.
The bottom shelf is all for looks, well mostly. My cute yellow lantern, another HomeGoods find, ties in really well with the photo message boards. To make it functional, I turned it into a napkin holder. It is stocked with cute navy dot napkins from the Mara*Mi collection at Target. The turquoise anchor tray is from World Market. It is just the right size to hold three big bottles of San Pellegrino…which looks pretty and tastes yummy.
The snack cart is just around the corner from the basement family room. I think even once we get the nearby kitchenette finished, the snack cart will remain. I don’t think we will ever want to give up cute and easy access to water and snacks. And, we owe it all to mom. Thanks for the cart!
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