Cooler Painting...A DIY!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

My dad's birthday was a few weekends ago and because he happens to be one of the hardest people to buy gifts for I decided to make him a present instead of buying something. We are all headed to the beach on a family vacation in a little over a month and I wanted to make something for him that we could take with us! A few years ago when we went to this same beach my dad took to calling his cooler "The Tackle Box". With that in mind (and because I'm a sorority alumni who never got to make one of these) I decided to paint a cooler for him! I knew that cooler painting can be a long a tedious process so for my first ever cooler I decided to paint just the lid instead of the whole cooler.

STEP ONE: Choose your cooler!
I went to Walmart and picked this one up for under $20.

STEP TWO: Sand your cooler!
So according to The Cooler Connection on Facebook, this step is done to ensure that the paint has something to stick to. I didn't really do a perfect job on this step, but the paint seemed to stick just fine!

STEP THREE: Set up your drop cloth!
I knew I only wanted to paint the top of my cooler so to ensure that none of the sides got paint on them I suck a plastic drop cloth under the lid of the cooler and wrapped it around the sides.

STEP FOUR: Prime your cooler!
I'm not totally sure if I necessarily needed this step (since the cooler lid was already white) but I wanted to make sure I followed the steps I'd found on The Cooler Connection. I picked up this can of Krylon Fusion spray paint (make sure you get this kind because it's specifically made to bond to plastic). I then let it all dry for about an hour.

STEP FIVE: Work on your design!
I'd done some Pinteresting to figure out what type of designs I wanted to paint on my cooler lid. I found this adorable design for fish tackle and freehanded it on the side (at first I though it looked like crap, but I improved on it later on). Now for the lettering I followed another recommendation from the Cooler Connection! I printed off the words in the font that I wanted and then took a pencil and scribbled on the back of paper. I then laid them out on top of the cooler and traced each letter. This allowed the pencil to be transferred onto the cooler so painting would be WAY easier. I'm not sure if you can see the outline in the picture on the right but that's what it looked like after I traced.


STEP SIX: Paint your cooler!
I used black acrylic paint to paint the letters on the cooler.

STEP SEVEN: Clean up your lines!
I then used a paint pen to clean up the lines around my lettering. I also used the paint pen to outline the fish tackle on the side. After doing this I liked them WAY more. Then I let all the pain dry overnight.

STEP EIGHT: Seal your cooler!
The last step was to seal my cooler with Outdoor Modge Podge (the one in the green bottle). I did two coats of the Modge Podge.


Then I let it all dry! Here's my finished product! 

I'm super happy with how it turned out and now I can't wait to paint another one!

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