Grill Cart Trash to Treasure – It All Started with a New Grill

Grill cart trash to treasure /


Sure hope everybody was able to celebrate Independence Day in some way shape or form. We definitely celebrated America the Beautiful by hiking in Mt Ranier National Park … it was so beautiful, I almost wished we were camping there overnight! Almost. Hubby is normally all about the fireworks, but, believe it or not, Washington state is in a serious drought! It just didn’t seem right to shoot fire up in the air when people are losing their homes due to forest fires … Now come New Years (or Super Bowl!), that may be another story …;)


Keeping with the summer celebration theme, I’d like to show you a picture of Hubby’s new grill …


Grill cart trash to treasure /



Did I know we needed a new grill? Nope. Did I want to know how expensive this little smoker was? Most definitely not. Has it enticed Hubby to prepare dinner now and then? Absolutely! All was good in Hubby’s corner of the deck until he realized he needed a cart to go with his new grill. And would you believe the very next garage sale I went to I found this ugly cart beauty that would meet his needs …. once it got an extreme makeover, that is.



Grill cart trash to treasure /

It was wobbly, a wheel kept falling off, and it was the dirtiest piece of furniture I’ve brought home to date. I’m too embarrassed to tell you what I paid for it, but let’s just say she saw me coming!  haha  However, it is the perfect size for what Hubby needs, and I knew I could make it pretty, so all is good.



First thing I did was clean it (twice) with TSP Substitute. Then I got out my Citristrip to strip the top because I was planning on refinishing it with a stain/poly blend.  Varathane STAIN + POLY in Kona to be exact. This was the first time I used a stain/poly mix, and it took a few coats to figure out what worked best for me — In the end, I found the easiest application was using a staining pad.



Grill cart trash to treasure /



Because this was for our use and not for resale, (but mostly because I’m trying to use up my old latex paints) I mixed up a custom blend of homemade chalk paint. (Mixing Two tablespoons of Plaster of Paris with three tablespoons of water in a little plastic cup; mix until smooth and creamy; add mixture to roughly one cup of paint.) I gave the cart two coats of paint, and my homemade paint worked beautifully — smooth finish, adhered great, no brush strokes, etc. The lines of the cart are all so straight so I chose not to distress it at all. This is what it looked like after two coats of paint:



Grill cart trash to treasure /



My original thought was to add gate pulls and go for a more industrial look, but that just doesn’t suit our deck or the grill at all. I was already placing an order with D LAWLESS Hardware for other projects, and found just what I was looking for for Hubby’s cart … two STEEL BAR PULL (160mm) for the hanging rails and one STEEL BAR PULL (96mm) for the new drawer pull.


Grill cart trash to treasure /


With the addition of a couple S hooks from Home Depot, Hubby’s grilling utensils now have a home. (And I’m happy because they are off my kitchen counter :D) The hardware is heavy, chunky and has a great feel to it — definitely worth paying a couple extra bucks for this version over the stainless steel, which is lighter and just doesn’t have the same look or feel.


Grill cart trash to treasure /

Because I knew Hubby wouldn’t like the gray so light and bright, I took Minwax Wood Finish stain in Early American and “glazed” the whole body of the cart. Basically, working in sections at a time, I just painted the stain on with a chip brush, and wiped it off in the direction of the wood grain with a cut up t-shirt. Have you ever used regular stain for this technique? It’s so easy and forgiving. Much easier than using a glaze, which really scare me for some reason.  TIP: I’ve used this technique a lot, so I was able to work with all the little slats, but I wouldn’t attempt a project with slats for your first time using stain as a glaze. 😀 Stick with something with nooks and crannies, and you’ll be thrilled with how the stain stays in all the right places and makes those features pop! For this project, I was just trying to tone down the color, and tie it in with the stained top.


Grill cart trash to treasure /



Can we take a minute to appreciate that AWESOME crate?! Can you believe it was a $5 garage sale SCORE?!!



Trash to treasure project by



What do you think? Mission accomplished?! The know-it-all in me wishes I could text an “after” picture to the homeowner saying, “See, I won!” Truthfully, it’s not about winning … (okay, sometimes it is about winning!) … it’s all about making Hubby happy and keeping those dinners a coming! (Would you believe his new grill can actually bake a cake?!) Who knew?!!


Grill cart trash to treasure /


Thanks for stopping by today! Cynthia


Linking up with:

Savvy Southern Style  … Knick of Time  … Embracing Change   … French Country CottageMy Repurposed Life  … Funky Junk Interiors   … Thoughts from Alice   … Dwellings – The Heart of Your Home Between Naps on the Porch ….. Coastal Charm …  … Cedar Hill Farmhouse … Thrifty Décor Chick  . … Recreated DesignsCelebrate and DecorateUnique Junktique  …


Creative Inspiration Linky Party @ Embracing Change

Catch as Catch Can @ My Repurposed Life

29 Responses

  1. Wow! It looks great! Fantastic job girl!

  2. It turned out fantastic.
    My sister has one she uses for her stand mixer & baking station.
    Her’s is in need of something to brighten it up.
    Hope you don’t mind I’ll e mail her a link to this post.
    p.s. She’s lives on Camion Island. 🙂
    Linda C in Seattle.

    • Cynthia

      Thanks for stopping by, Linda, and of course I don’t mind you sharing the link 😀 Tell her she can email if she has any questions — I always try to answer them to the best of my ability. Take care!

  3. Love it! I love to take things no one else wants or thinks is any good, and making it over. You definitely won!!

    • Cynthia

      Awwwww, thanks for your kind words, Pamela, and THANKS for stopping by!

  4. Oh my goodness! I bought the EXACT SAME CART at a garage sale several years ago!!!! The owners had painted it black, but wow was it a piece of work too! I LOVE what you did with yours!! here’s mine if you’re curious:

    • Cynthia

      Thanks so much, Kammy, and OF COURSE I want to see your project! Too funny — I almost called mine Cra _ _ _ to Happy, as well! 😀

  5. That is a stunning redo of a so-so looking cart. You turned it into a showpiece for the patio. Love it!

    • Your too kind, Ann! LOL No so-so about it — that cart was UG-LY! haha I’m really loving it now, though. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. This is kickin’ rad. I can’t wait till I get done with the interior of my house so I can start working on the deck and do something like this. I have that same Verathane kona poly blend and I love it to death. Bookmarking this for later definitely!

    • Awwwww, thanks so much, Caitlin. Agreed – Kona is a great color and getting to skip the “poly” step is awesome. Good luck on all your home projects!

  7. love this idea for outside next to the BBQ! What you did with the wood top is just beautiful, I personally prefer dark wood so this is so my style!

    • Thanks so much, Gilly! (It will also be a good test — what holds up better outside — stain/poly top or painted body.)

  8. Love your bar cart Cynthia and oh my that looks like one sweet BBQ! I just picked up an identical cart at an online auction site to use for this very purpose. I can’t wait to give it a makeover. I love the color you painted yours and the dark stained top is gorgeous. I hope I can do mine as much justice.

    • Thanks so much, Marie, and there is no doubt in my mind that you will rock that cart! Looking forward to seeing it!

  9. Love this cart – such a great makeover and the color is perfect. Thank you for sharing at Share It One More Time Cathy

  10. Cynthia,

    I love this cart. I have one similar that I’ve been wanting to do this to. Thanks for inspiring me.

    ps catching you

    • Thanks, Gail! Marie said she has the exact same cart, so the two of you can have a “cart off”! 😀 Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  11. This turned out great! I like the dark natural wood on top too. Good contrast!

  12. […] try not to catch the same bloggers two weeks in a row, but I just love how this grill cart turned out from Clockwork Interiors.  (I have a similar one that I’ve been wanting to do this […]

  13. Holy Cow that came out perfect! Wonderful job!
    Thanks so much for sharing at Something to Talk About!

  14. What a great makeover Cynthia! The wonders of a little paint never cease to amaze me 😉 I just love the grey and the place to hang the utensils… perfect! Thanks so much for dropping by and linking this up to our Bewitchin’ Projects Block Party, Hugs, Lisa

    • Thanks for being such a gracious host, Lisa. Hope you have a safe and fun Fourth of July!

  15. Love the dark stain combo with grey, and modern hardware Cynthia. WHata transformation from boring to outstanding! Thanks for sharing your project at #FridaysFurnitureFix! Don’t forget to stop by next week for the giveaway!

    • Thanks so much, Brenda! This was a true trash to treasure …. the cart was falling apart as I wheeled it out of the seller’s driveway! Thank goodness for wood glue and clamps. 😉 I’ll be sure to stop by. Take care, Cynthia

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