Old glass shelves get a practical and playful makeover.

Roll With It

Old glass shelves get a practical and playful makeover.

While rummaging for possibilities in thrift shops, we came across an odd pair of glass shelves connected by a rusty tube frame. It seemed to beg for wheels. Some elbow grease, white spray paint and wheels with gold hardware transformed it into the dashing little cart that you see here. Just inside the front door, it makes an excellent landing spot for mail, keys and phones. When hunting for secondhand finds, always keep your imagination handy.


  • Heavyweight paper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Vintage metal shelf, approximately 28x30x10 inches
  • Semi-gloss spray paint, white (we used Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel satin white spray paint from Home Depot)
  • Four 4-inch rubber caster wheels (we used Honey-Can-Do urban 4-inch wheels from Home Depot)
  • Metallic spray paint, gold (we used Rust-Oleum gold Bright Coat metallic spray paint from Home Depot)
  • 4 nuts, fitting the caster wheel bolts


  • Wire sponge
  • Drop cloth
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Marker
  • Super glue


Use paper and painter’s tape to mask both sides of glass shelves, if applicable. In a well-ventilated area, smooth and clean metal shelf frame with a wire sponge. Lay shelf unit on side and use flathead screwdriver to remove end-caps from the feet of the unit, if applicable. Mark the center of the end-caps with a marker. Use a utility knife to make a hole in each center of the end-caps.

Set shelf upright on a drop cloth in a well-ventilated area. Use white spray paint to evenly coat metal shelf frame. Let dry. Apply a second coat, if desired, and let dry. Meanwhile, tape rubber wheels, leaving only metal hardware exposed. On drop cloth, spray wheel hardware with gold spray paint.

When wheels are dry, remove tape and twist wheel bolts through holes in end-caps, enlarging holes with utility knife as needed. Secure end-caps to wheels by tightening a nut to the bolt on each end-cap/wheel.

When dry, lay glass shelf unit on side and re-insert the end-caps (now with attached wheel) to each of the unit’s feet. Secure with instant glue and let dry.

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