Well, I’ve been waiting a good long while for the opportunity to post this project I’ve been working on. My mom bought the cart in the early 80s when she got her first apartment. Since then it has ended up sitting in our garage collecting rust and other unsavory friends (spiders). Here’s what it looked like before:
Aaand some close ups of the damage.
The bottom was the most concerning part. When the cart was wheeled around the screeching was so loud that it echoed across our entire block. The bottom of the chrome legs were in especially awful shape.
My first step was to pull out the palm sander. I purchased my palm sander of choice from Harbor Freight a couple years ago and it is has been a godsend for smaller projects like this where I don’t want to pull out the full-sized sander. Here’s the one I use, but there are tons of different ones to choose from.
There were a lot more tough rough spots than I anticipated so a lot of rounds of wiping, sanding, rinsing, and drying ensued.
In progress. You can see all of the hidden rust I had to work with. After sanding the top shelf, I dismantled the cart and sanded the bottom and middle shelves.
Then I focused on the legs and wheels, which needed some serious TLC. I decided to try something new out on the rust. It cost 8.99 at Harbor Freight. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I needed something to submerge the wheels in because the rust was hard to reach.
Here’s what they looked like before:
Here’s my lovely bucket and velcro ties rig…
24 hours later I took them out, turned them over, and the rust really DID start coming off. It ended up taking a bit longer than the instructions said, but it definitely ate off the rust and (surprisingly) didn’t mess up the plastic wheels.
I couldn’t get a good after picture that really showed how well it worked on the legs, but I was satisfied. The rust had eaten through the chrome finish in some of the rougher places, but the rust remover ate through to the original metal. So, there are some areas where it is no longer chrome, but it is much, much better than the original rust. I sprayed these exposed areas with Rust-Oleum’s Clear Enamel to prevent rust. DEFINITELY worth the four bucks and absolutely crucial to anyone doing similar metal projects.
Then I moved back to the shelves.
I picked Krylon’s Ocean Breeze as my color. I also used a gloss enamel over it in order to protect it and give it a cleaner finish.
Finally, I put the cart back together. Despite the fact that the wheels were rust free. the plastic wheels were still yellowed and contrasted with the rest of the clean looking colors. I sprayed them with Rustoleum’s Metallic Spray. (Also,in this picture you can see the drastic difference that the rust remover made on the legs. Pretty cool, eh?)
Finally, I bought chrome magnetized hooks to put on the side of the cart, which, despite how cheap and easy they were to put on have to be my favorite outcome from this project. They just gave the cart that little extra bit of personality it needed.
And finally here it is, loaded and ready for my kitchen.
Thank you guys for checking out my blog. Feel free to comment with suggestions, questions, or anything else!