Vintage Kitchen Cart Restoration

Vintage Kitchen Cart Restoration

vintage kitchen cart

Recently, I decided to tackle the UFOs (unfinished objects) in my life.  My goal is to finish one per month.  We will see how it goes.


Last month, my choice was a Cosco kitchen cart. I found this vintage, mid-century modern cart rusting away in the shed.  It was covered in nasty, old contact paper, rusted, and the chrome was pitted. But since this type of used cart is selling on-line for $100-$200, I was determined to bring it back to life.

 vintage kitchen cart

-The action of returning something to a former owner, place or condition
   - To bring back to or put back something to a former or original state


 I enjoy repurposing and restoring items that would normally be thrown away.  However, I'm not an expert at it, but God is.  Aren't you glad He didn't just throw us away?   Both the old and new testaments are filled with promises of restoration.  Originally man was created in the image of God and given authority over the earth. When Adam allowed sin to come into the world, our relationship and authority were broken. Jesus's mission, the plan of salvation, was to restore our relationship to the Father and return us to that place in the universe God created us to occupy.

Even though I'm not an expert in restoration, I was determined to return that old cart to its rightful place in our kitchen.

 First, I sprayed it down with the hose to get the dirt, spiders, and bugs off.  Once it was dry, I peeled off the contact paper.  It came off with a little coxing and it was so old, there wasn't much glue residue to deal with.

 I had planned on taking the cart apart, but the screws were rusted on, so I decided to tackle it like it was.


cleaning kitchen cart with vinegar


The next challenge was dealing with the rust.  After some research and experimentation, I found white distilled vinegar and steel wool worked the best.  I poured the vinegar on to each tray and let it sit for about 30 minutes.  Then I scrubbed it with steel wool and rinsed.  I did this several times, then Steve used a sander to smooth it out and get it ready for painting.


sanding kitchen cart


It was at this point that this potentially beautiful, kitchen cart became a UFO.  It stayed unfinished because the weather was too hot, cold, rainy, or humid to paint it.  I had lots of excuses why it wasn't finished.

Its ugly presence was a constant reminder of my procrastination, a testament to my failure to follow a project through to completion.  I could write an entire blog series about the phycological effects of procrastination, but I'll leave that for later (ha-ha).

Finally, after many months of Steve and I telling each other, we needed to finish it, I got motivated enough to do it.  Since it was in one piece and would be painted with two different paints, I started by wrapping the chrome with paper.  I used several coats of spray paint on the trays, letting them dry in between.  I should have lightly sanded in-between coats, but I forgot that step.  It would have made the final coat smoother to the touch, but it looks just fine.  I choose antique white as my color, but yellow, teal or pink would all have been true to the period.

Then I wrapped the trays and spray painted the chrome with silver metallic paint.  Be sure and let the paint thoroughly dry before handling.  (I got fingerprints on it that had to be sanded out because it wasn't quite dry)

 mid-century modern kitchen cart

I am very pleased with the results. For a few dollars, a little elbow grease, and eliminating some procrastination, we now have a cart worth $200! That beautifully restored, vintage kitchen cart proudly resides in its rightful place-our kitchen!  We have some more storage, and each time we walk by this cart, we are reminded that we have been restored. 

 vintage kitchen cart

Here are some of my favorite scriptures on restoration.   Meditate and enjoy!


He refreshes and restores my soul (life);

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake.

Psalms 23:3 AMP


I will restore to you the years

    that the swarming locust has eaten,

the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,

    my great army, which I sent among you.

 “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,

    and praise the name of the Lord your God,

    who has dealt wondrously with you?

And my people shall never again be put to shame.

Joel 2:25-26


For I will restore health to you

And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord

Jerimiah 30:17


 After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune—and then doubled it! All his brothers and sisters and friends came to his house and celebrated. 

Job 42:10 MSG


And then, after your brief suffering, the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up.

1 Peter 5:10  TPT



P.S.  If you haven't been restored to your rightful place, all it takes is a step of faith and a simple prayer.  You can find out more on the Meet Jesus page here.



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