the sloppy drinker’s bar cart.

I was really rather surprised to see this fairly nice quality bar cart at a garage sale with a price tag of only $5.

The frame was in excellent condition, even the leather wrapped handle looked practically new. 

However, the wood had some fairly significant damage.

Were they using it as a plant stand?  or were they just sloppy drinkers?

Either way, it was a simple matter to flip the bar cart over and remove all of the screws that were holding the two wood shelves in place.  Well, fairly simple anyway, there were 32 screws!

I briefly considered painting the wood, but I thought that this was one of those times where stained wood would appeal to potential buyers more than painted wood.  Plus, I knew it would be quick and easy to refinish two flat, featureless pieces of wood.

So once I had the wood out of the frame, rather than using a chemical stripper, I simply sanded it down to bare wood with my orbital sander.  Next I got out my Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain in Special Walnut and wiped on two coats using an old t-shirt (allowing for drying time in between coats).

I gave the Special Walnut a full 24 hours to dry before adding two coats of Dixie Belle’s Flat clear coat over it.

I went with the clear coat rather than my usual clear wax just in case the next owners of this bar cart are sloppy drinkers too.  It will provide a bit more protection against spills.

After letting the clear coat cure for a couple of days, I re-assembled the bar cart and it was done.

I guess it says something about our drinking habits that the only liquor we had on hand for staging my photos was a bottle of Cointreau.

Well, we also had some Bailey’s, but we didn’t have any of the hard stuff.  What can I say, we’re not big drinkers at our house.  Just the occasional margarita or a little Bailey’s in our coffee.

I did a little google research and discovered that this bar cart is available new at Target for $150.  But even with my makeover, I’m letting this one go for half that price at $75.

So if you’re local and in need of a bar cart, either leave me a comment or send me an email at

21 thoughts on “the sloppy drinker’s bar cart.

  1. I do like the special walnut stain. II think it was a good choice. This one really didn’t need much did it? This cart reminds me of something my grandparents would have had. They liked to have a highball before lunch, maybe not daily but a few times per week, as I recall. That was a long time ago! 🙂 I would definitely choose a nice vintage one like this over Target’s new version!


  2. Just the thought of having a special “cart” just to wheel up your “bar” fixings seems hilarious to me! Oddly, I think it would be great as a coffee cart. 😉


  3. Well, durn, just when I was going to tell you my outside the box thoughts on this one, it sells! You are good girlie! (That’s what my grandma called my mom all of her life!)


      1. I think that would be cute in a bathroom. Hand towels on handle, large towels rolled and stacked on bottom shelf. Top shelf holding a couple of short stacks of wash cloths plus a mirror holding fun jars of q-tips, cotton balls etc. OR If there’s an odd wall in the bathroom that needs something, a potted fern as they are supposed to do well in a steamy place. Scale could be stored on bottom shelf. That was the first thing I thought of as I’m not a drinker either.


      2. I love that idea. Since we have the world’s smallest bathroom, I never think of that as a possibility! I also saw an adorable ‘hot cocoa bar cart’ set up on pinterest the other day, which led to me finding a number of other Christmas versions of bar carts and I thought perhaps I missed the mark by not hanging onto the bar cart until the holidays. Oh well, too late now 😉


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