From Eighties Orange to Country Chic- A Custom Rolling Cart Makeover- Part 2

Hi ya’ll!  Today is an awesome day and not just because it’s Friday, but also because it’s REVEAL day!  On Tuesday, I shared with you how I mashed up these two eighties gems into a a single rolling cart (click here if you missed it).

Part 1 Recap

And here she is after a little paint and new hardware…

Featured Image

Talk about a transformation!  Gone is the bright orange stain and the dated wooden knobs.  Now she’s country chic and ready for her debut in a quaint cottage or charming farmhouse.  Here’s how I took her from drab to fab.

(NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.)

I decided to give this cart a two toned effect with lighter legs and a darker top and shelf for some contrast.  I started by painting the top and shelf with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Coco (visit for a list of retailers near you and if no one is close, you can purchase this color from Amazon here).  I love love love chalk paint…so much so that I’ll be posting an extensive tutorial focused entirely on the pros of using chalk paint, surface prep, techniques, brushes, finishing touches, etc. within the coming weeks.  I thought about including all that here in this post but it would definitely have made it way too long so stay tuned-I promise you wont have to wait long.

Anyway, here’s the cart with one coat of Coco.

Step (6)

You can still see some of the orange stain peaking through.  I had actually diluted my chalk paint a little too much with water (since I was a chalk paint novice at the time) so it took three coats to finally get full coverage.

Step (7)

After achieving the coverage I was looking for on the top and shelf, I started painting the legs, drawers and remaining surfaces with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre. I love this color!  It’s such a pretty neutral.

Step (8)

This also took three coats for complete coverage.  Notice my boo boo on the shelf- my hand slipped and I splattered a whole brush full of Old Ochre on my Coco shelf.  Whoops!  Good thing I hadn’t washed that brush yet (speaking of brushes, I love Annie Sloan’s round natural bristle brushes for applying chalk paint, but there are other options as well.  I’ll tell you all bout why I love her brushes so much and give you the run down on the other brushes available in my upcoming chalk painting how to post).

Step (9)

After three coats of Old Ochre and Coco

I ended up removing the drawers to paint the final two coats.  It was much easier to paint them separately- too bad I hadn’t realized that before I applied the first coat.  It was a messy endeavor trying to remove them while they were covered in wet paint.  Oh well.  Lesson learned.

I also grabbed some drawer pulls from my stash and brushed them with a coat of Coco.  These came from hobby lobby.

Step (11)

After they dried, I distressed them a bit with 220 grit sandpaper so that some of the original metal would show through.

Step (12)

Once the cart and drawers were dry, it was time for dry brushing.  Normally, I distress pieces to let some of the original wood and stain shine through.  This gives the piece dimension and a more country farmhouse feel.  However, with this piece, I definitely did NOT want any of that eighties orange stain shining through so I opted for a technique known as dry brushing instead.

Dry brushing is exactly as it sounds- you apply paint with a dry brush.  I usually use a chip brush for dry brushing since I feel that it yields better results than the denser round Annie Sloan brushes I use for chalk paint application. (These chip brushes are inexpensive and last a few applications.  They do shed bristles occasionally, but that doesn’t impact dry brushing much and you just cant beat the value!)

To dry brush, dip only the edge of your brush into the paint then brush most of the paint off onto a paper plate (or even a paper towel or piece of craft paper).  I always check the amount of paint left on my brush before actually applying anything to my piece.  This gives me the opportunity to remove more paint if there’s still too much on my brush.

Basic Dry Brushing Tutorial

When applying the paint to your piece, work slow and steady with long brush strokes.   You can see below that the brush will catch any raised areas on your pieces and leave a little paint behind (the photo below is actually of a different project I’m working on since I unfortunately did not take any progress photos while dry brushing the rolling cart- sorry ☹ I’m still learning how to be a blogger 😉).

Dry Brushing

On smoother pieces (like the rolling cart), dry brushing can be a bit more challenging since it is easier to apply too much paint when running the brush over a smooth surface.   After many failed attempts, I finally learned that working in smooth deliberate motions yields the best results.

The photo above shows Old Ochre being dry brushed onto a Coco painted candlestick.  For the rolling cart, I dry brushed Coco onto the Old Ochre painted areas.

I sealed the entire piece with Annie Sloan Soft Clear Wax (visit for a retailer near you or purchase from Amazon here.  Wax is my preferred way to seal and protect chalk painted surfaces and Annie Sloan’s wax is by far my favorite product.  One 500mL can will last through numerous large scale and small scale projects.  I only recently finished my last can.  It lasted me three months and I was using it nearly every day.

I apply wax with my Annie Sloan brush or a cloth depending upon the project.  There is a technique for waxing and I promise to include the complete process in the chalk painting tutorial I’ll be publishing in the coming weeks.

I added some wire baskets to the bottom shelf for added storage.  I’m still brainstorming other ways to permanently attach them to the shelf.  I tried staples, but the wood was too hard and the angle was too awkward for my staple gun to be effective.  I eventually opted for the small mounts that are used to tack cable to baseboards.  They’re sturdy and for now, work, but I’m not sure I’m 100% sold on the look.  Any ideas?

Step (14) Lined Drawer

I lined both drawers with pretty matching scrapbook paper.  I adhered it with matte Mod Podge and then applied a thin layer of Mod Podge on top for added protection.

All finished!

Final (1) Details

I thought that someday she’d look pretty as a tea cart…

Final (Tea Cart Staging) …or in the kitchen…

Final (Kitchen Cart Staging)

For now, though…she is perfect for my sewing machine!

Final (Sewing Machine Cart Staging)

And I can store the power chord, pedal and extra spools in the drawers- I love functionality!

Final (Sewing Machine Cart Staging) Drawer Details

Here’s a quick recap:

Recap Photo(1)

It’s amazing what a little imagination and paint can do!  How about you?  What furniture do you have that’s just in need of a little paint and imagination to give it a new purpose?  I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great weekend and see you next week!

blog signature (black ink)- actual size

6 thoughts on “From Eighties Orange to Country Chic- A Custom Rolling Cart Makeover- Part 2

  1. Pingback: From Eighties Orange to Country Chic- Custom Rolling Cart Makeover- Part 1 | The Road Less Traveled Design Co.

  2. Pingback: Grain Sack Striped Farmhouse Stool Makeover | The Road Less Traveled Design Co.

  3. Pingback: Chalk Painting Tutorial Part II | The Road Less Traveled Design Co.

  4. Pingback: Get the Vintage Barn Wood Look with Brand New Wood | The Road Less Traveled Design Co.

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