Upcycled Hand Cart Coffee Table

Recently I had the pleasure of tackling a 40 mile yard sale in Virginia. I came away with a bunch of treasures and I promised that I would soon have some great makeovers for you. Well, I finally got busy and tackled an old, rusty, crusty hand cart.

I’ve seen them called hand carts, hand trucks, hand dollys (did I miss any?) but I think they are all the same thing. To me, it’s a coffee table. There he is on the left above.

While the majority of the coffee table will be made out of pallet wood, I needed a nice old board to complement my nice old hand cart. A quick trip to the salvage yard and I was set.

This piece measured 2″x 12″x 9′ …and that was a true 2 inch width, made when boards measuring 2 inches were really 2 inches wide.

I cut the wood into 2, 34 1/2″ and 2, 20″ pieces. You can see the start of my coffee table box above.

I predrilled 2 holes on each corner and used 6″ bolts to join the box together.

I ran the sander over my box to get rid of any splinters but I liked the saw lines so I didn’t sand those out.

The cut corners were stained to appear closer in color to the aged wood.

The box was given a clear coat of danish oil which brought out the richness of the wood.

I want this coffee table to have storage, so on the inside of my box I nailed a 1 inch strip of scrap wood to the bottom of both sides. This will serve as a ledge to attach a bottom.

Pallet wood was cut and sanded and nailed to the ledge at the bottom of the box.

For a little pop of color I painted the bottom with red chalk paint.

The red got a bit more sanding to give the paint an aged look, then finished with a dark wax. The wax really tones down the brightness of the red.

Out of 9 pieces of pallet wood I constructed a barn door looking top for my table. The size of the barn door is slightly smaller than the box frame.

First up red and white haphazardly painted on.

Once the red and white was dry my husband insisted my door needed an X instead of a Z…hey, I’m flexible, so more pallet wood was added. The pallet wood was followed by a coat of the light blue.

After the blue was dry, once again hit the pallets with the sander revealing a bit of the red and white.

Not too much difference in the last photo but it has a coat of clear wax mixed with just a bit of tinted wax. The wax was painted on then rubbed off with a rag.

For a little more detail I decided to frame my coffee table box with even more pallet wood.

This frame trim piece was painted with some barn red followed by black chalk paint. It too got sanded, followed by a coat of tinted wax.

If you don’t have a hand cart, I have some alternative leg ideas for you on my blog as well as how I attached the coffee table to the cart , how I leveled it off and a ton more pictures.

Hope to see you there.
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Angela Cosner
    on Jan 29, 2018

    How do you avoid tripping over the handles, people or animals running into them, or guests hurting themselves?
    • Lisa
      on May 2, 2019

      I’m a clutz I would trip and kill myself! Lol

  • Sil17301990
    on Jan 29, 2018

    I love this idea and I also love your rug!! Can you tell me where you got it?
    • ScavengerChic
      on Jan 30, 2018

      Unfortunately I bought it about 6 years ago and don't remember the source. It was online, so just Google jute rug and things should pop up.
  • Denise Roudabush
    on Jan 30, 2018

    What keeps everyone from tripping over the handles? The table is awesome.
    • I love this ! But could not do it !! My MS , and not common sense , would be detrimental with those handles . If only common sense was a way to dominate walking and balance issues wit MS . Beautifully though .

Join the conversation

2 of 67 comments
  • Dennis
    on Jan 22, 2019

    Fix handles so they will detach and place inside the table til needed.

  • Joanie
    on Jun 12, 2019

    To bad ya can't put a larger wheel on to even it out, but I understand. I love this idea and it is an exceptional piece of furniture.....I would love to own......thank you and enjoy your wheel barrow......skip to beat and use it to clean up your snacks and beer cans......lol.

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