I wish I had the foresight to take some during pictures of this transformation of my $5 tea cart(thank-you Kijiji.ca) But I can walk you through the process! (and promise to take the during photos in the future!)
First I spray painted the cart a nice antique white, with a spray paint meant to cover metal/ plastic etc. The frame of the cart is metal, but the trays are a Formica plastic covered... thing. If the tray area was a lighter color to begin with I wouldn't have bothered spraying it at all, but I was trying to block that wood grain from showing through.
Next I covered the tray in good old Mod Podge... and this was my second experience with it, so I am no pro! I just put a heavy coat on with a brush and then placed my fabric ($7/yard... and I only needed one to cover it!) on top and pulled it smooth and let it dry. I should have protected the edges of the painted cart before doing this, because once the podge dried and the excess fabric pulled away it took some bits of paint with it. Oh well - live and learn
In the end, it serves it's purpose!
(Um, which is pretty much just to look cute in the corner of my tiny dining room).
If this is something you think you might want to try out for yourself, this entire process took me very little time. 15 minutes to spray paint the cart, and then once it was dry maybe 20-30 minutes to cut the fabric and stick it on.
A little note that you could add a Plexiglas top to make it waterproof, I just left mine naked as it's not often a functional piece and when it is I use a placemat under the coffee maker just in case!
By the way, my inspiration for this project came from an amazing orange number over at Craftynest