How to Update a Rusty Vintage Rolling Cart

If you have been around here long, you know that I love a good find from the thrift store or flea market. I love the thrill of the hunt, and it's fun to find a little gem that just needs some love to make it shine. 

Rolling carts and bar carts are everywhere right now, and some of those suckers can be expensive! I thought it would be nice to have one for additional serving and display space, and when the weather is nice, I wanted something that we could easily use for outdoor entertaining as well.

Turn a rusty flea market rolling cart into the perfect addition to your farmhouse style home

During a trip to a small local flea market I found this perfect vintage rolling cart, and got it for a steal at $17! It was in great shape other than a little rust on the shelves, and a little on the chrome. It is sturdy, and when the wheels got cleaned up, it rolled easily too. Jackpot!

Simple steps to restore a rusty flea market rolling cart back to it's original vintage charm

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Here's the quick run-down of how easy this was to restore back to it's original beauty:

1. Using fine grit sandpaper, lightly sand all the painted areas. Pay careful attention to the rusted areas and sand those rough spots until they are smooth. (A dust mask is good idea for this part!)

2. Take a wet cloth and wipe down the entire cart, removing the dusty mess you just made from sanding.

3. Once dry, tape of all the chrome and the wheels with painter's tape. Give all the shelves a good coat of spray primer on both the top and undersides of all the shelves.

4. After the primer is dry, it's time for a couple of coats of gloss white spray paint. Be sure to follow the directions on the can for applying multiple coats, you want to make sure each coat is dry before adding more. 

5. Remove the painter's tape and allow the shelves to completely dry.

6. This step is where the magic happens! Grab a trusty can of Bar Keeper's Friend, mix a little bit with some water, and using a sponge start scrubbing the chrome. Wipe with a damp towel, and you're done! I couldn't believe how easily it removed the little rust spots, with very little effort!

7. Now it's time to put your "brand new" vintage rolling cart to work in your home!

Look at that finish! The shelves are bright and smooth, and the chrome looks brand new!

How to restore a rusty flea market rolling cart back to it's original vintage charm

Simple steps for restoring a vintage white 3 shelf rolling cart to add a farmhouse touch to your home

Keeping this vintage cart it's original white color makes it the perfect neutral addition for any decor style. And the additional space is great for the holidays, everyday storage, or just as a fun decorating piece. 

Simple steps for restoring a vintage white 3 shelf rolling cart to add a farmhouse touch to your home

Vintage White 3 shelf rolling cart for easy and stylish entertaining

Searching for your own vintage cart treasure? Save this so you know how to bring your rusty vintage rolling cart back to life!!
How to restore a rusty vintage 3 shelf rolling cart back to it's original glory


  1. Wow, that looks brand new! I love what a little elbow grease and spray paint can do to bring something back to life.

  2. You are SO GOOD about seeing the diamond in the rough! You did an outstanding job and I love that you kept in neutral and white! Beautiful job. And I love those DIY mini wreaths!

    1. Thanks Erica! I debated about switching the color, but I'm so happy I decided to keep it simple and white.


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