Ikea Bar Cart Hack

Have you noticed that bar carts are totally trending right now? Bar carts are perfect for not only booze, but all sorts of party styling. They are great if you have just a few treats or drinks you want to display. What might look sad and sparse on a huge dessert table will look stylish and modern on a bar cart. And if you’re really into the marble and metallics trend right now but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, this Ikea bar cart hack is for you!


The Supplies

All you need for this awesome bar cart hack is:

DIY Time

Alrighty, here goes!


Step 1: Unpack all the pieces to the cart and set the hardware (bolts, Allen key) and shelves aside. Break the box open completely, you’ll want to leave this under the frame pieces when you spray them. I highly suggest doing this outdoors or in a well-ventilated garage. Spray paint smells horrible.



I used the Rust-Oleum with primer included to cut down on time. I found that I did need to spray the frame twice in some areas, for whatever reason it was quite patchy in some spots. Remember to spin the wheels so you get full coverage there as well. After the first coat I let it dry almost 24 hours before touch ups and the second coat where needed. I then let it dry another full 24 hours. Make sure it is drying in area that isn’t too humid so the almost dry paint doesn’t start to sweat.


Step 2: Covering the shelves. This is so much easier if you have someone to help you. The first thing you want to do is measure out the three strips of contact paper you will need. Make sure you have a couple inches extra so that you have enough to fit around the edges. It looks cleaner if you put the contact paper on what is intended to be the underside, so there are no ledges on your shelves, that part is underneath. Basically when you put the cart together put the shelves in opposite of what the instructions tell you.


We used a smoothing tool to help us apply, but simply follow the instructions on the back of the contact paper. Very slowly pull the backing off while smoothing it onto the shelf. I won’t lie, it is really hard to get all the bubbles out. Just take your time though and you should be good.



If you end up with bubbles on the edges don’t stress too much, as long as they’re small no one is ever going to notice. We made sure to put the best looking shelf on top.


Once you have the contact paper smoothed out over the entire shelf it should look like this:



We need to trim away some of the excess paper from the sides and make cuts so we can smooth the paper flush to the edges. First you will need to make a cut in line with the area where the shelf splits and will be screwed into the frame as shown below:



Once this cut is made you can trim away some of the excess paper so it is easier to pull around the sides.



Once your shelves are done and the paint is completely dry just follow the instructions to put the cart together. Don’t forget to put the shelves in opposite to the instructions.


And that’s it! In just one weekend you can have your very own trendy bar cart. Now if that isn’t a reason to throw a party I don’t know what is.


To style your bar cart add some beautiful glasses, a few treats, gorgeous flowers, a few interesting decorative items and you’re good to go.


If you have any questions about this DIY please leave me a comment below and I will be happy to help you!

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