June 13, 2016

Factory Cart Coffee Tables

If you've been following me since the very beginning, like waaay back, these factory carts may sound vaguely familiar to you. If not, you can catch up on all the details here. Over the past two years, my collection of factory carts has slowly been dwindling down. The biggest challenge with refinishing these carts is the mess they make, requiring me to work outdoors, weather permitting. Actually, that's probably the second biggest challenge. Getting motivated to refinish these carts is definitely more of a battle. It requires a good week of giving myself a pep talk, telling myself I can be rewarded with a massage and wine afterwards, and maybe (just maybe) we'll have our garage back at the end of this so we can quit parking our car in the driveway. 

This past weekend I made one more baby step towards reaching that goal of feeling like an adult who has an organized and functional garage. It was 90 and sunny - ideal conditions to sweat out some stress using power tools. 

When I first started refinishing these carts, they would literally take me days to complete. Since then, I have found some tricks and tips to help reduce the work time down to several hours. What remains the same: My trusty belt sander is a life saver and does the bulk of the work. I still inhale about a pound of dust with every cart I finish. What has changed: I have switched from the paint to the spray version of the Rustoleum finish for the hardware, cutting down a ton of time. That mop on my head has grown significantly larger since the pictures from the original post. (Note to self - buy a face mask and schedule a hair appointment ASAP.) 

However, apart from all of that, the one constant that holds true is no two carts are alike. I have refinished carts where I keep the sides painted and the top natural. I have also refinished carts where the sides stay natural and I paint the top. In addition to the refinishing approach, each cart has its own quirks and character traits. 

This time around, I decided to try something a bit different and refinish a cart in all natural wood. The results...warm, clean, fresh and of course natural!

This particular cart started out with paint on both the sides and the top, so it required a good deal of sanding in order to let the natural wood show through.

But once I got there, you could see the pretty grain of the Oak wood underneath.

I protected the wood with several coats of satin finish polyurethane. This keeps the wood looking natural, but a bit more finished.

The natural wood really creates a versatile backdrop, allowing you to style the coffee table however you want. 

At first I was a bit skeptical that there wouldn't be enough contrast, but once it was all sanded down, I loved the warm feel of the natural wood.

And whatever contrast there may be missing in the wood, the black hardware helps to make up for that.

In addition to adding contrast, the rustoleum helps to protect the hardware and prevent future rusting.

Overall, I was really pleased with the end result of this cart. The thing I enjoy most about redoing these carts is seeing how each one turns out so unique. For more unique coffee table ideas, be sure to check out http://homesthetics.net/15-beautiful-cheap-diy-coffee-table-ideas/. They have some creative and inexpensive ideas to creating your own coffee table.