Introduction: Pink Painted Library Cart

About: I am a retired teacher always looking for fun projects to make! I used to teach gifted children and we were proficient in robotics!

This is an old library cart and a librarian I know asked me to fix it up! It had some rust, dents, tape on it and wobbly wheels to add to the character. She wanted it to be pink so it could be later used in her house. I thought it would be a fun project as there are many uses for a library cart such as a coffee bar, toy storage, book nook, or TV Cart!



  • paper towel to clean cart
  • Windex for initial cleaning
  • Goo Gone if you have stickers or tape on the cart
  • Sanding paper or block for metal- Imperial Wet/Dry 3M 1000
  • Rustoleum Universal Bonding Primer
  • Rustoleum Gloss Protective Enamel in a color of your choice- I used Poppy Pink
  • paper plate to put over wheels or use tape and a baggie
  • Painter's tape is used to cover plate above wheels
  • paint scraper
  • mask
  • rubber gloves
  • scissors
  • drop cloth or cardboard
  • wear old clothes

Step 1: Prepping the Cart

Depending on the shape your cart is in you will want to prep the old surface before spray painting. Assemble your supplies and prepare your area. I first used Windex and paper towels to give the cart a cleaning. This cart had old library tape on it to keep books from sliding. It did not want to scrape off. I put Goo Gone on it to soak a bit and then I was able to slowly scrape off little bits of it. It seriously took well over an hour to scrape this tape off! Regular tape that was on the cart just sanded right off. Continue with a light sanding with the metal sandpaper all over the cart. Turn the cart upside down also to sand. That's where I found the 1982 sticker!

After sanding, either take the wheels off or put paper plates around the wheels to protect them from paint. I wanted the wheels off to clean them, however only 2 would come off. I had to tape the remaining wheels with baggies and painter's tape.

Put down a drop cloth or cardboard to keep the floor from the overspray. Be sure to pick a day that is between 50-90 degrees and humidity below 65%. Use a well-ventilated area. I used the Rustoleum Bonding Primer all over the cart to help it secure the final layers for the enamel spray. Start by flipping the cart upside down to spray the undersides. Always shake the can a minute and spray off the cart to start. Be sure to put a mask on so your nose and mouth are protected and use rubber gloves. Spray 10-16 inches away starting and ending off the cart. Spray in sweeping motions in a steady manner. You will get drips if you start the spray on the cart and not off. I waited an hour before flipping the cart over to finish spraying the top and sides with primer.

It took 2 cans of the primer to paint the cart. It looks white when done.

Step 2: Spray Painting the Cart

I waited a day before using pink spray paint to let the primer set up. Use the same technique by spraying in light coats. Be sure to use a drop cloth! My garage ended up with some pink spray on the floor! Spray the pink paint on the undersides then flip it to do the top and sides. The paint was supposed to be glossy, but in some areas, it turned out rough. I did sand in some places before painting, but it didn't help much. I just think it was the old roughness of the cart that caused this. It took 2 cans of paint to cover the cart. The undersides could have been kept white if you want to save paint. Put the wheels back on when the paint is dry.

Step 3: Finished Cart

The cart turned out cute and quite pink! It was the color my friend picked out so she is happy. You can get carts like this one at school sales of equipment. I finished the project in 3 days. Have fun painting your own fun colored library cart!

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