My Vintage Kitchen Utility Cart Makeover

Remember the old metal utility carts? They were used in the kitchen for extra storage back when kitchen counter space was at a premium. 

Moms would slide it over next to the fridge or stove and it was stocked with “new-fangled” appliances that wouldn’t fit in the built-in kitchen storage. A waffle iron. Electric mixer. A toaster.


The high dollar ones were set up with a few electric plugs and an extension cord. Appliances could be plugged in on the cart, with only one cord reaching for the wall socket.

After a move to a larger kitchen many were moved to the back porch or basement for laundry supplies or maybe a science project. In the garage they were functional for a variety of tools. When the resurfaced any number of years later they were in various states of decay.


I discovered original yellow paint beneath the corrosion and black paint on this one. I came across it last fall and didn’t get to work on it through the winter. Sanding and spray painting is absolutely an outside job.


I’d about decided to sell it “as is” and let someone else do something with it when I came across the Design Sponge and her beautiful Before and After Bar Cart.

When you check out her pix you’ll see why I decided to go ahead and make it over clean it up.

Her cart has the fancy handles on each end, but this one is very functional. Most of the corrosion scraped off and there are no rusty spots.

I have a been collecting some 60s era—think Mad Men—glassware, ice buckets, coffee pots, carafes and other related odds and ends. They’ll look great perched on this when I get it finished.

I just have to decide what colors to go with. Any suggestions? And should I stay with silver corner-posts?

Let me hear your suggestions and I’ll start taking this apart.



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. likehindsfeet
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 18:27:06

    I was considering whether to throw out a similar cart full of rust and covered with contact paper…maybe I’ll hang on to it and see what you do with yours!



    • Jan
      Sep 10, 2012 @ 22:24:11

      Oh my, whatever you do, don’t throw it out! I could sell mine as is for $20, but I really like to send things off better than I get them. These carts are so handy, mine became a storage unit before I could decide how to paint it… I will attach an extension cord or power strip below the top shelf so appliances can be plugged in with only one connection to the wall to power them up.
      Even if there’s not room in the house, it’s useful as a work bench. It would be handy for my circular saw, jig saw, sander, and drill. I could plug them all into the power strip and just connect the thing to an extension cord roll it to my project when I need to power up.
      Thanks so much for reading! I’m glad you found me!



  2. Dan Sullivan
    Sep 29, 2016 @ 17:54:08

    I’m looking for the electrical outlet that fits on the side of the table. Anyone know a source?



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