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Bring in some glam with this easy DIY bar cart

11 Nov 2020

With just a few licks of Resene paint, an old wooden trolley can be transformed into a shimmering bar cart that’s perfect for your favourite tipples.

You will need:

  • A wooden trolley or similar item
  • Painter’s masking tape
  • Resene Aquaclear gloss waterborne urethane varnish
  • Resene FX Metallic in your choice of colour – Sarah chose Resene Rose Gold and used two testpots. Also remember to pick up the right basecoat colour for the Resene FX Metallic colour you choose – this is listed on the Resene Metallics chart under the colour chip
  • Resene FX Metallic in your choice of colour – Sarah chose Resene Goldmine and used two testpots. Also, remember to pick up the right basecoat colour for the Resene FX Metallic colour you choose (this is listed on the Resene Metallics chart under the colour chip)
  • Resene Colorwood Bark
  • Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat
  • Resene testpot brushes
  • Sandpaper or an electric sander
  • Testpot roller kit

Step 1 Wipe down your trolley with a clean, dry cloth to remove any dirt or dust, then sand it with an electric sander. You could also sand it by hand with sandpaper. The counter tops on Sarah’s trolley had some water damage and cup stains on them, so Sarah sanded back as far as she could to lift them as much as possible. Sometimes you won’t be able to achieve a perfect surface with second-hand items, but it all adds to the character of the piece.

If the surface is smooth and in good condition, and you are planning to paint all of the areas, you can alternatively clean it and then apply Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer, which will provide a surface for the topcoats to grip onto.

Step 2 Paint the frame of the trolley with one coat of Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat using a testpot brush. Mask off the counter tops to protect them if you plan to stain them rather than paint them (as Sarah has done). Allow your coats to dry.

Step 3 Apply your basecoat colour, then two coats of Resene FX Metallic paint in your choice of colour – Sarah used Resene Rose Gold. When applying metallic paint it is important to apply the paint in one direction for the best reflective finish. Allow time to dry between coats.

Step 4 Apply the coloured basecoat and then two coats of your second chosen colour – Sarah used Resene FX Metallic Goldmine to achieve the perfect shade of glam gold for the trolley.

Step 5 Mask off the painted areas and stain the wooden counter tops with Resene Colorwood stain in Resene Bark using an old rag. You may need to use two coats depending how dark you want the colour of the stain to be. Once dry, apply three coats of Resene Aquaclear gloss to the countertops.

Note Sarah didn’t apply any Resene Aquaclear varnish over the metallic paint as this can change the way it looks. If you want to apply Resene Aquaclear, try it on a test area first to check you are happy with the gloss clear coat on top.  The clear finish will give a more durable finish and prevent the metallic from scratching.


Once completed, style your cart with your favourite accessories. For extra bit of fun, paint the cart’s counter tops in Resene FX Blackboard Paint –  you can then write fun party messages onto your bar cart.

images and project by Sarah Herring.