How to Add Tile to a Bar Cart

Lend a touch of texture to your outdoor beverage station by dressing up a thrifted metal utility cart with tile.

Beautiful Bar

bar cart with mosaic tiles

Why have a boring bar cart when you can DIY with your own unique style? All you need to do is pick your favorite colors and gather a few supplies. You'll be fashionably serving drinks in no time.

How Should I Stock My Bar Cart?

What You Need:

refinishing materials
  • Metal utility cart
  • Metal-approved spray paint 
  • Drop cloth
  • Sheets of thin, mesh-mounted tile
  • Tape measure
  • Straightedge
  • Tile cutter
  • Tile file
  • Dual-grit sanding stone
  • Outdoor tile adhesive
  • Small-notch adhesive spreader
  • Outdoor grout
  • Plastic putty knife or grout float
  • Wet sponge
  • Waterproof caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Grout sealer
  • Foam paintbrush

How-To:

bar cart

Step 1: Disassemble the cart and clean the pieces. Let dry. Place the shelves on a drop cloth and apply two coats of metal-approved spray paint (we used Rust-Oleum Universal Matte Spray Paint in Castle Rock), allowing the paint to dry between coats.

Step 2: Measure the length and width of the top shelf, and use the measurements to plan your desired tile layout. With a pencil and straightedge, mark where the tiles need to be cut, then trim them with a tile cutter. Smooth any rough edges with a tile file and a sanding stone, then fill in gaps around the perimeter by cutting and piecing leftover tiles to fit.

Step 3: Apply a thin layer of tile adhesive to the shelf. Place the sheets of tile on the adhesive before adding the perimeter tile pieces. Let cure for 24 hours.

Step 4: Spread grout over the tile, filling the cracks. Wipe off excess grout with a wet sponge, and let dry for 24 hours. Reapply grout if needed.

Step 5: Once grout has dried, cut a small opening on the tip of your caulk tube. Carefully caulk around the perimeter of the tile, where the tile and shelf lip meet. Let dry for 24 hours.

Step 6: Apply sealer to the grout with a foam paintbrush, wiping off any excess from the tile with a dry cloth. Allow sealer to cure for 48 hours before reassembling the cart and putting it to use.

Tile Treatment

refinished bar cart

Make sure to swap the cart's original wheels for outdoor-approved casters to ensure rust never slows you down. When it's not serving tasty cocktails, the cart can double as a plant stand to show off your green thumb. Or use it for any purpose you can find, and enjoy the ease and beauty of your DIY tile bar cart.

See Our Favorite Bar Carts

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