Beach Weekend 101: A Guide to Cooler Painting

The end of the spring semester brings along much anticipated beach weekends. While the actual weekend is a ton of fun, the time leading up to the event can definitely be stressful!

Wake Forest tradition relies on painting a personalized cooler for your date to hold all the drinks and food. But everyone knows what’s in the cooler is much less important than how it looks on the outside! So, get your creative juices flowing and start preparing for painting your beach weekend cooler!

The prep work isn’t as time consuming as the actual painting, but it can be difficult deciding what designs to put on your date’s cooler. I like to think of five main categories for each specific side: (1) the fraternity, (2) the event, (3) his name, (4) his favorite drink and (5) where he’s from. Pinterest and The Cooler Connection on Facebook have so many great ideas for what to paint. I definitely spent a lot of time browsing both of those sites to see what other people put on their coolers. The Cooler Connection also has a list of fraternity sayings that you could borrow as well.

Some ideas include:

  • Put “Beach Weekend” on a license plate for the state you’re going to be in.
  • Paint the state flag of where he’s from.
  • Anything America themed!
  • Paint a beach scene.
  • Paint his fraternity crest.

When it comes to actually prepping and painting the cooler, don’t freak out! It seems so crazy and hard but it’s really not at all.

First, go buy the cooler. If they don’t have one at Walmart, check Target, Home Depot or Sears.

Second, prime it. I like the spray primer because it gives you really even coverage. I have also heard of people sanding the cooler surface down to make it smoother. Note: I have not personally done this, and unless you are really invested in the cooler painting process, I don’t think it’s necessary!

Third, draw everything out and paint! The last step in the painting process is to seal it. I used a Modge Podge spray and it dried super quickly.

In order to get the letters exact (I’m a perfectionist when it comes to crafting), I printed out the words I wanted in the fonts that I wanted to emulate and then traced everything out onto the cooler in pencil. It really made my letters look precise and clean! The Cooler Connection has a page full of links for specific fonts for brands (like Vineyard Vines, Heineken, etc) so you don’t have to spend a lot of time searching the Internet for the right font.

I hope that this helps all of the lucky girls who were asked to beach weekend lessen their stress about cooler painting! My roommate and I literally would just watch Netflix while painting to make it a little less boring. At the end of it all, you’ll definitely have a cooler to be proud of!

*Article by Hannah Holliday