Almost two months ago, I was invited by one of my friends to his fraternity formal. I had been invited to another one a month prior but was asked pretty late so I didn't get the chance to paint a cooler (I painted him a flask instead which I've included at the bottom of this post). Anyway, this was my first time ever painting a cooler so I was kinda nervous, but with some help from the The Cooler Connection, I think it turned out pretty well!
See how I did it below!
Step 1: Pick and Prime A Cooler
Unlike the larger coolers most girls paint, I decided on this 9qt by Igloo. I asked my date if he wouldn't mind a smaller one and he said that he was so excited to be getting one that it didn't really matter. And honestly, it holds a decent amount and is so easy to sand, prime, and paint that I think I'll be sticking to this size from now on. It's also a lot more practical and can be used again for day trips (some beaches also don't allow certain coolers so keep that in mind).
The first thing that I did was sand the cooler. No matter what your primer says (for plastic, extra strength, etc.), MAKE SURE TO SAND. Also, do yourself a favor and get enough sand paper- I barely had enough and I think my cooler could have used a little bit more sanding. Then, prime prime prime until the cooler is completely white. I used Krylon MAXX Ultimate Coverage Primer and one can was more than enough for this size of a cooler. Since this was my first time painting a cooler, I also didn't have any craft supplies yet. I had to get some basic acrylic colors: black, white, the three primary colors, brown (because it's a pain to mix and get right); brushes; and sealer. The total cost of this project? About $40. A little bit expensive but I will be reusing many of these items in the future so it's not too bad.
Step 2: Paint (And Cry)
Now, unto the fun part (but also the most stressful part). If you're a perfectionist like me, you're going to both love and hate painting a cooler. Before I started, I looked up some cooler inspiration on Facebook pages, Pinterest, and the Internet. I also asked my date for ideas (which I'm glad I did because I was pretty stuck on a fourth and final side idea).
Step 3: Seal and Set Sail
Hello, there! You can call me Jianna. I'm a 24 year old creative blogging about entrepreneurship, travel, design (and everything else in between). Want to hang out sometime? Just buy the chai and I'll bring the memes.
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Painting a Fraternity Cooler