Arts & Crafts Magazine

Give New Life to Vintage Cooler with Krylon & Kunin

By Cbdesigns @cherylboglioli

Refinished Vintage Cooler Painted with Krylon

Glinda has a new cooler just in time to head out for my Fall 2015 Living The Art Life™ Tour.


My aunt gifted this to me when I stopped by for a few days to visit while on my Spring 2015 Tour.  However, it looked much different when she gave it to me.

This is a vintage Li’l Brown Cooler.  Obviously it was no longer brown any where, but that was the brand name.  And no, I did not restore it to original, I gave it new life to fit my theme with my vintage trailer.


First we cleaned it all up and removed all the old seal.  I gave it a light sanding and primed the entire exterior with sandable, fillable primer.  I lightly wet-sanded the primer with a fine-grit sandpaper by hand.  The vintage cooler still had lots of little imperfections that give it further character.


I then used  Blue Ocean Breeze and Coral Isle Krylon spray paint to paint the exterior of the cooler.  I also used a metallic silver to paint all hardware because these pieces were still good and they are hard to find.

There are a few tricks to achieving a good spray paint job:

  • shake REALLY well – seriously, shake for the 3 minutes it recommends even though you hear the ball rattle
  • use a spray can handle – this greatly helps with fatigue and saves your fingers.  I have this one
  • use a steady hand and sweep across staying about 8 inches away – too close and you get a lot of runs – too close and the spray starts to dry before it lands and you will get a sandy appearance to your paint job.  If that happens, allow to dry, wet sand, and paint again.  (a windy day and allow that to happen too)
  • apply a few coats – I used 3-4 coats.  If your coats are even, you can add the following coats within minutes of one another
  • allow paint to completely dry and cure before touching or reapplying hardware



Now, the lid was an insulated lid, but the insulation was old fiberglass (possibly asbestos) insulation.  The inner piece just snapped in, so I removed all the old insulation and cleaned it out.  I did not want to put fiberglass insulation back in and the foam sheets I had were too thick, so I decided to use products I had on hand that I knew would work.  Kunin Eco-fi Plus Premium™ Felt to the rescue.  You can read all about that over at the Kunin blogpost Kunin Felt Insulates Vintage Cooler.
So, come meet up with me somewhere along my journeys and have a drink with me.  I prefer Pepsi & Dr. Pepper…or a cold margarita!

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