Salvage Vintage Kitchen Island Carts Salvage Vintage Kitchen Island Carts

What You'll Need
Spray bottle
Wood cleaner

When conducting kitchen renovations, don't overlook efforts to salvage vintage kitchen island carts. More often than not, your well-worn but trusted cart can gain a longer life when you include it in your renovation project. There are a number of techniques you can employ to restore an old cart to an excellent appearance. If your antique kitchen island cart is wooden, follow these suggestions to restore it to its former beauty.

Step 1–Strip All Removable Components

Remove all shelves, drawers, doors, racks and other components that are not permanently attached. If these items are also wood, simply follow the instructions below. If these are plastic coated wire racks, for example, and the coating is in good shape, simply make sure to give these a good cleaning. If they are damaged, either check with your local home improvement center for suitable replacements or contact the cart manufacturer.

Step 2–Using a Wood Cleaner

Employ a commercially available wood cleaner that will be easy to use. These solutions do a good job removing built up grease, grime and dirt, helping prepare the wood for a re-finish. Either use a synthetic paint brush to apply the solution using long, even strokes, or better yet, place the solution in a spray bottle that you can evenly spread across the wood surface area of the kitchen island cart. Start at the bottom working upward to prevent streaking. Use a side to side spraying motion.

Step 3–Soak It In

Wait a few minutes while the cleaning solution soaks into the wood. Use a flexible bristled brush to loosen all dirt and debris. Use a small brush, like a toothbrush, to scrub hard-to-access areas. You may have to use a scraper to remove any decal-like attached decorations. Be careful not to damage the wood by gouging it. A good soaking should loosen and soften the material enough to carefully scrape it off. Remove any damaged wood particles and splinters carefully. Wear gloves to protect your hands.

Step 4–Rinse It Off

Rinse the solution scrubbed wood with a spray bottle of clean water. Carefully examine all areas for spots missed and repeat the soak and scrub step above and rinse again. Once you’ve satisfied, allow the kitchen island cart 24 hours to completely dry.

Step 5–Sand the Wood

After the cart has completely dried, the wood grain should stand out. Smooth the wood using rough sandpaper, but don’t overdo it. You want to rough up the wood just enough to get it to absorb a coat of finish. Wipe the sanded surface with a clean cloth.

Step 6–Refinish

Once your cart is sanded, you may either wish to update the color or match that which it originally possessed by either staining or painting. You might be able to  match the rest of the kitchen décor coloring by staining the cart. Always add a final coat of a clear sealant for extra protection.

Make sure to check the wheels or casters for needed replacement.

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