I have definitely inherited my mom's interest in arts and crafts, though probably only a fraction of her skill. I may have pulled out her giant caddy of acrylic paints from her giant closet in her sewing room (yep, separate room for sewing) for this project. I made the cooler per B's request for Valentine's day/his birthday, although it got to him a couple of months late. I suggest waiting for warm weather so you can cooler paint outside! Beautiful weather and good music made my project go much faster and smoother.
I'd like to share some information on how I painted this cooler in case anyone is interested in making one of her own.
1. I primed with Krylon Fusion spray paint for plastic. I used white because I knew I'd be painting each surface a different color.
Actually, before step 1, I spackled and sanded a logo that was on the flag side. Since I knew that part would be a solid color and not be hidden by a design, I wanted it to be flat and smooth.
2. I taped off the edges I wanted to be white and taped the corners to separate the colors. I knew I would go back and paint bows on the corners, so I wasn't concerned about the strip the tape would leave unpainted.
However, it was a bit of work to move the tape to get the colors to meet on the flag. FYI painter's tape does not always lift off cleanly from a plastic surface, especially when kept in place for months.
3. After the backgrounds were painted solid, I started on the designs. Of course you'll need to plan out what you want to paint. I traced the designs I chose by pulling up images on my computer. I hooked my computer up to my TV to see them on a larger scale, and I traced onto tissue paper with pencil.
4. I taped the tissue onto the cooler and traced over my pencil lines with Sharpies or paint pens.
5. I filled in the designs with paint pens and acrylic paints. Is it just me, or are paint pens these days not what they used to be?! I would suggest doing as much as you possibly can with acrylic paints. It is easier to control a paint pen when it's working properly, but mine did not work consistently. I also ended up going back and redoing with acrylic what I'd done first in paint pen because it looked splotchy or grainy.
8. I patched chips and smudges (see above) then admired my finished product.
9. I sprayed the whole thing with Mod Podge a few times. Protect that hard work!