Upcycled Paper Lined Vintage Metal Cart

upcycled vintage metal cart 3

It’s time to get real.  This whole blogging process has forced me to be a lot more open than I normally am.  Every post is putting a little bit of me out there, which is something that I’m just not used to doing.  Blogging has forced me to improve in areas that I don’t excel in (eh hem – photography) and  continue to do the things that I love (like everything DIY) and share it with all of you!  Although I am loving the overall blogging process, challenges and all, I must admit, there are parts about all of this that I just don’t love doing.

upcycled vintage metal cart

Staging photographs is one of those areas that is not my favorite.  I told you I was going to get real in this post, so let me be honest with you.  I usually dread setting up a project before photographing it.  Most of the time, I exclude everything else from the picture and just take a photo of the object (a big “no-no”, I know).  But before we get to that dilemma, let’s talk about the part I enjoy – painting and creating!  This post contains affiliate links, marked with an asterisk.  Feel free to read about our disclosure policy here.

upcycled vintage metal cart before

I found this metal cart at an estate sale, and although I actually liked the green, it was a bit scratched and dinged up, and I didn’t think the green would appeal to many others, so I decided to spray paint it.  I used Rustoleum spray paint in a satin finish and gave the cart two coats of paint.

applying paper to furniture 2

I found this paper at a local stationary store and knew it would be perfect for my little cart.  I laid it out and folded the ends so that the edges matched the inside lip of the cart.  After cutting out each piece with a rotary cutter (nice clean, straight lines), I marked the corners off and cut the pieces off.

decoupage paper to furniture

I sprayed each piece of paper with Clear Acrylic Spray* (this helps the paper to remain in tact when applying the top coat later on) and let dry.  Then, I used Loctite High Performance Spray Adhesive* and sprayed both the top of the cart and the back of the paper, and with a steady hand, laid down the piece of paper.

applying paper to furniture 4

After it dried, I applied 3 coats of Satin Polycrylic*, in the hopes of creating a strong finish to withstand use as a drink cart.

applying paper to furniture 3This wrinkling (on the left) scared me, but it ended up drying just fine (right).

So, when I finished up this vintage metal cart, it was time to figure out how in the world I was going to photograph this large object and make it look semi-nice.  Yep, I’m not even looking for beautiful here, just “nice”.  Ugh.  Welcome to my least favorite part of this whole process.

But then, as I started to get going, I actually began to enjoy this one.  As I’m starting to develop my design style and collect unique finds from various sales, I realized I have a lot more options to choose from.

upcycled vintage metal cart 6

Some vintage blue mason jars, a copper watering can with sunflowers from the garden, and a basket and kitchen towels I had laying around the house…maybe this cart isn’t looking half bad.

upcycled vintage metal cart 4

Oh yeah, those chairs are vintage wooden folding chairs that I found at a thrift store a couple of months back and painted.  They’ll be for sale at a flea market I’m selling at in a couple of weeks, but for now, they’re props!

vintage blue mason jars

I finally learned how to use my camera in manual mode, so taking the pictures is no longer a step I dread.  In fact, once I’ve dragged myself through that process of staging a photo, I actually enjoy taking photos of it.

Right, so I think I actually made it look nice.  But I told you I was going to get real in this post.  Even though I enjoyed staging this photo this time around, it’s still not my cup of tea (or water).

Here’s the reality of this photo shoot:

the reality of a photo shootI took photos before adding Polycrylic to the top.  Of course condensation would form on the glass and drip on my paper.  (Don’t worry, it dried out.)

reality of a photo shootThis was in the middle of my living room.  I needed to take a basket from somewhere.

upcycled vintage metal cart 2Those jars are dirty.  I grabbed them out of my garage and quickly rinsed them.  …and then my 18 month old tried to drink out of them.

One of the wheels in missing.  (How do I loose everything?  I had it a month ago…)

My gravel driveway is about two feet from that photo shoot.  Gross.

Those are weeds, not grass.

I really still don’t enjoy staging photos.

But here’s what you get to see!

upcycled vintage metal cart 5

upcycled vintage metal cart

Like what you see?  I’d love for you to follow along!

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Linking up with these awesome parties!

Pink When | DIY Show Off | Making it in the Mountains | Refresh Restyle | Huckleberry Love | Finding Silver Pennies | Dwelling in Happiness | The Crowned Goat | 2 Bees in a Pod | Cedar Hill Farmhouse | My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Kammy’s KornerHome Stories A to ZJust a Girl & Her Blog The DIY Dreamer | Saavy Southern Style | Dandelion Patina | Gingersnap Crafts | Knick of Time | Posed Perfection | Live Laugh Rowe | Canary Street Crafts | Addison Meadows Lane | Blue i Style | Craftberry Bush | Miss Mustard Seed | The Girl Creative | Little Miss Celebration | Redoux Interiors | Sew a Fine Seam | Craftaholics Anonymous | Dagmar’s Home | Tatertots & Jello | Funky Junk Interiors | House of Hipsters | Confessions of a Serial DIYerNot Just a Housewife | Remodelaholic

14 thoughts on “Upcycled Paper Lined Vintage Metal Cart

  1. Great revamp project, oh I feel ya on the staging thing. Most of my furniture shots are in the yard as well. I can never seem to get a decent shot inside natural lighting works best for me. That is something I need to get a handle on. Phone cameras are not DSL for sure…..
    And hey … Guess what, I didn’t even notice those weeds!

    1. Thanks Brenda! I’m glad to hear there are others like me. I’m sure once I get the hang of it, I’ll continue learning, and eventually like it, but right now I’m in the struggling through it phase!

  2. a) I love this project. I have been looking for a cart like for my new kitchen. b) I so feel you with staging photos. I’m terrible at it and it’s my least favorite part of the blogging process! Thank you for sharing your project and for your honesty!

  3. I love this cart makeover! The color is perfect, and that paper is adorable! I was laughing out loud at your photo shoot honesty – we’ve all been there! Thanks so much for stopping by Talented Tuesdays and sharing with us!

  4. I love the cart makeover! I have one almost identical at our cottage that I just began making over a few weeks ago with red paint. I love it when I find ideas for similar items 🙂 Thanks for posting. Lisa

    1. Funny that you ask that, because I recently removed the paper from my cart! However, the reason I had to remove it was because I brought it with to use at a market and there was a massive rain/hail storm, the tent blew off, and it got pretty soaked. I was able to peel off some of the paper after this happened, so I would suggest maybe putting a damp cloth over the paper for awhile, and then seeing if it penetrated the finish enough to remove the paper? That’s completely a guess though. The way I finished it was supposed to be a pretty permanent finish, but obviously not enough to withstand a rain storm!

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