I get a lot of questions on tumblr and by email about painting coolers! I've posted my cooler before, but I'm gonna try another post since people are so curious about it!
This was the top of my cooler! It was my second favorite side. The guy I went with was one of my best friends and also from Maryland, so Old Bay was an obvious choice! What Marylander isn't a fan of Old Bay?! It was fun to paint, and I added some glitter to what would be the silvery part of the bottom of the can! I also used metallic paint pens to add some sparkle too!
This was my favorite side! It was certainly a labor of love! I had never seen a madras cooler, and so I knew that this was the direction that I wanted to go in. I actually had a lot of fun painting this side because I could do it however I wanted--there were no rules!
This was one of the smaller sides of the cooler! Obviously I wanted to include his fraternity and its symbols in the cooler and I used paint pens to do the details and the letters so they were more controlled. The only difficult thing about this side was finding the right shade of blue for the fraternity!
This was the back side of the cooler! It's a partial map of South Carolina and I copied the MapQuest directions from Columbia to Myrtle Beach, where we were going for Beach Weekend. I used the metallic paint pens again on the back of this and otherwise painted the roads and highways free-handed! It was a fun side and different than most of the other coolers. I didn't want any sides to have alcohol labels, etc. because I wanted the guy to be able to use this cooler in front of his family or wherever he would be going so I tried to keep it clean!
I didn't get a clear photo of the last side, but it was a Total Frat Move quote about being a doctor and I added a stethoscope with his monogram on the bottom of the stethoscope! It was a very fun side! He was pre-med and is prepping for medical school, so the side was perfect for him!
When I first painted the cooler, I spray painted the whole thing white and used Krylon plastic outdoor paint. The white just gave me a blank canvas to start with! When I first bought the cooler, it was red from Walmart and would have been harder to paint the red. With each layer I painted, I used ModgePodge to seal it layer by layer--I'd rather be safe than sorry! Once I was done painting it all, I put two layers of MP, let them dry completely and then used a Krylon clear, matte, plastic sealant to seal the whole thing--and I went crazy with it--again I'd rather be safe than sorry!
I hope this helps anyone who is looking for cooler ideas! I had a blast painting mine, I hope you have fun with yours too!