May 8, 2014

I have a mild obsession with brass vintage bar carts. Odd, I know, because I don’t drink. But they are so lovely and have so many different uses. Boy, are they pricy though.  A nice one can run anywhere from $500-$3,000.  Seriously.

I spotted this one on Craigslist recently and just couldn’t pass it up.  The faux bamboo detailing was so so good.


It was listed for $35. What.  I snagged it for $30.  A bargain for sure, but it was far from in perfect condition.

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The brass was old and rubbed off in spots.  I can’t find the photo I took of the original shelves, but they were cheap plexiglass.  The wheels were broken off.  It needed a lot of love.  But I couldn’t get images like these out of my head.  I knew it had so much potential.

bamboo bar cart

Ballard Designs

bamboo bar cart 2

Design Manifest

bamboo bar cart 3


I mean, mine was a dead ringer, right?  The first order of business was the shelves.  I took the cart directly to a glass shop and had custom glass shelves made, then tossed the plexiglass.  It was $35 and so worth it.

Next, I cleaned the brass really well using vinegar and a soft cloth.  The vinegar cleaned off any dirt and mineral deposits on the brass.

When it was all clean, I spray painted two coats of Design Master Gold Medal.  I hadn’t planned on painting it originally, but the brass color was so uneven.  The new paint was beautiful, not too shiny, and even.  It was so beautiful!

I purchased new cart wheels at Home Depot for about $10.  It’s like it’s brand new!  Not bad for around $75 total, eh?

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What has surprised me the most is how much we use it.  It’s so perfect for parties (we used it for Ruby’s birthday party), for evening dinners or guests, and I think it’s perfect for the kitchen to house pretty dishes and fresh flowers.  And how cute would it be in a theatre room or even a master bedroom as a min-beverage station?  Possibilities are endless, I tell ya.

Score anything great on Craigslist lately?

Jen Signature photo JenSignature_zpse63747c4.jpg

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  1. Nikky says:

    Love it! I don’t drink either, but after seeing so many well-styled bar carts lately, I think I want to incorporate one into my decor. I just have to figure out what to put on it! 🙂

  2. This is so awesome! I LOVE Craigslist. I always ask my friends if they need help buying or selling on Craigslist because I consider myself a bit if a guru 🙂 I’ve gotten a small dining room set, bar stools, console table, coffee table, tv stand, you name it, all from Craigslist!

  3. Heather says:

    Oh my goodness! I love it! What a score! I would’ve just bought it and called it good. Impressed that you thought of getting glass cut and new wheels!!

  4. Jamala says:

    I love it!! the coral ice bucket looks fab too!

  5. I want one so bad! Your updates look amazing- Totally inspiring!

  6. This is such a wonderful find. I myself have been looking on Craigslist for something similar. I am curios, did you search anything out of the ordinary? I ask because I have looked up a few different key words and such and my results are not that wonderful. Any help would be much appreciated.


  7. […] Do you remember my Craigslist vintage bar cart makeover? […]

  8. Briana says:

    I absolutely love this! I’ve had a difficult time finding a brass bamboo bar cart that isn’t over #300. Do you have any search tool suggestions for craigslist? Also, do you have any suggestions in terms of picking a cart to up-style? I have found a couple that I like that look really beat up and I’m just not confident that I can update it.

    • Jen says:

      Thank you, Briana! I just searched “barrack” and it came up. I would just suggest making sure the frame is in excellent condition and that there is no serious rust damage. You can totally replace the shelves like we did. Hope that helps!

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