Brass Bar Cart

LAST UPDATED: Jun 17, 2021 | PUBLISHED: Apr 05, 2013 | By:

Learn how to incorporate a charming brass bar cart into your home, utilizing this incredibly flexible furniture piece anywhere you need an extra serving or display piece!

A cute gold bar cart is the best kind of furniture investment because it’s inexpensive, flexible, and perfect for collections, gatherings, and serving! It will pay you back in dividends with holiday and party styling options galore.

A brass bar cart with liquor bottles and glassware on top.

Years ago, I became obsessed with the idea of adding a brass bar cart to our home. I don’t think my husband will ever understand it, but I feel bar carts are a classic and versatile piece.

I envisioned using it as a “console table” and end table in our living room, and wheeling it into the dining room when hosting dinner. So, I began my search, and that search began one of my favorite (most tragic) Craigslist tales ever.

I realized right away that most of the bar carts available from retailers at that time were extremely high end and way out of our meager budget. I just knew that I could find one second hand, or transform a vintage piece into something beautiful.

Luckily for you, now there are countless gold bar carts on the market! I’m sharing a little detail about our vintage brass bar cart today, as well as information about where to buy one yourself, and how to style them.

A vintage brass bar cart with glass shelves, topped with liquor bottles and glassware.

Craigslist Brass Bar Cart

For a piece of furniture that my husband just doesn’t comprehend, I was finding that all the brass bar carts I loved were simply too expensive. In fact, when I was searching eight years ago, most were at least $1500!

I began a Craigslist hunt, knowing I might be on the lookout for quite some time. Psst… get all my best tips for shopping Craigslist here. I also created a “wanted” post on Facebook, asked around if anyone had one, and visited local antique shops.

A year later, I received a text from a friend. She had discovered one on Craigslist and I was first in line to purchase it at just $200. I knew I could update it into the cart I had been dreaming of!

I sent Chris to a somewhat sketchy location late at night to pick it up and it barely fit in my tiny SUV. It appeared dated to me with the same foggy marbled glass I remembered gracing the walls at our elderly neighbor’s house when I was a toddler.

Here she is, in all her glory. This is the “before” image when we brought her into our colonial home in Kansas. Keep reading to see the end result, and the crazy tale of this incredible purchase.

A vintage brass bar cart with glass shelves.

I knew the frame was something I could work with. I was overjoyed to give it a makeover… so the DIY refinish began!

How to Refinish a Metal Bar Cart

  1. First, I spray painted the frame. I wanted a classic brass look.
  2. I was going to change the casters, but after they proved to be difficult to get off, I spray painted them as well {which I would have to do to new casters to match the finish anyways} and saved myself $20!
  3. Next, I replaced the antiqued mirror with traditional glass that I had custom cut. It was cut to be a better fit that the existing piece.
A close up of a Brass Bar with various glasses and liquor on it.

I was so happy with the end result and at a total of just $220, and so was my husband!

It turned out pretty cute, right? I was happy, my party guests were always commenting on how cute it was… it’s always fun to set your mind to something and accomplish it!

However, what happened next might just surprise you! I know it surprised me…

A gold bar cart decorated with plates and serving dishes for a party.

Love the look of brass as much as we do? Check out this Rub ‘n Buff tutorial to turn any home accessories into the perfect antiqued brass!

The Value of an Antique

I loved that bar cart. We used it to serve guests in the dining room of our home in Kansas, then it made the move to St. Louis and we used it in our breakfast room until…

A gold bar cart decorated with plates and serving dishes for a party.

in the middle of the night, we heard a large crash. We were totally alarmed. Did a window just break? What could have happened? I was too tired to find out and thought it must be a dream. Chris wasn’t rattled at all.

The next morning I walked into the breakfast room to pour cereal for the girls and found broken bottles and alcohol scattered throughout the room – all over our brand new hardwood floors!

The glass couldn’t bear the weight of the overloaded bar cart and gave way, sending the bottles crashing to the floor and into one another.

After that, I considered replacing the glass, but instead we decided to create a bar cabinet. Eventually we started to clean out the storage room, listing the bar cart on Craigslist.

At $100 (original purchase price $200), it didn’t sell. I received the occasional offer for $25, but pulled the listing thinking I’d eventually find a use.

One night, a reader commented alerting me to an earlier comment saying “Hi Julie, I think Karolina is right. That looks like a genuine Maison Bagues bar cart. They sell for about $3,000.”

Say what? It couldn’t be true. I visited the link. My heart sunk. It is an original Maison Bagues bar cart – identical. It is what bar carts today are modeled after. It was valuable, before my “update”.

masion bagues bar cart, two images side by side.
Notice a difference? Neither do I.

I did a little research and a similar cart is listed for $9,000 with taxes and shipping. $9,000! Are you laughing or crying with me?

Lessons in this Craigslist Bar Cart Tale

Not so many years ago, I was quick to pick up a can of paint and transform anything, but I’ve come to realize there is so much beauty in pieces as they are.

Sometimes you have to open your eyes to see it and embrace what you have. There’s nothing more beautiful than a piece in its original state in all its integrity.

I’m still dying a little inside, but as I did with our oak kitchen cabinets, I am going to resist the urge to paint because for me, there’s so much beauty in what lies beneath. PS, what would I do without you, dear readers?

I hope this little story makes you laugh, and not cry! There’s a lesson here, right? Although I love painting furniture as much as the next girl, some things are better left untouched.

A brass bar cart with liquor bottles and glassware on top.

The Prettiest Gold Bar Carts Available Today

Lucky for you if you’re reading this, you won’t have to spend a year digging through Craigslist ads! You can find a charm brass or gold bar cart at an incredibly affordable price these days.

I’m linking a few of my favorites so that you, too, can experience a little of the fun!

  1. Libations Antique Brass Bar Cart, $599libations antique brass bar cart from crate and barrel
  2. Gold Metal Wide Lowry Bar Cart, $329.99gold bar cart from World Market
  3. Wilson Brass Finish Bar Cart, $199.95
  4. Antique Brass 3 Tier Bar Cart, $169.99 brass bar cart on a white background.
  5. Terrace Bar Cart, Antique Brass, $399brass bar cart on a white background.
  6. Antique Gold Lionel Bar Cart, $252brass bar cart on a white background.
  7. Kern Gold Metal Bar Cart, $299brass bar cart on a white background.
  8. Gold Metal, Wood, and Leather Bar Cart, $150 brass bar cart on a white background.

I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a cute gold bar cart in your home? How have you used it?

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