Celia Collier
Celia Collier
  • Tutorial Team
  • United States

Restoring Grandma's Cart

2 Materials
1 Week

This cart belonged to my grandma. It's been inside, outside, rained on, snowed on, and thanks to the dogs, has been pottied on. I've been hauling it around for fifteen years with the goal of restoring it. I ignored (several times) being told to trash it. Here goes.
revamping grandma s cart
Looks pretty rough here. I sprayed it generously with industrial cleaner and let it sit a spell.
revamping grandma s cart
The 70+ years of use was no match for the cleaner. The underside was pretty rusty too.
revamping grandma s cart
I didn't have anything to soak these in, so I used the bathtub. In went the pieces with six gallons of vinegar, topped of with very hot water to cover. After sitting three hours I took my roll of aluminum foil to the tub, wadded up a piece and wiped. (Wiped, not scrubbed). It cleaned it down to bare metal! Some spots needed a bit of a scrub, but 97% of this wiped right off. Now this DID stain my tub. I cleaned it up with a magic eraser and a bit of Dawn.
revamping grandma s cart
I used mini bungee cords to hang the pieces to paint. This is the primer.
revamping grandma s cart
Then four coats of paint and three coats of sealant. I use dish gloves when I spray paint. Keeps the mess off me! I thought of doing a different color, but no. This pays homage to grandma, so I used original colors.
revamping grandma s cart
The finished product! I believe grandma would be pleased. I took my time with this, making sure each coat was dry before proceeding. It took a week, between work and home. I think it was time well spent.

Suggested materials:

  • 4 cans of red spray paint, 1 can of white, 1 can of primer and two cans of sealer.  (Home Depot.)
  • 6 gallons of vinegar.  (Grocery store.)

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 12 questions
  • Susan
    on Aug 19, 2017

    What did you use on the "corner legs?"
    Can hardly wait to do this project.
  • Wendy
    on Aug 27, 2017

    Hey.. Im wendy. My back porch is like urs flat roof with just concret and legs id love. Some diy ideas for it..i love the drapes .. Would love ur help... Thanks
    • Celia Collier
      on Sep 23, 2018

      I'm so sorry I just saw this. The first year I used drapes, folding chairs and whatever else I found at yard sales and thrift stores. Mother Nature took its toll on the curtains, as I knew it would, so this year I used solar lights instead. For Mother's Day my kids bought me a bench and two rocking chairs. I just bargain shop and think outside the box.

  • Kathi Anderson
    on Apr 20, 2018

    When soaking in the tub. Does this remove all the rust?

    • Celia Collier
      on Apr 20, 2018

      Yes! Soak it a couple hours then use crumbled foil to remove the rust.

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