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Mini-Makeover: Rolling Bar Cart

Mini-Makeover: Rolling Bar Cart
October 2009

Whether you’re looking for a specific piece or just out there to get your vintage on, the secondhand scene in Charleston is a trove of useful wares. Take this old English Oak drop-leaf gaming cart, a throwback to the days of parlor games, that we found at Roumillat’s in West Ashley. It’s not super special, but it had precisely what we look for in a salvage shop find: a cheaper pricetag than catalog counterparts, versatility of use, and loads of potential.

What made this flea-market find a winner

  • Hinged leaves on either side open to extend work area and close to become more space efficient.
  • A removable tray offers ample storage cubbies underneath.
  • Two framed surfaces are perfect for fitting patterned fabric or paper for a simple style upgrade.
  • Casters allow it to scoot from room to room, or even outside.
  • A $140 pricetag: modern service carts we found are upwards of $250!


Step 1: A Cart of a Different Color After sanding down a few nicks and scars, we applied oil-based primer followed by a couple coats of orange paint in a satin finish. Step 2: Fine Print We covered both the table surface and lower shelf in a pretty fabric found in our scraps pile. Step 3: Raise Your Glass Settling on a primary use as a portable bar, we had a local hardware store cut two panes of glass to fit both the bottom shelf and top tray. This also allows for a quick change of the accent fabric. Step 4: Stash Your Supplies We stored cocktail napkins, swizzle sticks, bar recipes, and more in the felt compartment underneath the tray, formerly used for game accessories.