Office Shelf to Bar Cart

10 Materials
5 Hours

I got this cart from an office I worked in years ago. They were remodeling and employees got to take some of the old furniture for free. I haven't been using this for much because the back supports fell off and some screws had gone missing. But I saw potential!

This is where I began. The top and bottom pieces were a formica-type material with fake wood grain peel & stick cover. The fake wood grain started peeling away and it looked like a mess. So I knew I has to start by covering both shelves.

I bought a piece of plywood and cut a section to fit the top and bottom shelves. I gave each piece a quick sanding and then I used Minwax Ebony stain.

I wanted to have the wood look with a shiny, protective surface so I gave each shelf two layers of epoxy (Famowood Glaze Coat Clear Epoxy Kit). This is the first time I used epoxy coating and it shows. I thought I was very careful spreading it around evenly, but there are some spots where you can see it's uneven. For the most part, it isn't noticeable unless it hits the right light, but I wasn't happy about it. I'm going to keep practicing with epoxy until I master a technique!

I forgot to take pictures of this step, but I bought metal corner molding and furniture corner protectors to go around the edges of the top shelf. I used a miter saw to cut the metal molding to fit, and then I painted all of the pieces gray, to match the metal legs of the cart.

I used Gorilla Glue construction adhesive to adhere plywood on top of the original shelves and then I put weight on the plywood until the glue was dry. I used the same glue to attach the metal trim.

I found a wine rack at Goodwill that was just the right size for the cart. It was originally brown, so I just painted it gray and it was the perfect fit!

Not pictured: I added four wheels on the bottom to make it a cart. I found a set of four wheels that included locks on two of them, so if you don't want it to roll, it can be locked in place.

I added to metal rods on the back, in an "x" shape to add support, along with extra screws. The original unit had similar support but it bent easily and fell off, so I wanted to ensure that it would remain sturdy.

Since the wine rack is not attached, it can easily be moved around or removed if it isn't needed.

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

Make Your Kitchen Beautiful With These 15 Inexpensive Ideas
31 Tricks To Help You Fix The Wood In Your Home:
31 Super Cute & Easy DIY Ideas For Your Kitchen
30 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
Spring Cleaning Tricks for the Kitchen
4 Chemical-Free Ways To Clean In Your Home
Easy DIY Remedies For Your 7 Most Hated Bugs

Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Kathryn
    on Jun 7, 2019

    I’ve been looking all over online to see if anyone has upcycled one of these office laminate type pieces. I have this ugly but super sturdy utility Caninets that has those rounded edges and the typical laminate commercial/office material. I’ve been trying to look for ideas on how to make it look cool and now I have an idea. How thick of wood did you buy? And did you have to sand or prep the laminate/Formica material first? Using the metal to frame it out is smart. I think that could work on mine. I’m excited to try this

    • I used a fairly thin piece of wood, maybe 1/4 inch. I can't remember exactly. Since I knew I was going to cover it with epoxy and that would give it a nice hard surface, I was too worried about the thickness of the wood. I did not do any prep to the laminate surface; the Gorilla Glue Construction Adhesive held it in place really well. I hope your project goes well!

Join the conversation

2 of 9 comments
Your comment...