How To Paint A Cooler? Steps To Follow

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Coolers are known for their durability and the possibility of keeping items cool, they are hard, somewhat light and a great item to have and carry around. Today, we’re going to explore how to paint a cooler.

Coolers are also known for their multiple uses, you can basically store anything in them, they are very handy and available in many shapes, brands, sizes, colors, and styles. They might make you nostalgic, or bring you to recall fun memories from the past. They have actually been around for a while and are a necessity.

Many make sure they always have one around in the home, you never know when you may need one, it’s also like a staple or a must-have in the household. It’s good to always have one around just in case, they can be used for the cookouts in the backyard or the front yard or for those parties you plan ahead for, they are on your checklist and you always make sure to have one available.

Why Paint Your Cooler?

Painting your cooler is a great idea if you’re bored of your old cooler and just want it to look new and vibrant instead of having to buy a new one. Also, if you’re into arts or just like to stand out from the rest, it’s a great opportunity to put your magic at work and make something that will make you and others happy with something like a joke or a trendy topic. Maybe you’re the creative type of person who likes to try fun and exciting things and will be able to display that awesome personality by adding some great designs to your cooler, plus kids love it.

This is definitely something anyone with a bit of spare time can try so let’s list some steps to get started.

Steps To Paint A Cooler

They are basically 5 steps you can follow when painting your cooler. i.e. sanding, spackle, primer, paint and seal. These steps will give you an idea of how to actually paint your cooler and will help you throughout the entire process, so let’s check them out. First is,


The sanding process of the cooler is not optional; sanding is necessary so that the paint you add to your cooler can adhere better. This process will remove the plastic that is already attached to the cooler and will allow the new paint the be added.

Sand the cooler until it’s left with a rough surface or until there’s no plastic left, the rougher the texture of the cooler the better the new paint will adhere. You can use 1 or 2 types of sandpaper to remove the plastic, a coerce grit and fine-grit sandpaper. Use the coerce grit sandpaper first then use the fine one to finish it off. You can also use a power sander if you have one available but most people prefer to sand by hand.


Spackle is a putty with which you can fill any logos or indents on the cooler to get a smooth surface before painting. once the spackle is dry, scrape any edges off or use sandpaper to smoothen the entire cooler out.


The process of adding a primer is important. A Primer is a flat coat of paint added to a surface before adding the actual intended paint. Its purpose is to increase better paint adhesion. It is recommended to add at least 2 coats of primer before painting for better results. priming increases paint durability and block moisture and stains. Primer can be added either with a brush or with spray paint and take around 24 hours to dry.


This is the designing process, what do you actually want to add to the cooler, as we mentioned before, you can get creative and wow everyone with a creative piece of art or you can choose to add a basic color paint of your choice to brighten the cooler. You can choose anything from a picture, flowers, sports, cities, or just anything you can think of to make your cooler look original and fun, especially during the summer. You can decide to paint one side of it or the entire cooler. It is recommended to wait for at least 24hours for the paint to completely dry.


What does the sealant do? sealants are used to protect the entire painting process and you’ll be able to waterproof your cooler, so your hard work isn’t wasted. They provide paint durability and a beautiful shine, without it, the paint may crack or peel off. Apply a thin coat of sealer to the paint and once dry, repeat if necessary. It is recommended to wait for at least 24hours for the seal to dry.

Once you’ve completed the painting, you’ll be able to fill it up with whatever your heart desires. You will also be able to gift this to someone or just make something enjoyable for the kids. If you’re on a budget and don’t want to spend too much on your cooler project then we recommend you to check and see if you already have some of these materials available, also check with friends, maybe someone you know may already have some of these items available.

When Was The Cooler Invented?

Cooler Fun Facts: The cooler was invented in the year 1951 by an American named Richard Laramy from Illinois. He successfully patented the idea of a portable ice chest. In New Zealand, the cooler was known as a “chilly bin” and in Australia, it was known as “esky” but in the US it was called the cooler.

How Is A Cooler Made?

Coolers are generally made from polyethylene (expensive coolers) or polypropylene (cheaper coolers) which is considered a type of plastic. To actually make a cooler, this is done through a process called roto-molding, which is and I quote “a step by which a heated and soft material is applied into a slow rotating mold. The mold also rotates during the cooling phase, producing a thickened and uniform final product.”

Coolers are a favorite of many and are especially used during the summer times and camping activities. We hope you have fun designing and painting your cooler and really hope you found these tips helpful.

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