Recently, I've been on the lookout for a small bookshelf that I can use to store a few things (not necessarily books) that were stashed away in my closet. And after a couple of weeks of casual searching, I found it! Well, sort of.
What I actually found was a semi-sad looking 70s (?) television stand at a local thrift store for $22. I'll be honest, the price is what initially got my attention, but I liked the shape and the fact that it was on casters too. And I figured I could put my own spin on it somehow.
So, I packed it up in my car and went straight to a home improvement store so I could get some supplies to fix up my neglected tv cart. Side Note: When I was in the car, I kept thinking about that old MTV show, Pimp My Ride, for some reason. The cart DOES have wheels and I was in a car at the time, so it almost makes sense, right?
Anyway, after picking up what I needed and cleaning the stand from head to toe, I started thinking about all of the ways I could use this thing. I swear the fact that it is on wheels opened up a whole new world for me.
So, I partnered with ASUS North America to share how I transformed a $22 thrift store find into a little gem on wheels. And in addition to the before and after tutorial, I'll also share how you can use a cart, like this one, three different ways in your home.
Before I jump into the makeover project though, and a nearly endless amount of photos, I wanted to share a little bit more about about the ASUS T100 Transformer Book, which was sent to me to use for this project. And you can win one too - more on that at the bottom of this post.
Believe it or not, I didn't have a tablet before I got this one. I guess I just assumed I wouldn't have much use for one. Now that I have one, though, I've been using it pretty much everyday.
You can use it as a laptop or a tablet - it's both (hence the name, Transformer Book). So, you just click a little button on the keyboard, and the screen pops right off to use as a tablet. Which is beyond convenient for me, especially when I'm in the middle of a DIY project. I can do research on it at my desk, just as I would with any laptop, and then unclick the tablet screen, to reference things when I'm down on the floor crafting (and possibly covered in paint). My favorite feature is that it's a touch screen, which is normal for a tablet, but when you're using it as a laptop it completely changes the experience. I honestly love it.
It runs on Windows 8.1 and has Microsoft Office 2013. And there a bunch of great apps too - my favorites are Saveur, IKEA DIY and Hacks Hub, and Architectural Digest. You can read more about the T100 Transformer Book here and share the ways that you "Transform Everyday", by posting photos or videos to Instagram with the hashtag #asustransformeveryday.
Okay! Ready to jump into the makeover process?
Here's what this television stand looked like before...
Not very cute, huh?
There were a lot of steps to get to the 'after' stage. Here are the supplies I used to complete the project:
Primer (I used Cover Stain Oil-Based Zinsser spray primer) // Interior Paint and Paint Brush // Super Glue // Wood Filler + Putty Knife // 220 Grit Sandpaper
I cleaned the entire surface with a normal house cleaner to remove any dirt and grime. Then, I removed the metal pieces that were screwed into the top of the cart. There were some large holes that needed to be covered once the metal plates were removed. So, I used some wood filler to fill those and waited for that to set. While that was drying, I repaired a few areas where the vinyl was pulling away with superglue and taped it together until it was dry (this was not necessarily the 'proper way' to do it, but it worked, so hey).
Then I sanded the speckled areas, along with the entire surface of the cart and wiped it down to get everything clean of debris again. Next, I primed the entire cart (two coats) and then painted the bottom shelf and 3/4 of the legs with the teal paint (again, two coats). Once that way completely dry, I started spraying the top color to create the ombre effect.
I originally started with a neon yellow green, but after going through an entire can of it, I realized that white would look better. So, I primed the top again and, while the bottom teal areas were covered with paper to protect it from overspray, I lightly started spraying the white primer downward on the legs (starting at the top), to create the ombre look. It's easier to do than it looks, as long as you start at the top and lightly work your way down. Getting further and further away from the legs while spraying, the lower down on the legs you get.
Once that was dry, I touched up a few areas on the teal lower portion that had been accidentally hit with the white paint. Then, I painted the wheels a lilac color (I'm obsessed with this color right now) and then sprayed the wheels and the entire surface of the cart with a matte finish sealant Done!
With drying times included, this project took me one day to complete (about 8 hours). And now I can use it around the house for whatever mood strikes me.
Here's the side-by-side before and after...
And these are the three ways I've used my new rolling cart so far (let me know if you have any additional ideas for me):
1. Breakfast Bar and Coffee Cart
Okay, so this first option is fun for when you're having people over. You can roll it over to the dining table for after dinner drinks or use it for coffee and donuts in the morning.
Bonus! You can store additional plates and glassware on the bottom shelf.
2. Rolling Office Storage and Work Station
As you may have witnessed from my Behind the Scenes column, my workspace in the office is pretty much covered in supplies at all times. So I really needed a spot that I could catch up on emails (or Pinterest).
Needless to say, this is how the cart is set up right now in my office and it will probably be there for a while.
3. Plant Stand
I've been collecting a healthy number of succulents, cacti, and random house plants the last few months. And seeing the majority of them all in one place like this is fun.
This would be a good entryway piece to greet you when you walk in the front door too. Bonus! You can roll the cart over to the window to give the plants more sun, if needed.
So now that I've shared my transformation, it's only fair for you to share yours too. Right?
ASUS North America has put together weekly challenge themes so you can join in on the fun and win prizes of your own.
All you have to do is share a photo or video of how you "Transform Everyday" on Instagram, with the hashtag #asustransformeveryday for a chance to win a Transformer Book just like mine, along with other ASUS products (AND 15 Transformer books for charity as well). The challenge themes will change each week and you can check in here to see what the theme each week is. This week is transformative experiences.
And be sure to follow ASUS @asususa on Instagram as well - I'll be taking over their Instagram feed starting tomorrow (June 19th) and will be over there through June 22nd, sharing some behind the scenes from this project, how I 'transform everyday', and more.
Photography by Sarah Eddy // Concept and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff
This post is in partnership with ASUS North America. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Paper & Stitch possible.