Upcycled Kitchen Cart DIY

Let’s take a look at this upcycled kitchen cart we finished for a client! It has some surprising details that you will love!

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DIY kitchen cart on wheels

One of our customers stopped by to pick up a hand-built cabinet that she had ordered a few weeks ago and had a little peek into my workshop. Her eyes went directly to a small kitchen cart on wheels that was turned upside down and sitting on top of the huge pile of projects I have stored in the workshop.

She has an eye just like me! I can walk into a thrift store, an auction, or a yard sale and spot certain pieces that I know have potential.

This custom client is no different.

She immediately asked what my plans for this upcycled kitchen cart were and when I said I thought of painting the base of it in black, she said, “Sold!

Small kitchen storage cart ready for a makeover sitting on top of a workbench.
sorry for the blurry iPhone photo!

upcycled kitchen cart

Hubby removed the butcher block top and ran it through the planer. This machine completely removes dirt, grease, and marks that were on the top of the kitchen island. It would take me forever to sand it down to bare wood. The planner does this job in just minutes! It also corrects any warping that can occur with wood.

He also removed the casters. They had a rubber section around the wheel and most of it has dry-rotted and fallen off. New locking casters were ordered right away!


Here is a quick video showing and explaining the process I took to restyle the base of this kitchen island.

repurposed kitchen cart

And here is the completed project! Isn’t she adorable?? Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Typewriter sealed with General Finishes High Performance in Flat gives the finish a charcoal-ish gray color that will be durable because of the polyurethane topcoat. I love the visual texture it created!

Small kitchen island makeover with rolling pin towel holder made from a rolling kitchen storage cart.

rolling kitchen cart with butcher block top

See the new casters? They both have locks on them making this kitchen island so versatile! Lock it to stay put and unlock the casters to move the island to a new area.

Small kitchen island makeover with rolling pin towel holder made from a rolling kitchen storage cart.

repurposed rolling pin towel holder

Let’s chat about some of the cute details we added to this upcycled kitchen cart See that rolling pin? The vintage 1950-1960s rolling pin was cleaned up and sealed with General Finishes High Performance in Flat and attached to the apron of the kitchen island.

Small kitchen storage cart makeover with rolling pin towel holder and various ironston dishes sitting on top with a Magolia Store Tea Towel hanging.

Could there be a cuter way to hang a tea towel?? How adorable is that!! Hubby made it stationary so the towel won’t spin off!

Small kitchen island makeover with butcher block top and rolling pin towel holder
Top view of rolling kitchen cart makeover with rolling pin towel holder.
Close up view of repurposed rolling pin used as a towel holder on a repurposed rolling kitchen cart turned into a small kitchen island.

vintage garden tools on a kitchen island??

The next clever addition to the kitchen island was this garden tool handle! The original tool would have had a long pole with some sort of garden implement at the other end – may be a spade or a three-pronged digger thingy?

Who knows!! All we had in the workshop was the handle. Hubby is brilliant at adding these sorts of details to our reinvented pieces like this upcycled kitchen cart!

Small kitchen island that was repurposed from a rolling kitchen cart and would be perfect for a small kithen.

The handle serves as an actual handle for the kitchen island when moving it around the kitchen or maybe out to the patio near the grill.

Top view of kitchen island makeover that was repurposed from a thrift store kitchen storage cart on wheels.

The wood tones of the handle are perfect next to the painted surface of the island.

Staged small kitchen island that was thrifted and repurposed from a kitchen storage cart. Vintage mason jars and ironstone sitting on the shelves.
Upcycled kitchen cart with a vintage repurposed garden tool handle and staged with ironstone.

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Top view of butcher block top on a small repurposed kitchen island showing the garden tool handle.

kitchen cart with butcher block top

Have I mentioned the butcher block top of the upcycled kitchen cart?? Like I said earlier, hubby removed it and ran it through the planer.

He sealed the fresh butcher block surface with Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner. Now it is clean, fresh, and ready for food prep!

Close up of butcher block top on an upcycled kitchen cart DIY with ironstone pieces sitting on top.

rolling kitchen cart with storage

The shelving below offers great storage. Of course, ironstone looks perfect on it!!

Close up of painted and upcycled kitchen cart staged with ironstone.

And there you have it! An adorable upcycled kitchen cart! Our client has picked it up and is enjoying it in her home! She loved the finish and said that it had a charcoal look to it and that it would match her kitchen perfectly!

Thrifted Walmart kitchen storage cart that has been upcycled with black milk paint and various vintage kitchen utensils staged with ironstone.

Here are some items you might be interested in after seeing this adorable wooden kitchen cart.

before and after

Thanks for stopping by for this thrift store upcycled project I hope you are encouraged to think outside of the box when you come across thrift store finds like this!

Pinterest graphic with text overlay "Before and After ReinventedDelaware.com showing the before and after of a thrift store rolling kitchen cart upcycled.

got questions?

Have a question about one of your own projects? Hop over to Instagram or Facebook and ask me! Maybe we can come up with some fun ideas for YOUR project!

You can ask questions in the comments section or just let me know your thoughts on this project!

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  1. I LOVE everything about that little island! The style and size would be perfect for a small kitchen….like mine. I’m inspired!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Karen!! Check out your local thrift stores and maybe you will find one similar! Let me know if you do find one – I would love to see it!

  2. Karolyn Love says:

    Absolutely love how this turned out! The black base, the rolling pin, the storage and a butcher block…what more could one ask for something useful in a kitchen!! And it rolls…perfect!! By the way, I think the handle to move it might have been off an old push mower from back in the day? Maybe? Anyway, whatever it was, it’s a perfect addition to move it around. Great project!!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words! That kitchen island has been one of my fave upcycled projects to date! As for the handle, you just might be in to something!! I remember those old lawn mowers and I remember handles just like the one on the island on those mowers! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Such a great remake. I love the rolling pin as a towel rack. How clever. Pinned!

    1. Thanks for pinning Janet! It was such a fun project to work on 😊

  4. Love how you styled this Cindy! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  5. I love this project so much, Cindy! Especially that genius rolling pin idea; I’m totally stealing that idea for my kitchen at some point!

    1. I’m so glad you like that idea!! You are free to steal from my ideas anytime at all!! 🙂

  6. Cindy,
    This is so clever. I love the rolling pin and garden handle you added. I’m sharing on Sunday’s Dirt Road Adventures. Love it.

    1. Omgoodness, Rachel thanks so much for sharing this project!

    1. Isn’t that a fun towel holder? So glad you enjoyed the project😊

  7. Cindy, this island turned out over the top amazing. The color, the butcher block top to the fun details on each side to hang towels. Great project and so glad you found a home for it. Your work is beautiful.

    1. Yes, that little kitchen cart found a home before I ever started working on it! Our client is thrilled with it! Thanks, my friend!🥰