This hand truck (or what I would call a refrigerator dolly) cost a small fortune 20 years ago but looks worse for wear now. A bit of elbow grease and some lime green paint and it is refurbished to almost new again! Don’t have/need a hand truck? Think wheelbarrows, garden tools, etc and apply the same steps.
Did you know that this:
is called a hand truck?
I had no idea.
I thought it was called a refrigerator dolly or a furniture dolly – but in searching Pinterest for what to call this post, I only came across items like this under “hand truck” or “hand truck dolly” – so that’s what we’re going with.
This is my hand truck – or rather it lives in my she-shop, but my neighbour and I share custody because he is the one that fills the tires with air etc.
I’ve had this for about 20 years give or take, and you can certainly tell.
But it still works. The rust hasn’t corroded all the way through the metal so it’s still strong and sturdy and ready to work. It’s flaws are cosmetic and easily rectified – so I got to work refurbishing my furniture dolly…
First up, my friend Charmaine (8) and I scraped off the loose paint with putty knives and wire brushes.
We scrubbed and scraped and removed as much loose rust as we could by hand, and then brought in my sander to remove even more. We got my little hand truck as clean as we could before we brought in the “big guns”.
Next, and you’ve heard me rave about this stuff before, is Krud Kutter (click for affiliate link – for full affiliate disclosure please see sidebar or bottom of this post)
This stuff is unbelievable for removing rust. It sprays on like a thick gel and gets through layers of paint and rust – check out my garden grate mirror post here for dramatic before and afters.
I’m crazy for regular Krud Kutter for cleaning and removing dried on paint, but the rust version is even more spectacular – truly one of my favourite products.
After letting the Krud Kutter do it’s (non-toxic) work, we washed the hand truck down with soap and water and let it dry completely.
I bagged up the tires to keep any overspray off of them and then I primed my sad little furniture dolly with Zinnsser Bullseye 1-2-3 primer.
I lied. I didn’t prime.
I was so excited to refurbish my hand cart that I skipped a cardinal rule in refinishing anything – PRIMER.
I’m embarrassed and ashamed, but I’m hoping and praying that the Painter’s Touch Ultra is as good as it claims and really does prime and paint in one swoop. I will tell you that the red would have been a LOT easier to hide if I had primed like a good DIYer.
I had two cans of this:
leftover from my wagon makeover, and I really do love the vibrancy of it, so it was an easy choice for a hand truck makeover.
I used all of two cans and did three coats of paint and my hand truck now looks like this:
Yup, a bit of elbow grease, some magical rust remover and a bit of spray paint and my hand truck looks as good as new!
So for about $30 in supplies, I saved myself $200+ on a new dolly!!
My neighbour will be so surprised! 😂
How about some refurbished hand truck before-and-afters? (these are my favourite!)
All I have say is “Why aren’t ALL hand trucks lime green?!” It’s gorgeous! (and you won’t ever misplace it)
I wonder if you could pick these up at an estate sale or auction or even Craig’s List and flip them like you would furniture? A refurbished hand truck is certainly a LOT less work than stripping, sanding and staining a desk or dresser.
One more “niggly” (what I call a little nagging project that eats away at the back of my mind) complete!
Have a great one!