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Vintage Cosco Serving Cart Renewed for DIY Storage

Storage is something we all long for, but sometimes we lack it for obvious reasons. Maybe you have little closet space or just overall not a whole lotta room, but…you can add storage in places by getting creative. This worn out vintage Cosco serving cart caught my eye and I’m going to show you how it can make a BIG difference in a small way.

Vintage Serving Cart Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it doesn’t take much money to make your house your home. I’m a prime example of that. With our family of 8 we have to watch spending and creating storage is key. Thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, and even the curb offer much #trashure (one man’s trash is another one’s treasure).

This vintage Cosco serving cart was used in a thrift store to display wares, and even had a “Not for Sale” sign on it. However, I felt bad for it and would ask on occasion if they would sell it to me. It wasn’t until the shop came under new ownership that they said they were upgrading to industrial style carts and I could have it. Happy dance!! I’ve had many Cosco carts in my shop and they are built to last even if they don’t always get treated properly over time.

This one had contact paper on top and sides, rusted spots, dents, and chipping, peeling paint. Meh. Nothing a little DIY elbow grease can’t handle, right?

Vintage Cosco Cart Top |

Cosco Cart Bottom |

So, I have to ask…would you tackle it? Many of you saw it previewed in my post earlier this week and told me you had one similar or worse. I guess we are the Cosco cart avengers!! hahaha!!


First, I peeled off that contact paper which left an awful residue. Easy to take care of if you use rubbing alcohol. It works wonders in drawers where people have lined them too. Then I disassembled all the pieces to make it easier to clean.

Next, I used steel wool to remove all the flaking paint and rust. Nothing like good scrubbing to freshen it up! The chrome cleaned right up and the trays were ready for the next step. This is where I am ever thankful we recently added a utility tub to our kitchen/laundry/dining area remodel. woot!

Scrubbing Cart Shelves |

*post sponsored by HomeRight and includes affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

Once clean and dry, it’s time to break out my orbital sander and get rid of the rest of the damage that I could. I used a 120 grit paper and just had at it.

Sanding Rusted Cosco Cart by Prodigal Pieces |

After sanding, I rinsed and dried it again, and now it’s ready for paint. Fun part!! If you’ve known me for long, you know how addicting spraying paint can be whether in a can or using my HomeRight paint sprayer. But…it’s not so fun to make a hot mess that you have to explain to your husband why his tools look like Smurfs threw up on them. ahem.

Enter in the HomeRight Large Spray Shelter!! This thing is awesome because it stores away in a small bag…

HomeRight Spray Shelter Stores Away Easily |

..but when opened up…BAM! Instant awesomeness and protection for my project. Don’t you just love it? You can see how I’ve used it and my small spray shelter too in these past posts. A girl can nevah have too many.

HomeRight Large Spray Shelter for all your spray painting needs by Prodigal Pieces |

For this project, I chose to use a RustOleum color called Vintage Teal. Sounds like me, doesn’t it? tee hee hee. Notice my black spray-painted thumb from painting the casters. whoops!

TIP: If you happen to get spray paint on your hands, just grab some olive oil and rub it right off. No chemicals needed. {{applause}}

RustOleum Vintage Teal Spray Paint for Vintage Cosco Cart by Prodigal Pieces |

They key to getting a nice even coat when spraying anything is beginning the spray before you hit the project, and continue off of it. Also, the distance between you and your sprayer should be as manufacturer recommends, approx. 12 inches.

Vintage Teal Spray Paint for Cosco Cart |

After the first coat, I let it cure for at least 30 minutes, and then apply a second coat and let cure for 2 hours at least.

While the paint layers were curing, I set about to add a bit of cuteness and privacy to this cart. I decided to whip up a dust ruffle for the bottom shelf, because, who doesn’t have things they want to hide…am I right? I sewed it using this design here at JoAnn as inspiration, but tweaked it to my liking.

Here’s the vintage Cosco serving cart all reassembled and ready to go with a cute cottage farmhouse new look.

Restored Cosco Serving Cart with DIY Dust Ruffle by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Vintage Teal Cosco Serving Cart with DIY Dust Ruffle by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I just love how the blue looks so good and the dust ruffle takes it to a whole new level. I’m so stoked that it came out as good as it did. The trays are not perfect, but they are 99% improved and ready to go. This cart can be used in your kitchen, laundry, bath, even as a nightstand. So many uses for these!

Vintage Serving Cart for Kitchen Storage by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

In case you’re curious about the dust ruffle, it does come off and easy to wash. I’ve made mine from gray on cream ticking fabric so it will hold up well.

Cottage Farmhouse Style Serving Cart with Dust Ruffle and Baskets for Extra Storage by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

The three sectioned baskets and are included with this vintage Cosco serving cart if you would like to purchase it from my shop. If I could, I’d keep it!

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Adorable Vintage Cosco Cart with Dust Ruffle and Storage Baskets for Kitchen, Bathroom, Laundry, Crafts, and Bedroom. Available at Prodigal Pieces |

Farmhouse Style Serving Cart with Baskets at Prodigal Pieces |

Cute twill tape bows make me smile. It’s the little things we do to make our home our own. Truly you can do this project with just some time involved.

Skirted Cosco Serving Cart Redo by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Vintage Teal Cosco Serving Cart with Baskets and Dust Ruffle Skirt ~ DIY tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Mini Coffee Bar Made from a Vintage Cosco Serving Cart by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

So tell me, what would you use your cart for? Better yet, what would you use your spray shelter for because HomeRight and I are giving away 2 of these awesome spray shelters to two of you. Easy entry – just fill out the widget below for as many entries as you like (daily even for more chances). Open to U.S. & Canada residents 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified via email, so be sure to check your spam! GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do pin and share this vintage Cosco serving cart makeover to inspire others to get their DIY on too. There are so many ways we can improve storage in our home, we just have to be willing to try.

Want to add storage to your home? Get your DIY on and Update a Vintage Cosco Serving Cart for Kitchen, Bath, Laundry, and even Bedroom! Get the step-by-step tutorial at Prodigal Pieces |

Up next, this vintage Art Deco vanity is in much need of a new look. Poor thing is a hot mess! See the after HERE in the reveal.

Vintage Art Deco Vanity Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More projects like my vintage Cosco serving cart redo:

Mmm...Blue Ombre for the win! This vintage Bassett dresser goes from worn down and ugly to Boho Mid Century Modern Dresser using a little DIY spirit. Get the details at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comWant the farmhouse look, but on a budget? Let Prodigal Pieces show you how easy it can be. A farmhouse side table makeover you'll want to see. | Prodigal Pieces |

146 replies on “Vintage Cosco Serving Cart Renewed for DIY Storage”

Super cute cart makeover! Love the little curtain. I have many carts around my house . I have 4 for art/sewing supplies and one in the kitchen.
The shelter would be great for painting some folding chairs.

Very cute. I really like the dust ruffle. Adds just the right amount of “farmhouse flair”. I have one of the carts that I may just do the same thing to. Thanks for the idea!

I literally just picked up another one of these the other day – I’ve made them over before too and they are awesome! I love your curtain addition though. May need to add that this time!

Love the cart make over. I have done three. I always like to finish with s matte clear coat so the painted surface stays nice. I have one more waiting for me so the spray shelter would be awesome

Beautiful serving cart. Love that color you choose.
I have a serving cart somewhat like that which I have had for over 40 years; still in original shape and still in workable condition (it’s an electric cart and is olive green which is also original color)
Boy, could I ever use a couple of Spray Shelters
I have some very old folding chairs that could really use a new face lift by spraying them with pops of color.
Thank You for this great giveaway opportunity.

Love the cart! A few years back I had found a similar cart, although narrow and a bit wider, that I just so happened to paint using the same Rustoleum color you chose! (We must share some “color genes” !! My cart didn’t look quite so beautiful, because shame on me, I didn’t spend as much time doing a good job of prepping. My daughter used it to store her shoes in the entry of her tiny apartment. The spray shelter looks like the “cats meow” for keeping overspray off the rest of the workshop – my workshop shows a history of paint experiences!! Thank you for all your wonderful inspiration.

Fun! This was a new color on the market, but have used similar and it’s always blue for the win. Woot! Cats meow is right because my cat loves to play in it! hahaha… Thank you for the love, Judy.

Wow, what a transformation! That turned out beautiful! I need one of those shelters, I hope I win! Thanks for the inspiration!

Larissa I love the way u refiinish pieces. When I saw your cart… I thought OMG!!! so cute.I would use it in my Kitcgen to store my Cookbooks and large yrays. My hubby calls The Spray Bomb Queen. With Spring coming I do have projects to do ..your handy tent would be great!! Thanks for including Canada in this great gift. 😆

Oh I love the little ruffle! Even though I’m not a fan of the color you made it cute with the ruffle attached! I also love the fact that you painted the screws to match…now that’s unique! I live in a very windy area and this pop up shelter could be quite useful! Thanks for sharing!

Love those costco carts and yours turned out beautiful! Agree with Judy (above) regarding prep. Thanks for inspiration and opportunities to win cool stuff!

This is adorable! I had a beat up one in my classroom, but “willed” it to another teacher when I retired. Sigh… I wasn’t into DIY as much then. Lack of time.
I would definitely use the large tent to paint a ladder I acquired. Hubby is tired of it on the patio looking like a hot mess!

Love the cart. I have one just like it waiting for a makeover. It’s still a little too cold in the Pacific Northwest to spray paint out in the backyard. A spray shelter would make it possible to move to the garage so I could started!

Awesome! I did this in 30 degrees outside here in Ohio and took the trays inside to cure, then went back out. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! It’s so handy to have the shelter.

Love the cart. I painted my storage building a very close color. I have a bookcase to paint and would love the spray shelter.

Cute, cute, cute! Now I’m lookin’ around my house for something to dustruffle! I love how generous you are to include those cute baskets with the cart! Thanks for another chance (double chance) to win a HomeRight Spray Shelter. My kids hope I win because I’m about to use their play tent, ha ha ha. I found two rusty metal pots that I call cauldrons, because that’s what they look like; I’d like to spray them in a bright, pretty color and plant flowers in them.

hahaha!! That’s awesome!! I love those baskets to store my goodies and have them all over. I snag them up when I can at the thrift store. So many have stolen their kids play tent!! So funny and sounds like you scored big on the pots. Love those!

Love the cart makeover and the dust ruffle is perfect to top it off. I could definitely use the cart for more storage. The pop up shelter would be perfect so I don’t have to worry about overspray on anything from painting.

So adorable with that little curtain! I once had a HUGE kitchen in an old house with, oddly, very little storage space. I painted a large TV wall unit and used tension rods and little curtains in all the sections. Used it for years. I’m needing to spray paint my bright, shiny gold wall sconces a nice oil rubbed bronze! Thanks Larissa 🙂

You are such an inspiration! Every time I have a new project to ponder I search your projects. It’s kind of a “What Would Larissa Do” approach.

Love the cart! You are inspirational Larissa. We are in the midst of a reno ourselves. So the Homerite spay shelter would be great for many ongoing projects! We can almost see the end but it has taken us a long time to accomplish this update. Perseverance!

Yes, you made that cart look young again! Love the color, too! I’d spray paint a few small book shelves and picture frames to give them an updated look.

I never would have thought to put a skirt on it. What a difference it makes. Now you need to show us how you did that. I was thinking rods, but clearly, it’s more than that.
I am in the process of spraying jars to collect donations for our churches dinners. How much easier it would be to do more than one at a time in my basement. Thank you for the opportunity.

It makes it fun for me. I have the link to it in my post. Super easy. Rods, wouldn’t work as I debated on doing the same, but the rounded corners would make it off. What a wonderful blessing that is!

Love this. I have a similar one with handles. I would use the spray tent on mine!!! I like your idea of taking it all apart to paint. So much better than taping it all. Can’t wait to get to mine. Also like your skirt addition and the fabric. Your creativity is inspiring!

love what you did with the cart. Like many others I have a cart in my garage waiting for an update. there is some rust on the legs. How can I remove it, without refinishing the whole thing.?
thank you

Wow! What a transformation! I Love how your cart turned out! And that Vintage Teal is a Beautiful color. Thank You for the tip you added about using Olive Oil to remove Paint from your hands. I will be using this. I would Love to win this shelter. I have a few old metal folding chairs that I would Love to paint. Thank you for the chance

Super cute save on this Cosco serving cart, Larissa! Love the color and swooning over the adorable dust ruffle. Thanks for the olive oil paint removal tip too btw. Mama needs a Homeright spray tent because my hubby’s tools DO look like Smurf’s threw up on them. *sigh*

AAARGH!!!!! Just last week gave my yellow Costco cart to my son to use in his workshop!! The Vintage Teal is MY fav color for accent in my kitchen — I am going to beg son to return — I’ll trade him something else he’s been eyeing!! I love everything you ever create — you are so multi-dimensionally talented!!! I already have both shelters — because of your high regards for them — LOL but they are definitely looking worse for wear and I haven’t been willing to replace them just because they are no longer “pretty”!! New ones would be such a TREAT!!! (and I could use the well-used ones for bargaining power!!)

Love the new life you gave to the cosco cart. That blue is awesome! If I had the spray tent I could bring new life to a vintage wicker rocker. I have to spray paint in my driveway and always have to be careful not to spray the siding. Also worry about spray drift. My neighbors are only ten feet away.

Love how the vintage cart turned out! Might have to use that teal color spray paint on some of my outdoor garden containers!

Love your blog. You have such great ideas that get my mind really working. I ‘m always anxious to see what you come up with next. It makes me say, I can do this!

Love this makeover, but I knew I would. You are so clever and talented. I just wanted to let you know about the link over to JoAnn because it’s not working. I have a large queen sized bedskirt that I’ve been saving to use for something but was waiting for inspiration. The fabric is super cute and already ruffled, so maybe the length will work!

Thank you! I guess the search doesn’t work well on that site, because I searched on everything you could imagine and couldn’t find that project! I’ll use it for reference, but your site really has all the info I need.

I would paint a large computer printer cart I’ve been storing in the garage to snazz up and use with my computer desk.

Nice job! I love the new color!
I was wishing for a spray shelter Monday when I painted the lights I’m making for my boys bedroom! Spray paint on a windy day… guaranteed mess! I have so many more little projects to paint!

So cute as always!! I always love your ideas and am amazed at your vision! I would love the spray shelter…and so would my garage…and I’m almost positive my husband would like me to have one lol! 😏

My wife likes doing little craft projects for our yard, and she bought a few flower pots that she wants to paint and decorate. Usually she just puts them on a piece of cardboard, and still has over-spray, so this would be perfect.

A person can never have too much storage! I love your cart renewal project & really love the color, I’d pop that baby in my laundry ‘area’, too small to be called a room! If I were to win one of the paint shelters I would paint a dresser I’ve had hanging around in my garage for a while.

Oh my! The cart is just too cute! And the skirt😍! I really need the spray tent! Ever since I purchased the home right sprayer everything that my husband stores in the garage changes colors all the time! Lol

Love how that old cart “cleaned up” so nicely I would love to do something similar for an outdoor potting cart. But first, I have an overwhelming pile of weathered outdoor cushions to “freshen up” for the season with a bit of paint…IF it ever clears up and stays a bit warm!

Hi Larissa, I love the color you chose to paint this cart, it will add such a nice pop of color to the kitchen!! Of course, the privacy skirt/dust ruffle is the cherry on top for this makeover!

Wow that cart turned out nice! I have so many things to put in a spray tent,I couldn’t even begin to list all of them. I promise I am not a hoarder:*( lol

I love the way the cart turned out. It reminds me of one my grandmother used to have. I’d use this for painting an old dresser.

Love the cart… cute. It turned out great. I have a plant stand that needs painting. This spray shelter would come in very handy!

I love the cart. It looks amazing! I would first tackle a table I had as a child. I do hope it turns out well.

Ok, seriously not 5 minutes ago scrolled right past one of these babies on marketplace and then this popped up on my newsfeed! Well you better believe I hopped back on over to see if it was still available and can I pick it up tomorrow! lol I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you did with it! Now I’m going to pop over to JoAnns and check out the tutorial for that adorable skirting. Thanks so much for sharing, your creativity always amazes me!

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