Monday, April 22, 2013

Cocktail Cart DIY

This is my absolute favorite DIY project that I have ever done, and I’m sure it will take a lot to top it. I am in no way an alcoholic, I just enjoy having a glass or two every so often. I’m also really interested in learning about mixed drinks. I have been wanting to create a cocktail cart for a while, especially since moving back home and not having anywhere to keep my wine.

I have been keeping my eye out for a cart every time I was at a thrift or antique store. One day, in January, I was going out to my car after work. I spotted the cart (pictured below) randomly in the parking lot behind the restaurant. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My adrenaline started pumping through my body. It was dark out, but it’s still a busy area so I didn’t want to look creepy putting it in my car so I had the carver help me do it! Luckily, he’s a nice guy and was glad to do so.
Unfortunately, I realized I accidentally deleted the before and during pictures. I am so mad at myself, but luckily I was able to scrounge up this Instagram picture. It’s horrible quality, but as you can see it was really dusty and rusty. Plus, it was an ugly color and the surface wasn’t even.

What you need:
  • Cart
  • Sandpaper, possibly a scraper for tougher spots
  • Killz Odorless Interior Based Primer (Wal-Mart)
  • Rust-oleum Spray Paint in Night Tide (Wal-Mart)
I wasn't sure what color I wanted to paint it. I'm obsessed with neutral colors and pops of color. I knew I wanted the cart neutral because then I could just put colorful accessories and containers on it. I really wanted a gray color, but Wal-Mart didn't have what I wanted (or thought I wanted). I couldn't decide between the Fern or Night Tide, but in the end I chose the dark blue. I'm glad I did because I feel like it is more neutral and it looks really great on the cart.

  1. First, I spent several days scraping off paint and sanding down the surface. This was a long tedious project because the person before me had done a really bad job of painting the surface, unless it was used to hold paint cans. There were drips and some parts were yellow and the other parts were white. I am usually really impatient, so I forced myself to take my time. Still, I could have spent more time, but my hands were really not taking it, plus it was January and cold.
  2. I wiped down the surfaces for any extra dirt, spider webs, and rust that was still on the surface.
  3. I used the Killz Odorless Interior based primer on the entire surface and let it dry.
  4. Then I used the Rust-oleum spray paint and painted several coats. I ended up using two spray paint cans. (Note: really listen to the can and don't paint under the temperature recommended. Being impatient I did, and ended up have the paint bubble up multiple times. I had to sand those spots down and repaint them. It was a mess.)
I had the cart painted for several months before I did anything. I would buy accessories here and there, but I didn't supply the cart until recently. Like I said earlier, I am not into alcohol at all. Whenever I go out I usually ask what other people are buying. I ended up asking people what they like because I had no idea where to start when stocking my cart. I also asked what kind of accessories I needed. I then made a list that I would take with me so that I could keep my eyes open when I went to stores.

I would suggest supplying the cart with things YOU like. Although I don't really know anything about mixed drinks I do know I hate Tequila, so I won't put it on my cart. I still need a lot of accessories, like bottle opener, cocktail shaker, etc. But I'm so happy with what I do have so far!
I love that my friends are so supportive of my DIY-ing! My friend, Mackenzie, sent me bitters, drink markers, and a muddle for my cart!
My aunt sent me a ton of win glasses that people left at the vacation home in Napa as well as the book Retro Cocktails! There were so many glasses I couldn't even fit them on my cart!
I already made my first drink, and I'm so excited for many more to come! I love this cart so much. It really is my pride and joy. The day I finally finished it I texted my friend telling him I couldn't stop staring at it. I really couldn't. I love it so much!

What do you think? Any suggestions for your favorite drinks or must have cocktail cart items?


  1. I love it! I love the color too! Go you for being patient enough to finish it so well, I'm bad at that.

    And I miss you. Wanna skype - we'll both make our own drinks and chat!

  2. I can't stop staring at it either! Holy crap I am so jealous. I have been casually looking for a cart too, and I found one at the thrift store the other week but LEFT IT (why?) and when I freaked out and returned for it, it was gone. SOMEONE AROUND HERE HAS AN AMAZING BAR CART AND IT'S NOT ME. I love your cart so much!

  3. Very creative. DIY is my favorite. I will always pay close attention to.


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