Thursday, October 10, 2013

Butcher block cart makeover

Way back in the day my parents got us this little butcher block topped cart for our teenie tiny apartment kitchen. It was a godsend at the time since our kitchen had almost no storage space what-so-ever (our microwave had previously lived on the kitchen table)! When we moved into our condo it came with us and has been holding everything from our mail, bibs and phone books to coloring books and crayons ever since. After I finished my two-toned dresser (here) I looked around my house for something I could finish the same way and  BINGO! I've never been a fan of the finish on this and staining the light, almost raw wood butcher block with a darker more sophisticated color seemed like a no-brainer. This little fella is a plain jane work horse just begging for it's crown of roses!

Utilitarian cart ready for it's makeover!

The lazy side of me almost won out but I ultimately decided to take the whole butcher block top off and detach it's 2 drop sides. The fact that it was just a handful of screws was the deciding factor :) Off came the top and drop sides followed by a light hand-sanding and 2 coats of dark walnut stain (top and bottom). The bottom of the cart got spray painted Rustoleum's Heirloom White. Easy peasy. Next came polyurethane on the top ( 2 coats) and re-assembly. This little cart is ready for it's reveal!

Let's get this party started!

Ready for it's close up!

Close up of it's shiny, reflective surface.

I love how it came out! In the past I have passed over pieces of furniture based on the color of the wood but now I know better. If you can learn to look past a piece's surface presentation to consider it's potential you never know what favorites you might find that are hiding in plain sight!

Lessons Learned

1). Don't get so excited to get started on a project that you forget to clean your piece thoroughly FIRST. I cleaned the top and completely spaced on the very bottom (near the wheels) and didn't notice the collected dust until my first coat of spray paint made it very obvious. Oops :) I made the best of that situation but obviously it would be better to not ever have that problem.

2). Come up with a plan for wheels before you start painting. Oops again. I was in a rush with this one, anxious to have it back in use (my kitchen table was covered in all the things we usually keep in it the drawers!) and I just started painting without considering the wheels. I never covered them so they got paint on them which I remedied by continuing to intentionally paint them but because they didn't get cleaned first they are pretty rough looking. Luckily, no one looks at the wheels under it (they'll be too busy looking at the gorgeous top)!

This was little effort on my part with BIG payoff. It honestly took more time (and patience) than effort to take something plain and make it over into something more my style. Why replace when you can re-finish? Is there anything you have laying around that might be a hidden gem?

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