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


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.

What You Need:

  • 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


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

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.


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