The Furniture Cart

Refusing to pay chain store prices, we refinish our dream coffee table.

Furniture Refinishing

On a past visit to see family in Kentucky, we discovered Arhaus, which has totally rad furniture. While there, we found this:

Arhaus cart

It was gorgeous, but with its $1000 price tag (on sale!), we vetoed. Turns out, this refinished furniture cart is a thing right now; we saw them at several places around the Bay Area upon moving here: Restoration Hardware carries them for $1200 a pop, and the Alameda antique fair had a few for $500, which still seemed too expensive to us. Both of us have this tendency to think “Well WE could do THAT” when we see stuff like this; we rarely act on that sentiment, but this time, we actually pursued it.

So we snagged two unfinished carts on Craigslist for $250, which seemed like a pretty damn good deal, until we actually got them home and inspected them. These things were FILTHY. Spiders living in them, flaky rust all over the back of our car and in our garage, loose rotting wood, heaps of exciting ways to get tetanus…they were kind of a mess. And we really had no idea how to go about restoring them.

After a bit of research and advice from Allen’s Dad, we mapped out a plan and got to work buffing, sanding, scraping, staining and stenciling. We’re incredibly proud of how the final cart turned out. It’s gorgeous, really smooth, and is way more personal than anything we could have bought in a store. Plus, we picked up heaps of skills along the way, which felt really empowering.

The cart, disassembled

Before refinishing: paint splatters

Before refinishing: rusty metal

Sarah, de-rustifying

Before bleaching

Finished cart

Finished cart

Metal detail

Wood detail

Wood detail

Metal detail

Detail