Ikea Hack – Kitchen Cart Edition

With this simple Ikea Kitchen Cart hack take a simple Forhoja cart and make it your own

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. I have been busy with some fun projects and today I am sharing my Ikea Hack – Kitchen Cart Edition!

At the risk of sounding like a broken record.  We live in a small house!  The problem is, I keep finding really fun dressers or desks or tables that I really want to buy and make them all pretty and fresh, but I simply have no room to put everything.  

So I have resorted to updating, refreshing and making over things I already have! 

Ikea kitchen cart hack

We have had this Ikea Forhoja kitchen cart for years.  It stayed in its original state for a couple of years, and I just oiled the top.  Since that was several years ago, I don’t have a single photo to show you when it was in my kitchen.

Ikea hack - Kitchen Cart Edition

When we outgrew the storage space it provided for the kitchen I painted it white and put it out in our screen porch.  We used it as kind of a sideboard/potting bench/beverage cart/catch-all.  Over the winter we had a leak in the roof, which caused some water damage to the top.  

Still not wanting to part with it, it was time for an Ikea Hack – Kitchen Cart Edition! I decided to give it a little makeover and bring it back to life.  Paint is my favourite way to inexpensively add style and charm to damaged or outdated piece.

This Ikea kitchen cart hack transformed a worn water damaged piece into a bright and useful addition to our screen porch

After taping off the base with some newsprint and painters tape, I sprayed the with top 3 coats of black chalkboard paint. It was just a can of chalkboard spray paint – no fancy sprayer required!  I find that by spraying 3 or 4 light coats you can achieve more even coverage than only one thicker coat.

Ikea Kitchen Cart hack

The base is painted with 2 coats of chalk paint called Serenity Blue.  I had forgotten how much I dislike painting this cart.  All those slats.  Ugh!  I got the base finished in a day because I knew that if I didn’t keep at it, I wasn’t confident I would ever finish!

Ikea Hack - Kitchen Cart Edition

I gave some of the edges a sanding to expose the white paint and even bare wood underneath, giving it a tiny bit of a distress look.  

Ikea hack - kitchen cart edition

The entire piece was finished with clear paste wax.  Four coats on the top, and one coat on the base.  I wanted the top to be extra durable because I know it will continue to get a lot of use.

Ikea hack - kitchen cart edition


This weekend it was used to hold some pretty flowers and fresh fruit.  I moved one of the candle sticks turned “cake stand” from the kitchen to hold some fresh local strawberries to nibble on.  Some little plates, napkins and a candle to light as the evening rolled around.

Ikea Hack - Kitchen cart edition

The drawers will hold extra napkins and plastic utensils, kitchen shears, string, and other odds and ends I am always  needing to run into the house to get.

Ikea hack - kitchen cart edition

As much as those slats are a pain in the behind to paint, They provide extra storage for my really fancy Sephora clothes pin bag, a catch-all basket, some board games and cushions.

Ikea Hack - Kitchen Cart Edition

Ikea hack - Kitchen cart edition

The flowers at the market where so pretty, I couldn’t resist picking up a few.  Since my Peonies won’t be open for a another few days I treated myself to a bunch of white ones.  I will add in a few of my pink ones as they start to open up.

Ikea Hack - kitchen cart edition

I am loving the sheen the 4 coats of wax gives the top.  Not to mention the protection it provides from spills.  It does remind me of soapstone a little bit.

Ikea Hack -Kitchen Cart edition

I was tempted to have Tim replace the drawer fronts with solid pieces so I could add some fun knobs, but I didn’t want to make it more difficult than it had to be.  I really don’t think any knobs are necessary anyway!

Ikea hack - kitchen cart edition

I love how it looks now, and already have in mind a dozen ways I will use it over the summer! 

So, what do you think?  Do you prefer the raw wood look or the painted version?  

Until next time….

Red Cottage Chronicles




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  1. You have created a ‘new’ and gorgeous piece of furniture! Do I prefer raw wood or painted? I like both kinds but I think the update you did is spectacular!

    It’s perfect now for sitting outside with a cup of tea, coffee, or wine on a beautiful morning or evening, providing just the spot to put your drink.

    And I love that you’ve tucked away string and scissors inside the drawers. I’m constantly having to make a return trip inside to grab a pair of scissors to dead-head my annuals.

    What a great idea to reuse a piece by revamping it. I’m very impressed by the results!

    1. Thank you Jan! I am the same as you, I really liked the raw wood in the kitchen, but painting it just works better for the space it is in now 🙂