Vintage bar carts and drinks dressers are super popular at the moment and we’ve wanted to add one to our dining room since we moved in. We found a lovely one for £25 in a local vintage/retro shop and then picked up some awesome marble sticky back plastic for less than a tenner on eBay. This is the sticky back plastic that we used but there are loads of others on eBay and in DIY stores etc.
Step 1: Find your bar cart
We got very lucky with this one but it’s proof that it can be done. Follow your local vintage and charity shops on Instagram, watch their stories when they get new stock in and even get super friendly with the managers and see if they’ll let you know the next time they get a gem like this in. Keep your eyes peeled at car boot sales, eBay, Gumtree and even house clearances and you’ll snap one up for a bargain price.
Watch out for silver ones as these may look like bar carts but they’re probably more like medical trolleys from hospitals back in the day. If it’s gold/gilded then it’s more likely to be a retro bar cart instead. But, you can always spray the silver ones gold if you wanted to and you’re not worried about it not being a bar cart in it’s previous life.
Step 2: Clean it up
Depending on the condition of your bar cart you can clean it up and make it super shiny. You might have to use steel wool or a scourer to get rid of some rust patches if you have any. Ours took a bit of furniture polish as it was in really good condition fortunately. Make sure it’s dry and not sticky before trying to apply any sticky back plastic.
Step 3: Customise!
Measure out a piece that it slightly wider than your trays. Ours had one tray that was removable and the rest were screwed down so you might need a screwdriver as well as a craft knife. Start with a straight edge and stick a small straight section against the top of your tray. Work your way down peeling the backing off and smoothing down the sticky back plastic as you go. We did this together and it was easier with two people. One to sticky down and smooth out the plastic and the other to slowly pull off the backing.
When you’ve stuck it all down, run your craft knife around the edge and peel off the excess. You should be able to peel it off and there’ll be a smooth line.