Upcycled Hand Cart Coffee Table

by ScavengerChic
2 Materials
Recently I had the pleasure of tackling a 40 mile yard sale in Virginia. I came away with a bunch of treasures and I promised that I would soon have some great makeovers for you. Well, I finally got busy and tackled an old, rusty, crusty hand cart.

I’ve seen them called hand carts, hand trucks, hand dollys (did I miss any?) but I think they are all the same thing. To me, it’s a coffee table. There he is on the left above.

While the majority of the coffee table will be made out of pallet wood, I needed a nice old board to complement my nice old hand cart. A quick trip to the salvage yard and I was set.

This piece measured 2″x 12″x 9′ …and that was a true 2 inch width, made when boards measuring 2 inches were really 2 inches wide.

I cut the wood into 2, 34 1/2″ and 2, 20″ pieces. You can see the start of my coffee table box above.

I predrilled 2 holes on each corner and used 6″ bolts to join the box together.

I ran the sander over my box to get rid of any splinters but I liked the saw lines so I didn’t sand those out.

The cut corners were stained to appear closer in color to the aged wood.

The box was given a clear coat of danish oil which brought out the richness of the wood.

I want this coffee table to have storage, so on the inside of my box I nailed a 1 inch strip of scrap wood to the bottom of both sides. This will serve as a ledge to attach a bottom.

Pallet wood was cut and sanded and nailed to the ledge at the bottom of the box.

For a little pop of color I painted the bottom with red chalk paint.

The red got a bit more sanding to give the paint an aged look, then finished with a dark wax. The wax really tones down the brightness of the red.

Out of 9 pieces of pallet wood I constructed a barn door looking top for my table. The size of the barn door is slightly smaller than the box frame.

First up red and white haphazardly painted on.

Once the red and white was dry my husband insisted my door needed an X instead of a Z…hey, I’m flexible, so more pallet wood was added. The pallet wood was followed by a coat of the light blue.

After the blue was dry, once again hit the pallets with the sander revealing a bit of the red and white.

Not too much difference in the last photo but it has a coat of clear wax mixed with just a bit of tinted wax. The wax was painted on then rubbed off with a rag.

For a little more detail I decided to frame my coffee table box with even more pallet wood.

This frame trim piece was painted with some barn red followed by black chalk paint. It too got sanded, followed by a coat of tinted wax.

If you don’t have a hand cart, I have some alternative leg ideas for you on my blog as well as how I attached the coffee table to the cart , how I leveled it off and a ton more pictures.

Hope to see you there.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 4 questions
  • Sil17301990 Sil17301990 on Jan 29, 2018
    I love this idea and I also love your rug!! Can you tell me where you got it?

  • Denise Roudabush Denise Roudabush on Jan 29, 2018
    What keeps everyone from tripping over the handles? The table is awesome.

  • Katen Katen on Jan 18, 2023

    Why does it look so dirty in an otherwise clean room? I’d enjoy it more in yard and giving littles ride around the yard or hauling plants to flower beds

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2 of 71 comments
  • ScavengerChic ScavengerChic on Jan 16, 2021

    I appreciate all the worry about the handles but I've really had no issues at all. When going around the coffee table I dont get that close to the ends. If the handles stuck out the sides it would be a different story.

  • Lindsey Martin Lindsey Martin on Nov 18, 2022