DIY Ikea Bar Cart with Wood Top

barcart makeover1

Ikea’s Bygel cart has definitely been a favorite of DIYers, especially when it comes to fashioning a bar cart on a budget. It’s easy to see why the Bygel cart is so popular–it’s inexpensive, roomy, versatile, and easily to customize with little extra effort and money. My Bygel cart makeover is a little bit different because 1) it isn’t gold and 2) it shows how you can give your cart a slightly different, more unique vibe by switching up your materials and adding a wood top.



  • Spray paint of your choice. I used Valspar High Gloss spray paint in Palmetto Green.
  • Spray lacquer for finishing the frame. This is optional but good for setting and hardening the finish. It was also about 90% humidity when we spray painted, so I’m not sure the paint would ever have cured without it. We used Rustoleum Crystal Clear Enamel.
  • Wood slab. Justin made this board by edge gluing 3/4″ thick scraps of Poplar left-over from our door casings. You could also buy a board of this size at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or a local lumber store.
  • Stain of your choice. This is optional, and we decided to leave ours natural. Stain definitely gives you a ton of options for your individual look, though. I think it would be super cool to do a colored stain, or a gray wash to make the look more industrial, if that floats your boat.
  • Polyurethane or oil for finishing the wood. We used Minwax Clear Gloss Polycrylic because Justin happened to have picked some up at a yard sale. Depending on the type of wood you use and what you plan to use the cart for, you could also opt for a food safe oil like Howard Cutting Board Oil.


This is an extremely easy project with just one tricky part–you need to have access to some kind of specialty saw (Justin used a band saw) to cut the corners of the board to fit your cart.

Ikea bygel top

Otherwise, you can pretty much figure out what to do:

  1. Spray paint and lacquer (if desired) the frame. I highly recommend spray painting the cart with the frame loosely assembled. That is–put it together, but don’t tighten the screws all the way. This allows it to stand on its own while drying, because it is a real pain in the rump to figure out a good way of arranging it otherwise.
  2. Using the Ikea top as a template, trace the corner cutouts onto your board, and then cut the wood to fit.
  3. Stain and/or finish the wood however you like.

Then style and enjoy!

IMG_7429 IMG_7442IMG_7384IMG_7388ikea bygel hack

The cart itself cost $30, and we spent about $10 on spray paint. There are lots of beautiful, glam bar carts out there, but for $40 I think I’d pick this one every time. What about you? Would you break out the spray paint and give this one a try?


One thought on “DIY Ikea Bar Cart with Wood Top

  1. Pingback: Ikea Bar Cart Makeovers | Arts and Classy

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