Disclaimer: These may be easy steps, but prepare yourself for a full day of crafting.
1. Get a cooler.
Do you want a big, medium, or small one? A rolling or non-rolling one? Are you going to get one a little more expensive so you don’t have to deal and paint the big indents or are you going to deal with it and get creative?
2. Sand the cooler.
Just sand the crap out of it until it looks and feels rugged everywhere. It makes the painting easier so it doesn’t just slide off
3. Spray paint white.
Spray paint the whole thing white with multiple layers until you feel like it is as white as it can be. (I used two cans of spray paint.)
4. Pick designs according to cooler shape.
The best part is picking the designs. Do you want to be a little original and create completely new designs yourself? Do you want to take other designs off the Internet and tweak them to your liking?
You’re probably wondering how some coolers look so good. Whoever made it has to be an artist. Well, they probably are an artist, but if they aren’t, they used tissue paper. Cut tissue paper into the size of the side of the cooler. Enlarge the picture of the design on the computer to the size you desire. Trace it onto the tissue paper. Viola, you have the design ready for your cooler.
6. Putting the design onto cooler.
Tape the tissue paper with the already traced design onto the cooler. Use a sharpie to trace the design. It’ll bleed right through. If there are intricate details, don’t trace those on. Free hand it later when you are done with the general design. (I didn’t trace details on until after I painted the whole design so that it would be the very last thing I had on.)
Now you can start painting and doing the fun stuff! Take your time.
8. Modge podge.
When your whole cooler is painted and dried, put modge podge all over it so the paint lasts longer on the cooler. (I would put at least two layers of modge podge).
And there you have it, a finished cooler!