Dale Earnhardt Painted Cooler

You may remember the pink polka dotted cooler that started my cooler painting mania. If not you can read about it here. Greg requested a Dale Earnhardt painted cooler. I had a vision in my head of how I wanted it to look. I had a few bumps along the way, but I was determined that it was going to look a certain way. This is how I began.

Materials:

Cooler
Sander  (small hand held)
plastic primer
3 cans of black paint Krylon
White spray paint Krylon
White acrylic paint (craft paint)
Plastic clear coat Krylon
White Paint pen
Red Paint Pen
Xacto knife
number 3 printed using google image search
checked flag duct tape (found at Hobby Lobby)
paint brush
painters tape

Steps:

This is what I did differently from the pink painted cooler. I hardly sanded this cooler. I just gave it enough to scuff it a little. Then I gave it 2 coats of plastic primer, let it dry about 3 hours. Next I taped off the top and painted the bottom black. You may remember from the polka dotted cooler that I only used about a half a can of pink paint. For some reason the black took 3 cans. After waiting a couple of days for all the black to dry I moved on to the number.


I printed "the 3" using a google image search. I used an xacto  knife to make it a stencil. I traced it with some white acrylic paint and a paint brush. After several coats I moved on to using a paint pen. Once the 3 was completely white, I let it dry and then traced it with the red paint pen.


I made a line along the bottom using painters tape to help me get a crisp clean line and then colored it in with a red paint pen.

Next comes the tricky part. I knew I wanted a checked flag lid. I looked for a contact paper with this print, but couldn't find any. I found a stencil and tried that. I used black paint first, it was a runny nightmare. Then I tried using a black sharpie marker but that didn't look crisp either. That's when I made a trip to Hobby Lobby and found the checked duct tape. I carefully covered the top and then gave the bottom a coat of clear protective spray and let it dry.


I really love doing these coolers. I'm currently working on one for Greg's brother. Abbey and my sister have asked for some too. So hopefully you'll be seeing more of these.
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How to Paint a Cooler

I bought a cooler to take to Bristol in August. I saw a cute zebra print cooler while shopping a few weeks ago, but the cooler was too tall to be allowed in at the race. When I found this plain blue cooler I was happy that it had wheels so I don't have to carry my drinks. But sad that it wasn't as cool as the zebra one. I had the bright idea to paint it. I love spray paint. I have no fear when it comes to giving something/anything a coat of paint. Once I decided to paint the cooler I was super excited to get started transforming it from plain to fabulous. This is a several day process so make sure you have a week of nice weather otherwise your cooler will be sitting on your washing machine while it dries. Not that happened to me all three nights.

Materials: Rust-olem plastic primer
Krylon (my spray paint brand of choice) Top is Grape bottom is Watermelon
scotch blue painters tape
black n decker palm sander
Spackle (not really needed)
xacto knife
stencils
Various colors paint pens
Krylon  fusion for plastics clear uv protection

Step 1: I covered the Coleman with Spackle and let it dry over night.

Step 2: Give it a roughing up with the sander wiped it off with a damp cloth and then lightly covered it with Plastic primer. Don't you just love all the paint it left on my fingers. Let dry for about an hour.






Step 3: I sprayed the top with Krylon Grape. Painted the bottom with Krylon Watermelon. I taped the back where the handle goes. That remained black but the handle itself I painted grape. I let this sit overnight to dry.

Step 4: Taped the stripes off and gave the top a coat of watermelon. Let it dry about 2 hours.




Step 5: I printed the H off from my computer. You can do this anyway you want but I looked for a monogram H in a google image search. Then cut using a xacto knife it out to make a stencil I traced the H with a paint pen and then filled it in. As it was drying I used a circle stencil on the base using lavender, lime, tangerine, and blue. I bought a variety pack of paint pens.
 


I still need to cover it with the Krylon Fushion UV protection. I want to let it sit overnight to dry once again.


I'm working on Greg a Dale Earnhardt cooler I'm hoping to have it done soon.
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