A Quick Heads Up
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Hi readers! I’m Chandler (Adrianne’s sister) and this is my very first blog posting EVER and my very first crafting experience. Let me know how I’ve done!
A little background: My boyfriend is a super outdoorsy, country boy and if you know any of those you surely know what a Yeti cooler is. Those things are apparently so great that they are even “bear proof” and also over $200 for the smallest one! And guess what… my boyfriend HAD TO HAVE ONE. Anytime he took me out to a nice meal we had to hit up the Bass Pro afterward and somehow ended up in front of the Yetis. Ridiculous I know. I decided for his birthday I’d give him a “Yeti” – so, I painted the logo on the front of a regular cooler. Turns out everyone loved the fake Yeti and his dad even wants one now!
Cooler painting is not only for sorority girls and date parties (some sororities have a tradition to give personalized coolers to their dates). Even less than super crafty or artistic people (like me…) can do it, and so can you! I recently painted a cooler for my boyfriend for his birthday and it was so easy. Usually, I am not the crafty person due to my lack of patience, but with these easy tips, I finished painting the cooler in a day in a half (though you should budget a few more days for the sealant layers to dry!)
Plan ahead – each layer of sealant takes 24 hours to dry so this project could take a few days to complete!
- Cooler of any kind/size/color
- Sanding paper (optional)
- Primer (spray or paint on – see list at the bottom of the post for suggestions)
- Acrylic Paint
- Cheap paintbrushes of all sizes (not sponges)
- Paint Pens
- White tissue paper
- A Sealer (spray or paint on – see list at the bottom of the post for suggestions)
- Painters tape (the blue tape)
How to paint a cooler
Wash dust and dirt off cooler with dish soap. Some people say to sand the whole cooler so that it is a smooth to paint on. I, on the other hand, did not sand it because it looked more rugged and boyish to me (not to mention it was a whole lot less time consuming).
Tape off wheels and handles if you have them. Cover the cooler with the primer of your choice generously.
Plan your attack. Decide in advance what you want on each side of the cooler and where you are going to put it. Unless you’re an excellent artist I recommend printing out your images. Pretty much every side of my cooler, I traced! I googled to find the images I liked the best for the Jack Daniels & Browning logos, Pistol Pete (GO OSU!), and the state flag of Oklahoma. Print them out in the size you are going to want them to be on the cooler.
Transfer your printed images. Lay the image down, place white tissue paper over it and trace with a pencil. When done tracing tape the white tissue paper onto your cooler lightly as the paint will peel up. Trace over the pencil with a sharpie and it will bleed through onto the cooler. I DID free hand the camouflage and the state of Oklahoma (go me!) and had a friend with nice handwriting do the Yeti. Stencils are incredibly helpful if you don’t have an artistic friend handy.
Paint wisely – Use paint pens to work with small letters and spots or to outline all of the images in black, that will make the images POP!
After allowing the cooler to completely dry add the finishing touches. Use a sealer of your choice and follow directions on the bottle. I used 2-3 layers of Mod Podge then 2-3 layers of Krylon Sealer. Letting the the cooler dry 24 hours between Mod Podge layers is recommended, so plan ahead
If you aren’t very artistic then I recommend you use simple, less detailed, larger images. A simple clean cooler looks best!
- Krylon Fusion for Plastic
- Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Primer
- Bulls Eye Water-Base Primer and Sealer by Zinsser– apply 2-3 coats
- Outdoor Mod Podge (paint on)
- Mod Podge Spray Sealer
- Mod Podge Paint-On Sealer
- Minwax Sealer
- Minwax WaterBased Polycrylic
- Triple Thick Brush-On Glaze – highly recommended after Mod Podge
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