Factory Cart Coffee Table

Ashley Harding
by Ashley Harding
couple months ago I got my hands on a collection of original factory carts. If you don't know much about these carts, let me tell you, they are in high demand right now. The industrial look is so popular at the moment and these carts are the perfect piece to give any space that vibe. Although they are used for a variety of functions, I most often see them being used as coffee tables. You can find them in popular retail stores like Restoration Hardware and Arhaus. However if you ask me, a genuine cart straight from the factory is way cooler than something you can go out and buy at a retail store. But maybe I'm just a bit partial to these carts because of all the sweat and blood that's gone into restoring them (and yes, there was sweat and blood).
When I got them, they were in rough shape. They had come straight from the factory, and had been used for moving heavy items around the building. There was nothing pretty about these things. However, I knew there was hope. I went into the garage and pulled out my magic wand (also known as a power washer) and got to work!
After A LOT of power washing, I chose one lucky cart to be my guinea pig. I wasn't sure how much restoring I wanted to do. The goal was to keep these carts in the closest to original form as possible, but make them clean, safe and usable. I started with all the hardware. I sanded it down with 220 grit sandpaper and painted it all using Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze. This step helped to eliminate all of the rust and make the hardware smoother. Next came the sanding. I can proudly say I used every type of sanding tool and method possible to get this thing smooth. At the end of the day, a belt sander worked best for the majority of the surface area, but you also need a mouse hand sander for the corners and crevices. Once I finally reached the point where I couldn't bare to look at a sander for another second, I decided it was time to move on. The last step I did was to protect all the wood with several coats of polyurethane. I chose a satin finish which gives the wood a bit of a sheen and a more polished finish.
I know I said these tables have an industrial vibe, but the thing that's great about them is how versatile they are. I wheeled this sucker into our traditional styled living room, and it looks great!
Once it's accessorized, you can really begin to see what a great coffee table it makes.
And,, even though this table weighs a ton, the wheels make it easy to move around the room.
Ashley Harding
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Angel C Angel C on Sep 17, 2017
    Are there anymore left? If so, what's the shipping on one?

Join the conversation
3 of 131 comments
  • Smc2409141 Smc2409141 on Feb 03, 2017
    Do you still have any left? I would drive to Chicago, buy one what are you charging for them?

    • Ashley Harding Ashley Harding on Feb 04, 2017
      I still have several unfinished ones left. You are more than welcome to drive to Chicago if you'd like to purchase one. I'm selling the unfinished ones for $300 .

  • Edith Kida Edith Kida on May 19, 2017
    Great job on these! My husband bought over 300 of these and refurbishes them as a hobby. He doesn't use a power washer to remove the paint with a scraper. Most of them have original signage on the wood as you can see on the pic below. We love them and have one in our house too.