A few weeks ago I found a very 70s looking TV cart at a tag sale in my apartment building. The best part? It was totally free! I’ve been swooning over bar carts I’ve seen on The Dirty Bar Cart‘s Instagram and as I discovered, turning a TV cart into a bar cart is pretty easy. It’s only a matter of some paint, elbow grease and creativity.
First I wiped down the TV cart with a wet rag and let it dry overnight. One of the few perks of living in an apartment building is that people are constantly leaving cans of discarded, perfectly good (most of the time) paint. I found a barely used can of Behr white paint. I put masking tape over the original brass wheels and hardware. I then painted the entire cart. The whole cart took about 2 coats of paint.
Initially I thought I was done with it after painting it white. Sure it looked nice but it was lacking personality. About 2 weeks went by and I was still racking my brain with ideas to spice up the cart. After watching A LOT of Flea Market Flip (seriously if you haven’t seen this show and you’re remotely into interior design, you should definitely check it out), a light bulb appeared over my little blonde head. Enter my new favorite thing: contact paper. I know what you’re thinking. The last time I remember hearing the term ‘contact paper’ was in grade school when my mom had to cover my text books. Well, turns out contact paper has come a very long way, comes in super cute patterns and can be used for a variety of home makeover projects (check out this Buzzfeed article). I hopped on Amazon to find one that fit the coastal vibe in my apartment and found this Duck Brand Sea Foam Ikat pattern for 20″ x 12′ for $13.45 and free shipping with Amazon Prime (which is literally the best thing that ever happened to me).
After cleaning and measuring the surfaces where the paper would cover, I carefully cut the paper and placed it on the surfaces. the tricky thing about contact paper is trying to avoid air bubbles. I had a scraper (pretty sure that’s not the technical term) from a puzzle glue kit that I used to scrape the paper as I laid it on the shelves. If you don’t have a scraper, I’d suggest using a spatula. Overall it was a pretty simple medium to work with.
Lastly (and most fun), I had to style the cart. I wanted to keep it simple but put a beachy twist on the typical bar cart and what says beach drinks more than margaritas?? I had a Libbey margarita pitcher and glass set from Bed Bath and Beyond that’s just too pretty to take up space in a closet. I had a coastal bar sign from Kohl’s, and a lantern leftover from our wedding (originally from Pier One). Throw in a bottle of Cuervo Silver and some limes and we are ready for a margarita party!