Remember how back in March, I fell in love with spray paint? Yeah, nothing has changed. I’m still spray painting something just about every week.
This is a very cool iron tea cart that I picked up at a recent estate sale. I found it in a sunroom, but I have the impression at had been left out in the rain for a time because it didn’t look so hot. In fact, I think the term for this is “a hot mess”.
The black paint was faded and chipping. There was surface rust where that nifty matching tray had probably been sitting holding water.
This wasn’t one of those times where I was like, should I paint it? Should I not paint it? When I first saw it in the estate sale ad, I knew it was getting sprayed if I could get my hands on it. There’s a funny story about that actually. I went the first day of the sale to see it, but they were asking what I thought was too much for an old rusty iron tea cart. So after church on Sunday, I lured Doug back to the sale with the promise of books and an afternoon trip to Barrel Oak Winery, hoping it would still be sitting there. And it was! And it was half price day! So I bought it!
Anyway, back to the spraying. This was one of those lovely four day projects that took a week and a half thanks to our glorious Mid Atlantic spring weather patterns. Last week we had four days of rain. We also had a low of 34 degrees on Tuesday night followed by a high of 86 degrees on Wednesday. Plus good spray painting weather requires relative calm. If it’s windy out, you end up wasting half your paint, getting pollen strings in your finish and inadvertently painting your neighbor’s windshield. Not good.
But patience and persistence were my friends because doesn’t she look just fabulous now?
Let’s back up and talk about the process. I’ve discussed paint prep before, but this was a case when it was even more important than normal. First of all, please don’t believe the paint manufacturers when they say, oh just use our paint and it will fill in cracks and fix rust and a magical iridescent pink unicorn will appear to grant your dearest wish. Prep is important.
The first thing I did was attack the cart with a big wire brush.
Only I didn’t have a big wire brush, which signaled my first trip to Twins Ace Hardware for this project. I only had a tiny wire brush, which was so not going to work here.
Once I’d scraped off the loose rust and all the chipped paint, then I had to give her a good bubble bath.
This not only got all the scraped bits off, but also took off years of accumulated dust and dirt.
Then it was time to start painting. I started with a coat of Rustoleum Rust Reformer, which I have used in the past. I had been skeptical of its magical powers, but I used it on my spice rack months ago and it’s still holding up fine so I went ahead and used it again here. That was basically day one of this project. I like to let coats dry for 24 hours before re-coating, just to be safe.
I considered stopping here as this would be the most traditional look for a cart like this. But honestly, who is really looking for traditional? I had seen this post on the Etsy blog by West Elm’s design director Paulo Kos about how trendy all things perforated and all things yellow will be this summer. And I figured, what could be better than combining the two!
And though going from black to yellow is probably possible with spray paint, I figured I’d play it safe and add a coat of primer. I used Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2x Primer in white, which is my go-to spray primer. And that was the end of day two.
The third day I started by taping off the black rubber wheels on the cart, which were going to be staying black.
And of course, after the first coat of paint, I discovered I would be needing more than just a single can. So back to Twins Ace Hardware I went in search of a second (and then a third) can of Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2x in Gloss Sun Yellow. I really didn’t think it should take three cans of spray paint, but all the little angles and the space inside the perforations just needed several coats before I was totally happy with them.
That was the end of day three. The final day was for touch-ups (just a little spray here and there on spots that looked faint) and getting some WD-40 onto the very squeaky wheels. Plus, we were just fostering this little cart. She’ll be posted to Craigslist and Etsy very soon, hoping for adoption by some nice folks who will give her a forever home. And since she might end up out in the rain again, I decided to add a coat of clear gloss enamel just to give her one extra layer of protection before I send her on her way.
So despite that this was a four day project that took waaaayyyyy too long thanks to the weather, I think it was worth it. I love the sunny yellow color and these carts with the matching trays just leave me totally tickled. It even has its own little hiding place under the top.
So now she’s ready to face the big bad world! So much better, right?
What did you do this weekend? Adopt anything fun? Spray paint all the things? Fill me in!
*Also, I didn’t forget about the office makeover! We painted the walls this weekend, but we didn’t have time to put all the furniture back so you’ll just have to wait one more day to see our gorgeous navy blue walls! Busy busy!