This summer, I decided that I would try the fad of painting a cooler to take for my beach trip with my gal pals that is annually at the end of the summer. So I grabbed my best friend that lives in town and we started the adventure. Here are some tips that I learned along the way and why I'll recommend it!
1. I tried to be cheap and save money by buying a cooler that was used, but had previously been painted.
I saved around $5. But in the end, after peeling (the cooler had not been sanded prior to painting) paint off the entire cooler, it would be worth the extra $5 to buy a brand new cooler. Or actually worth the extra $20 and buy one online that has been previously sanded and primed.
2. Buy the electric sander. I was like nah, it won't be too bad. But I swear that my arms hurt for a few days after sanding and I actually do workouts that include my arms. Plus, it would have saved a lot of time.
3. Most people say to plan out what you are doing on each side before buying the paint, but I disagree.
I decided upon one thing that had to be on my cooler, and then went to the store and bought paints that I needed for that and then about five other colors that looked really good to the colors used on that side. Then I got back home and planned on using that. It sounds like I limited myself, but it made it easier for me to choose the overall theme planned on the colors and that one side.
4. Go for the Bondo to fill in that logo!
I looked like a complete idiot when I walked into Autozone and asked the guy if they had Bondo. He asked me my plans and when I told him it was for my cooler, he looked like I was in the wrong place, but he did help me find the right stuff and tips for mixing it. But when you apply the logo use a spatula or something to make sure the Bondo is as smooth as possible and without big ridges before letting it dry, if not it will look like mountain peaks and take forever to sand. It will still look fine if you do not fill in the logo, but I like the extra touch!
5. Always use the cooler connection Facebook group!
It will be your best friend and when you think you've screwed it all up or are out of ideas, they will literally be life savers and give you so much confidence. Plus, the occasional arguments on the page by girls ranting over painting a cooler for a weekend turned bad with a boy and then the boy showing up commenting is great.
6. Take your time.
You could seriously do this in a week if you worked every afternoon from like 5-10 and altered sides and let the others dry. I find painting literally the most calming thing and every minute of my cooler painting was fun. Especially since I had my BFF helping me out.
The cooler worked out really great and was cool to have as a personal touch on the beach. Now, while at school I think I can use the cooler for a lot of things. I mean, need a place to hold your snacks and them not be in the open or people know where to find them? Put them in the cooler. Want a cheep mini fridge? Use the cooler. Need extra seating? Throw a pillow and blanket on the cooler and bam! Instant seating.
I loved searching the internet for inspiration for my cooler. I love how it basically describes me in so many aspects. From the "I carried a watermelon" quote from Dirty Dancing, to the doughnuts and my sorority letters on it. Check out my cooler and I hope you try out painting your own cooler soon!