This Tall Edwardian Trolley came to my stash of furniture several years ago when I purchased it at an Antique Fair that came to town. I used it in my workshop for years to put paints on that I was using for my own pieces and for workshops held at my home. It was in quite a sad state really, when I bought it, with some pretty deep scratches on the shelves.

Tall Edwardian Trolley in original condition.

Seriously, it looked like someone intentionally grabbed a dremel or an engraver off the shelf and went to town!

My first step was to try stripping the top, which I was hoping might have been an old shellac varnish, which is often easily repairable or even removed using Methylated Spirits* (called Denatured Ethanol in the USA).

*See my series on recognising wood finishes, how to remove them and repair them HERE.

I used some Diggers Stripper from our local hardware store here in Australia (in USA you could use Citrus remover gel). My favourite way to strip paint is using this method with plastic wrap I wrote about here.

Once most of the paint on top was removed with the scraper, (I did try that bottom shelf with all the scratches too) I finished by cleaning with water and a scourer or steel wool. Then sanded back to bare wood on top.

antique Edwardian trolley ready for makeover

In the picture above and below, notice I didn’t get the backboard totally sanded back. Call me lazy, but this part seemed too tricky to sand with the sander and it came up nicely with the steel wool after washing the stripper away. I liked the look of the darker old varnished finish on the back, so decided I’d try and match the stain for the top, to the backboard – I know, crazy idea, but hey, one can only try.

top of trolley.

Next, these old casters had seen better days, but they were firmly attached … no, STUCK, into the frame of each leg. There was not a screw in sight to undo, and they weren’t going anywhere without a fight.

rusty castors on old Edwardian Trolley

Google is our friend when it comes to figuring out “how to” so I looked up “how to remove rust from old castors” and found that soaking in vinegar for 30 minutes was supposed to work wonders. So here’s my makeshift “soaking tub” which I rotated around each castor every half hour. Then I would lay the trolley on it’s back, scrub the castor and move the vinegar soak to the next one (I did change the vinegar half way through the four castors).

Edwardian trolley castors in vinegar soak.

Now I’m ready to paint the base first, and you can see that bottom shelf where I smoothed some putty over the deep scratches. I then sanded back the putty to create a smooth surface, even though you can see the pale markings in the image below, they won’t be noticeable once it is painted.

Introducing Artisan MINERAL PAINT:

Australian brand Artisan Paint Company introduced their new mineral paint range this year, and it is available right here in the Shop menu tab at the top of my website. If you are in Brisbane, I stock all the same online products in my shop booth upstairs in the Camp Hill Antique Centre on Old Cleveland Road.

As an ambassador for their Aussie made and eco-friendly paint products, I am so excited about Artisan Mineral Paints. With a built in top coat, similar to the Fusion paints I still carry, the Artisan Mineral paints have a beautiful smooth finish for some of those modern finishes that furniture painters are opting for. I would describe the finish as more of an eggshell rather than a flat matte, which actually attracts far less fingerprints than a matte finish especially when painting with those darker colours.

Jet black Artisan Mineral Paint
Using my Cling On S30 brush, painting with Artisan Mineral Paint was a breeze.

Look at that lovely smooth finish on our newly painted Edwardian trolley! You can find this exact colour, Artisan Mineral Paint – Jet, HERE.

Do you follow me on Instagram?

If you follow my Instagram stories, you may have seen a lot of the behind the scenes in the last week over here. I created a highlight in the little circles at the top of my profile, called “Trolley” where you can see some of the process described here in this post.

Click here for my Instagram Highlight on this Trolley makeover

Staining the top of the Edwardian Trolley

To create a match for the backboard on the top of this tall Edwardian trolley, I decided to try combining two of the Fusion Stain & Finishing Oils (SFOs) that I carry here in Australia:

  • SFO – Golden Pine
  • SFO – Ebony

(USA friends can find them here using my Amazon link: Golden Pine, Ebony)

I was thinking Cappuccino SFO may be too dark of a brown, so the Golden Pine combined with the Ebony (black) would have more of those darker blackish tones that seem to be on the backboard.

I combined equal parts – about a tablespoon of each for this small area on top. I tested it along the front trim first, then the front on top of the trolley as pictured below. I was happy with the colour, so continued along the whole surface.

I’m really happy with how it turned out, matching the back nicely.

And here it is, a nice tall Edwardian trolley, all farmhousey looking!

Now for some styling of one edwardian trolley!

I asked my daughter, Tori if she’d like to help by styling the trolley for some photos, and I think she did an amazing job! Check out her work in these final pics below.

tall edwardian trolley
trolley on castors
Artisan Mineral paint Jet
Lovely eggshell finish of Artisan Mineral Paint – Jet
Styled Edwardian trolley in farmhouse style.
Farmhouse styling on antique edwardian trolley.

I do still love a good black finish makeover with wood featured in this fun farmhouse style. How would you paint this trolley? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

I’d LOVE you to pin the following image to your Pinterest boards if you think it would inspire others: