"" Rendition Road: Run Down Dietary Cart Goes Glam

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Run Down Dietary Cart Goes Glam

I gave you all a peek at a cart I received from a friend last month that was awaiting a makeover. I had debated on what to do with it & decided I might just spray paint it & call it good. Mr. Rendition informed me that would not really be my style & after some thought, I realized he might be right. 
If this cart was going to be my work station when I was away from my studio, it needed to have a little sassitude.
Poor thing

I have been dabbling in homemade chalk paint for the last month or two, testing it out on various surfaces so I knew that's what I would be using. I mixed up some custom grey chalk paint I named 'Moorish Grey' & gave it 2 good coats. 
It was so much better already. 
  I thought maybe I would have to do more coats than usual on this piece since I wouldn't be priming & there was some red paint over spray on it. 
It went on smooth as butter & covered completely so I stopped at 2 coats.
The wheels were pretty rusted out....

 so I gave them a thorough cleaning & a good spray of WD-40. 
I painted the wheel casters with liquid silver leaf & coated them with a clear protective finish.
This particular cart was a dietary type cart in a prison in it's previous life so it had
 these little notches on the bottom posts. I'm not sure what they were used for except maybe trays? No idea.
I wanted to utilize this real estate so I cut a board to fit inside the base so it would rest on these little ridges. This would allow me to carry more items if I needed to. I will also be able to take the board out if I need to move around a larger piece of something or other. Win-win. 
I knew I wanted a design on this little girl to dress her up a bit.
If she was pretty she could double as a display of sorts for my shows or even be used for beverages or snacks during a party. 
 I wanted her to be as useful as possible. Considering her previous drab life, I felt she deserved some pizazz & spunk.
I only have a few small stencils since I enjoy doing all my designs by hand so I was either going to free hand this or make a stencil. I decided to make a quartrefoil stencil from card stock. It was free & it was immediately on hand. 'Immediately' & I get along very well since my ability to be patient registers in around the zero mark. Literally. Zero.
I just created the design in CS5 & printed it out the size I wanted it.
I have decided I do not like creating my own stencils in Photoshop.
{If I had to do it again, I would have used the full shape rather than an outline.
I did have a quatrefoil stencil bookmarked  from a  blog I read, but thought I might like the outline better. Nope, not so much. If I use this design again, I'm going for the already made stencil.}
Anyway, I cut it out with my exacto & it was all set.

{Just an FYI here, these self healing cutting mats are amazing!}
Once it was all cut out, I began stenciling the quartrefoil design onto the cart.
Since this is just card stock I had to wait a bit in between placing it again because the paper would soak up the pain & get a little damp. I got about 2 uses out of it before letting it dry a little to use again.
I did pat it dry a bit with some paper towels in between to get some of the excess paint off but, I was gentle enough not to tear or crush the paper in any way.
For being card stock I thought it worked out pretty darn good!
I wanted the design to be rather 'faded' or 'weathered' & since I'm not really sure how well you can distress plastic I dabbed the paint on rather unevenly.
I finished both shelves this way & didn't even have to make a new stencil like I thought I would. 
I was a bit stumped on the bottom shelf since it had the screws & cut outs where the wheels were placed. There was no way I was going to get a stencil to lay smoothly there so I just went ahead & worked around them. I was very concerned that this would drive me nuts, but in the end, I liked how it looked.
Once she was all stenciled up & had a couple of days to cure, I gave her a quick clean up & 4 coats of clear coat. I know that seems like a lot, but since I was going to be using this as a project cart or even possibly a cart to haul food & beverage I wanted it to be protected against stains & scuffs as much as possible.
Here she is with her stenciling all done & touched up. I was surprised at the little touching up I had to do considering this was such a delicate stencil annnnnnd......I know, I know, I've already said it like a bazillion times, but only made from card stock.
I'm just so excited it worked out so well because I had about ZERO faith in paper being a good stencil, no matter how thick it was.
The shelf that was cut for the little ledges there is all sanded & primed, but I'm undecided as to how to finish it off. Paint it white with a grey quartrefoil or paint it to match the rest of the cart? Such a small silly decision to be stuck on.
I'm interested in any opinions you have.
Share, talk ,opinionate! (which is now a word)
Here's a few more pictures just for the simple joy of showing this little beauty off. Let's start with a quick before so we can all remember just how far she's come shall we?
The sad, sad before
The happy, happy after
I'm not 1000% sold on the font choice but I had already agonized on it for over an hour so it might change in the future
The wheels before:
And after:
Okay, so I did change up the font today.
Here it is now with a few 'action' shots outside.

I love it.
 I think this little cart will come in handy in any number of situations.
I love being able to take something completely useful and make it beautiful as well.
Maybe I'll pop an update on here when I get the shelf for it finished.
If I ever figure out what color I'm going to paint it.
Suggestions? Let me know, help a girl out here.
I'm not pleading, I'm only begging. *Wink-wink.*
All right, I'm off to finish the new coffee table we picked up.
 Fun times ahead.
Until next time!

I'm sharing this over at Debbiedoo's Pin the tail on the bloggy party!!



  1. brilliant....and sassy....so Hot pink touches on the shelves...use the gray again and the same stencil and do a little hot pink or black...

    1. Thanks! Great idea....hmmmmmm.....now you got me thinking :)

  2. You did a perfect job on this cart! Love the wheels!! :)

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