Upcycled Plant Cart Saved From "Above The Rim"

This past summer I spied a metal cart in a dumpster. To be frank, I have never truly actually participated in dumpster diving. The thought of actually climbing inside a dumpster has never been on my acceptable things to do list. But, this metal bar cart was floating on top of the trash pile. It was (to quote a Seinfeld episode) above the rim! And it was begging to be upcycled into a beautiful plant cart.
1 Discarded rusty bar cart (rescued from above the rim)
Socket set
Hammer for coaxing rusty bolts loose
Can of Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint
Can of Krylon Copper Spray paint
Sander/sanding block
Fine grit sand paper
Wire brush
Rag and/or damp wipes
Painter’s tape
Drop cloth
Scraps of wood to elevate while painting
Optional: Drill
I brought it home and knew I could do a quick makeover with some spray paint. But, first it needed a good cleaning and some prep work. The tops of the shelves were very rusty:
Loosen corner bolts with a socket wrench or drill and socket bit. Hammer out any that are too rusty to budge.
Use a power sander to sand the shelf tops. You want to get rid of as much rust as possible.
Wipe everything off with a damp rag and cleanser if necessary. Before painting the legs, tape off the wheels with painter’s tape.
Prop legs off the drop cloth with scraps of wood (so the legs won’t stick to the drop cloth after you paint them.) Spray one light coat of copper spray paint on legs. Allow the coat to dry and repeat. Flip the legs over and paint the other side with two coats.
Spray one light coat of Heirloom White onto the cart shelves. After the first coat dries, repeat with a second and third coat.
Once everything is completely dry, remove the painter’s tape from the wheels. Re-assemble the cart.
Remember where we started? Was it worth my first “dumpster rescue?” Can I still claim to have never been dumpster diving? Or am I no longer a dumpster virgin?

Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

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  • Mathew Rossi Mathew Rossi on Feb 06, 2017
    You did a great job on the cart. I also have one that I am redoing. One thing about mine is that it always wants to lean to one side. It does not want to stay straight. I have tightened the screws and nuts as much as possible to no avail. Any ideas? Thanks,


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