Voila! The Coffee Cart Reveal.
Updated: Jun 2, 2018
Let's me just take a sip of this dark roast before I get into this story...better.
This poor coffee cart didn't get the best of me, but I have to say, because of my time constraints, artistic block and procrastination due to artist block, it turned out kind of quirky. But overall, I think It's quirky in a good way.
I picked up the cart-in-need from my friend's house, got inundated with a project then took a quick trip out of town for two very special family events. I was excited to come back to this project refueled after some much-needed time with close family. What I failed to predict was how little time I'd have when I returned because it was SPRING BREAK!
So...I thought about the coffee cart a lot that week. It sat neglected while we had playdates, hiked, ate more desserts than usual and stayed up too late every night.
Fast forward. Kids back in school. Finally, I was ready start this transformation.
Wait! What! My giant tupperware bin of sanding equipment was left at a friends house. No! Losing a day for coordination, I picked up the sanding equipment, bought a can of stripper and restarted this party.
I felt a little bad stripping off the hand-painted chinoiserie on the two surfaces, but there wasn't much of a scene, and it appeared too worn and/or slightly painted over. I thought of restoring it. After sleeping on it, I decided it's ready for a whole new look.
I stripped the top and bottom shelves then sanded them down using an orbital sander. Zander may or may not have sanded the bottom shelf to help me. I scuffed the rails, legs, drawer and wheels, and painted them with a fresh coat of Benjamin Moore Black 2132-10.
I loved how the black paint was bold when I focused on it but hid away so the wood grain and revived color could shine. Unfortunately, the top and bottom woods were different so my decision to cover the top with a pattern felt justified. The bottom was far better wood, and it really came to life with a golden pecan stain. Pecans even compliment a good coffee so it was meant to be for this coffee cart.
So, there it stood freshly painted with it's wood grain on full display! It was looking good, but I was perplexed and now plagued with artistic block.
I really couldn't figure out how I was going create a beautiful tiled look similar to my Tabarka Studios Paris Metro Collection inspiration. I really wanted to hand-paint the top since I did strip and sand away some else's artwork, but I'm not a strong painter. If I started down that road, I'd still be painting right now and most likely have re-sanded it a few times due to lack of satisfaction. Some may say I procrastinated on making a decision, but I stand by the fact that I didn't know how to tackle this top. Maybe.
I thought of taping off a pattern, which could have turned out pretty cool if I mixed the paint and stain. I slept on that, and I still couldn't get Paris Metro out of my head! I purchased some stencils and actually began using the X-ACTO to create my own stencil. The math alone to create multiple stencil tiles killed it for me. Don't ask.
This coffee cart, which is supposed to makes its debut in three days is not done, and I don't even know how I am going to finish it. I was back to taping off a pattern,when it hit me. I'm going to print a picture of the tile. It felt a little like cheating, and I lamented over the fact that I wasn't a strong painter for detailed projects. The clock was also ticking. That open house was coming for me.
I decreased the tile size in Photoshop so I could create an even number of tiles across the top shelf. I printed the right amount of pages along with a few extra. The order-extra-for-breakage rule applies for printed tile too. I switched on Amazon's Prime Original The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and cut them all out. I wasn't sure if it was the correct decision, but I purposefully tried to cut them all slightly different. To make sure some of that wood detail showed through the tile, I cut the tiles corners off, which is consistent with the original pattern in the tile also.
During the next episode, I began adhering them to the top. Oh, wow, was this difficult not to mention time consuming. It's about 11 pm at this point, and my pile of cut tiles is tall. I question whether I can finish this top tonight, but I press on and on and on until it's done.
Oh, bugger. It's crooked. I'm tired. I should have painted it.
In the morning, I look at it with fresh eyes. Yeah, it's crooked, but it's not so bad. But...it needs something. I did mention in my "before" blog, Oh, Coffee Cart. The Re-Do and the Reveal,that I thought gold leaf may make a debut. Well, the gold paint I picked up when I thought I would stencil isn't gold leaf, but it'll do. Time constraints.
I decide to paint the grout of my printed tiles. The color when it printed came out a bit odd anyway. With a very fine brush, I followed the lines with a fine brush. Sheesh, this simple printing project was taking longer than I thought. I need to use this coffee cart on Sunday, and this is Friday night. Gold line after gold line, I forge ahead.
While it's still a little wonky the gold helped a lot, but where the gold really shines is...well, where it really shines. I love the little bit of glam when the light hits it just right. So, I poly the top until I think it will withstand many of open houses. Jewelry usually goes on last, and the gold mercury glass knob looks like a golden gem.
This little cart cleaned-up well, but it didn't actually hold the coffee after all. It held the cups, the cake and the basket of extra K-Kups. It may hold coffee in a smaller vessel someday, but the Keurig machine used for this open house was too bid for this dainty little lady.
This coffee cart showed clear potential a month ago, and now it's a superstar. The feedback I received on 6445 Valley Circle Terrace during the open house was the same. Everyone saw its potential. We all discussed how the house is ready to open up to a new chapter.
I'm proud to announce, I received multiple offers in four days and many were over asking. Valley Circle is good house, but I'd like to think this little coffee cart is my lucky charm.
If you'd like this coffee cart to make an appearance at your open house, call me. Over a cup of coffee, you can tell me all about your house.