This DIY has been a long time coming. I have had a bit of a bar cart fetish for several years now but, until a few months ago, had never owned one. That all changed when my husband and I downsized from our large two-bedroom apartment to our comparatively cozy one-bed (*background on our surprise move can be found at the end of this post). Prior to our move, we did some serious house cleaning and ultimately donated about 40% of our belongings, including our big, awesome bar cabinet that previously served as our drink station.
As anyone who has ever moved can attest, there are a lot of surprise expenses that pop up during that singularly stressful period. Our move was no different and we found that we were in no position to purchase a fancy new bar cart to fit into our new space. We wracked our brains about what to do with our ever-expanding liquor selection until I finally decided to tackle the problem head on by transforming an inexpensive IKEA piece into the marble and gold bar cart of my dreams. Today’s tutorial outlines how you can create your own IKEA Sunnersta DIY bar cart at an affordable price point.
Step 1: Measure the contact paper needed to cover your shelf by placing the shelf on the contact paper and tracing an extra 1 ½ – 2” around each edge with a pencil. Use a ruler as your guide to ensure your edges are straight. Repeat for each shelf.
Step 2: Using an X-Acto knife and ruler, cut the contact paper along your pre-traced pencil lines. Repeat for each shelf.
Step 3: Once the contact paper is cut, lay it on top of your shelf, ensuring that the excess paper is evenly distributed on each side. Carefully peel off the contact paper’s backing and slowly apply it to your shelf, pressing out any air bubbles as you go. Repeat for each shelf.
Step 4: Standing your shelf up on one of the two longer flat edges, use a ruler and X-Acto knife to cut directly down from the two now exposed straight sides of your shelf. You want to be as precise as possible so the excess contact paper can fold up exactly over the straight edges. Fold up the contact paper and duplicate the process on the other side. Repeat for each shelf.
Step 5: Once the straight edges have been folded over, carefully adhere the contact paper to the curved edges, slowly wrapping it around each edge. Repeat for each shelf. Your shelves are done!
Step 6 (Optional): If you don’t plan on painting your wheels (I didn’t), wrap them in some type of protective covering and tape it in place to ensure that the paint won’t bleed onto the wheels. I used Saran Wrap and packing tape for this step.
Step 7: In a well-ventilated area, apply spray paint primer to both sides of the cart. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly for 24-48 hours before flipping the sides over and repeating the process.
Step 8: Once the primer has dried, spray paint each side of your cart. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly for 24-48 hours before flipping the side over and repeating the process. It may take several layers of spray paint to achieve the finish you desire.
Step 9: Assemble your cart using the instructions provided by IKEA.
Congratulations, you just turned an IKEA Sunnersta cart into a gorgeous and unique DIY bar cart!
If this seems like a step-heavy DIY, that’s because it is. This isn’t a simple or quick DIY, but I promise that the results make the time and effort spent on this IKEA Sunnersta DIY bar cart well worth it.
*A side note since I haven’t previously addressed our move – as of the time I took my brief break from blogging, the two of us were planning on moving into a larger family friendly home and starting our family. Unfortunately, my diagnosis and our subsequent heartbreaking decision not to move forward with having a child meant that we instead opted to downsize and are now focusing on creating the most sustainable and nurturing environment possible for me.