I’ve developed a passion for flipping furniture lately and now every time I go by a thrift store or garage sale my eyes are peeled for any furniture or decor that I could transform. I have always been someone who hates to throw things away and always try to find a use for something or recycle it if I can.
I recently talked about some thrift store and antique finds in my Instagram stories and how I love to pick up antiques and old furniture but have no idea what plan I have for them at the time. This cart that I recently made over is no different. I am one of those people in the family that is known to take old furniture or antiques off other peoples hands. What can I say I may be a little bit of a hoarder in that regard! This cart was given to me by my Aunt cause I just knew I could do some sort of transformation with it!
The cart is made of wood except for the middle and bottom shelf which are particle board. I knew right away that it needed to be updated but had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted it to be a functional piece that I either kept or would try to sell. So for the last several months it has taken up residence in our garage and became a new place for the cats to nap.
I recently became an Independent Maker with A Maker’s Studio and that is when my creative juices started thinking. I wanted a spot where I could store and organize all my paints, brushes, stencils and other supplies where they were accessible and easy to see. So I decided to paint the entire cart and add some decorative details and replace the wheels.
Materials Used to Transform a Craft Cart
- An old bar cart or some furniture pieces that has shelving and could have wheels added
- Rescue, Restore Paint (I used Blessed and Southern Gentleman)
- “French Script” Mesh Stencil
- ChalkArt (I used Peace & Joy with the French script)
- ChalkArt Spreader
- Light Antiquing Wax
- Dark Antiquing Wax
- Cerusing Wax (this was the one I used on the top over the French Script)
- Lint-free rag or an old t-shirt
- Wax brush
- Chip brush
Painting the Cart
I knew that I wanted the top of the cart to stand out from the rest. So the bottom half of the cart and the legs were painted in Blessed. And the top was painted in Southern Gentleman. One thing I love love love about this paint is that it doesn’t smell bad! It has no VOCs and actually has essential oils in the paint so while I was working on this project our entire garage smelled wonderful! And all the names of the paint are just so darn cute!
I also decided to experiment with the antiquing waxes that A Maker’s Studio has, I have never used waxes on any furniture before and honestly the whole idea intimidated me. I had seen some beautiful examples all over Pinterest but was seriously doubting my ability to use wax. And then I reminded myself that I always say to the kids: “you never know until you try.” So I figured if I didn’t like it I could try to paint over it or I would figure something else out (spoiler alert: It worked out!)
The legs of the cart had some nice details and I wanted those to stand out. I chose to use the darkest wax. And to tell you I was nervous would be an understatement. I followed the directions on the back of the bottle and did exactly as it advised. The dark antiquing wax recommends that you first start by applying the light antiquing wax to the entire piece before going over it with the dark. So I did this to all the legs and shelves on the bottom half of the cart. Then using a lint-free t-shirt rag I wiped this off and waited 10 minutes or so.
Then came time to apply the dark wax, working in small areas at a time and then wiping off the excess as I worked. Now at first I only did one whole set of legs on a side and had Justin look at it with me to see what he thought. My first initial reaction was that I didn’t like that it gave the piece a “dirty” look. But after looking at and comparing the side that was un-waxed I realized why the dark wax was needed. If you have any type of furniture piece with details the dark wax will make these details stand out so much! I felt that without the wax the one side just looked, well, Blah! So I applied the rest of the dark wax and I am so glad I did. I am excited to try more pieces using dark wax.
Using Mesh Stencils
One of the first stencils I bought from A Maker’s Studio was the French script and I thought it would look perfect on the top of my cart.
As I mentioned above the top of the cart was painted in Southern Gentleman which is blue/gray. I then used the French script with the Peace & Joy chalk art repeated over and over. Here is my YouTube Channel tutorial showing how to use the mesh stencils:
You can definitely tell if you look closely where the edge of the stencil lines are just the way the words match up but I am ok with that. A stencil tip: It is really best to wash the stencil in between each application as I didn’t do that the first time and the script was very faint when I tried using in the 3rd time because the ChalkArt was getting stuck in the mesh pieces and would not transfer any new ChalkArt through. Although this might be a pain if you wanted a quality completed piece I would highly recommend taking the extra time to wash in between. (This is actually an awesome perk of these mesh stencils that they can be washed to be used over and over again.)
And because I wanted to play around all my waxes some more I used the cerusing wax on top of the French script ChalkArt. This helps seal the ChalkArt so that it won’t come off if the surface gets wet for any reason and the cerusing wax is designed to give it a “pickled” look. I describe it as a more whitewashed look but I loved the end result. The cerusing wax is applied with a chip brush which allows you to put a thin layer of wax on the surface.
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