DIY factory coffee cart reveal
September 26, 2012
Another DIY success! The Mr. and I spent the better part of the weekend building the DIY factory coffee cart that I shared with you last week. I am in LOVE with the results! The Mr. wasn't crazy about it being so low in the beginning, but after seeing the finished product and listening to my endless explanations of why its height makes it great, I think he's changed his tune (I can be very convincing).
We did make some slight modifications to the instructions on Ana White's website:
1. We created the tabletop to have a 1” hangover on all sides by shorting the width and length of the base. The original plans have the top boards sitting inside the base so all sides are flush; but in the inspiration photo that I shared last week, there is definitely a hangover and I wanted to stick with a similar look.
2. I decided against the factory-style steel casters to save money. I found them online for $12/piece, but I would have had to pay shipping on top of that, which would have put me well over $70 just for the wheels. Instead, I bought 5” (the plans called for 6”) steel and rubber casters from Harbor Freight Tools on the suggestion of my friend Dan-o after we spent too much on casters for my daughter's DIY pallet bed. What I liked about these casters (aside from the low price) was that they look slightly more industrial than your average rubber casters. The inner spokes are actually made of steel, so they are heavy duty and a little closer to that “factory cart” look. Side note: Harbor Freight Tools has amazing prices on hardware and tools if you are in need, and shipping is only $6.99 if you don't have a store near you (check their website for locations).
DIY furniture antiquing & distressing with tools:
After we built the table, I decided I wanted to rough it up a bit and tried my hand at antiquing/distressing. Thanks to Bob Vila and good ol' Youtube, I learned how to create faux wormholes and termite trails, how to use nails to create dents, and how to strategically place scratches, dents, and marks to age my table. It went pretty well, if I do say so myself. I'm glad it already looks roughed up so that my toddler can do what she does best: lovingly destroy.
We stained the table with Minwax Dark Walnut, in case you were curious; I love how rich it helped the boring pine look. The stain also gathered in the holes and scratches I created, which added to its aged look.
My budget for the project was $65 (I previously sold a stroller to cover the cost – out with old, in with the new!), but unfortunately I wasn't able to stick to it (I knew it would be a stretch). The lumber, stain, and hardware cost a full $65, the casters were an additional $30, and the polyurethane was another $8. Since I had the $65 covered, I basically spent $38 and a couple days on a new coffee table. I'd say that's a win, and definitely cheaper than buying one since they cost upwards of $125.
I think this is a piece we will have in our house for a very long time, whether it's being used as a coffee table or just a decorative cart. I can totally see pushing it under a desk, up against a wall, or using it as a stage for my daughter to perform her “shows” on (oh wait, she's already doing that).
And just like our DIY toddler pallet bed, I am so proud to say that we built it and it's one of a kind!