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
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.


  1. That is cute!! Love how it turned out!

  2. Look how cute it became!!! Love it!

  3. That looks awesome! I have seen a few "sports" team customized ones, but a girly one is wayyyyy better :)
    Great job!

  4. Tonight: the psychedelic coolers of the 1960's. Only on the History Channel.


  5. That's cute.. makes me want to spray paint something -anything.


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