Peaky Blinders Bar Cart

If you've not seen the Netflix show, you should give it a try! Any way I love these retro stencils for gin and whiskey, and I thought this little table would be perfect for one of them. I found it in a mercatino usato and bought it mostly for the curved drawer at the front, and I immediately knew I wanted to add some castors and turn this into a bar or kitchen cart (I went with bar cart!).

There were various holes that needed filling on this piece so I started off with this followed by a good going over with my palm sander. I wanted to top to be natural wood (this seems to be my thing!) so it needed lots of sanding to get off the orange varnish as well as the residue wood filler and to prepare the rest of the surfaces for painting. I wanted a 'chic masculine look' for this piece, so I chose a very dark grey chalk paint to which I then added some detail with some white dry brushing on each leg.

I stained the top with a water based wood protector in dark walnut - I did the stencil in the same colour chalk paint as the main piece (I'll talk more about this later) and the whole thing is protected with General Finishes Flat out Flat Top Coat. Flat out Flat is a softer protection but it protects more and more quickly that clear wax would.

I designed and cut the stencil myself using my Brother Scan n Cut, so I was able to make sure I had the size I wanted. To do the stenciling I find that to avoid the dreaded 'bleed' I have to use a repositionable spray adhesive on the back of the stencil to hold it in place, then I cover the stencil in a thin coat of PVA glue or Modge Podge that dries nice and clear, THEN I do a few thin coats of paint over the stencil with a piece of fine sponge (usually a cut up kitchen sponge or a make up sponge). If the stencil doesn't have lots of detail, I can get away without the pva glue layer, but mostly I say better safe than sorry. When you're spending a lot of time on the finish of a piece of furniture, you don't want to mess up the last step! Of course if you're going for shabby chic look then you can sand over the stencil and hide any bleeds that way too! I protected the finished stenciling with 2 coats of the Flat out Flat Top Coat.

Another part of this piece that took some work was the new handing wine glass holder that I fitted underneath the drawer. I use a circular saw cut one piece of wood to fit in between the legs under the drawer; I then cut 3 thin strips of wood which I screwed to the outer edges and the middle. THEN I cut 2 identical wider strips to attach to the outer edges so that there is a slight over hang on the inside, and a double with strip to attach to the middle strip so that there is an over hang on either side. Obviously all this needed to be measured out - the glasses holder fits wine glasses with a 7cm or less base, but you can make it whatever size suits you. I put two small door stop bungs at the back to stop the glasses being pushed out the other side(!) and stained the whole thing the same dark walnut as the top. I attached the whole thing underneath the drawer by using some industrial silver bolts from the outside of the legs.

I decorated the bottom of this bar cart using some silver leaf in an artistic pattern; it looks a little bit like a lightening bolt and adds a little bit of bling and glamour here! I used some metallic leaf glue from Speedball and protected it with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat as I wanted as much of the shine of the silver leaf to remain which would have been dulled more by the Flat out Flat finish (you can buy special top coats that are designed to maintain the brilliance of metallic leaf, but I didn't have any such thing so I made do). The brilliance was dulled slightly but it still looks nice and silver!

I added a dark brass knob to the front as I thought the drawer look more finished with a knob, and sprayed the inside of the drawer silver just to add a finish. The black and silver castors I found in a local store and they simply screw into the bottom of the legs.

This piece what fun to play with and used lots of different makeover techniques: chalk paint and blending, silver leaf, wood working and stenciling, so it was a lot of work but this little old orange table has been completely transformed!

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