Tea Cart Makeover

3 Materials
2 Weeks
  1. Earlier this year I restored my grandma's cart. (Holding up very well.) I purchased this one a few years ago at a yard sale. I liked it because the top tray lifts off to use for serving. I decided I didn't need it anymore, since I had refurbished grandma's. Now, I decided to experiment with chalk paint. Read on...
  • I forgot to take a proper "before" picture. 😕I started by oiling rusted bolts. I had difficulty getting them to break loose. With the help of my daughter, we removed all but one, of course. I googled the issue and heated the nut with a fireplace lighter and it popped right off. The trays and chrome had very little rust. I put the nuts & bolts in a baggie, add a piece of foil, covered with white vinegar and rubbed it between my hands several times for about an hour. Use the foil to remove the rust.
I removed the handles from the top tray then sanded the trays. I poured various sized dots of chalk paint on one end of the tray. I tried using the palm of my hand to move the paint along the surface. I didn't care for it, not to mention it was messy. I wiped it off and started again. Same dots as before, but this time I used a 3" sponge roller. Dampen the sponge and mist the surface with water, then roll from one end to the other and over the edge. Keep rolling lightly the stripe you created until you're happy with the look, then repeat the process until the object is covered to your satisfaction. Don't wipe off or clean the roller. The mixture is what makes it unique.
This is the top tray.
Two coats of tung oil to seal. I covered the wheels completely, then sprayed the chrome, handles and bolt heads with hammered antique pewter. (I went over the chrome with scotch bright before painting. Poke screws in cardboard so they stand up. Makes it easier to paint.)
The bottom shelves have more texture to them, but are still smooth. I love the end result. I hope my daughter-in-law loves it too, since this is her Christmas gift this year.
Suggested materials:
  • Chalk paint, tung oil and antique pewter spray paint.   (Home Depot)
  • 3" foam roller   (On hand)
  • White vinegar and foil   (On hand)
Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Bide4752 Bide4752 on Dec 04, 2017
    What or how did you use the viniger?

Join the conversation
  • Wendy Wendy on Dec 04, 2017
    Oh wow, what a beautiful look!

  • Joanie Joanie on Jun 20, 2020

    At first, I thought you couldn't make up your mind on what color to use. :))) After a while.... I thought it looked like marble and I LOVE IT!! I love purple and I also had 1 of these trays. These trays come in handy for outside and also for storage in your kitchen. I used it in our apartment as newly weds.