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Can you paint a yeti cooler? Here’s What To Know

Can You Paint a Yeti Cooler?

It is possible to paint a Yeti cooler to give it some artistic visual interest, or simply to cover up the bold Yeti logo in place of your own. Though this takes more than just spray painting the exterior of the cooler with reckless abandon. 

To get paint to stick to a Yeti cooler, you’ll need to prepare the exterior with a layer or two of primer. Though, if you want to fill in an indented logo, you’ll need to first apply a careful layer of epoxy resin as a sort of improvised spackle.

From there you’ll need a high-quality spray paint like Rust-oleum or Krylon Fusion will adhere cleanly to the surface. Though you might need to give it multiple coats to ensure perfect, even coverage.

Should You Consider Painting a Yeti Cooler?

Painting a Yeti cooler requires an investment of time, and to do it right, you need to be willing to purchase quality painting supplies.

It’s worth it if you’re willing to sacrifice a few hours of your time, and perhaps $35 to $50 in paint supplies. You might also need to invest another $10 in quality epoxy if you want to fill in the debossed logo on the Yeti cooler. 

Why Would You Need to Paint a Yeti Cooler?

You might need to paint your Yeti cooler to give it a more unique look, or you want to cover up their logo with your own.

What Kind of Paint Do You Use on a Cooler?

To paint a Yeti cooler, you’ll need some plastic primer spray paint, as well as high-quality paint, and spray sealer. If the underlying color of the cooler is dark, you might want to choose a white paint and primer 2-in-1 spray paint, like the one offered by Rust-oleum. 

If you don’t turn a dark-colored cooler white before painting the underlying tone will either show through or it will rob your final color of its visual pop. 

If you want to get a little more artistic with traditional acrylic paints, or an airbrush, you’ll need to also invest in a mixable bonding agent.

Will Paint Stick to a Cooler?

High-quality Spray paint will stick to an unprepared surface on a Yeti cooler for a while. Though you’ll likely notice it rubbing off in high-contact places over time. 

To get paint to stick to the exterior of a cooler, you need to first apply an even layer of high-quality primer. Then you’ll need to also give it a robust layer of spray sealer to lock the paint onto the surface and protect it from degradation.

If you are hand Painting some sort of artistic rendering with acrylic paint, it won’t permanently stick to the cooler without first mixing in a quality bonding agent. Deco Art, 3M, and Weldbond are the top options crafters use for bonding acrylic paint to a variety of surfaces, including plastic. 

How to Paint a Yeti Cooler

Several important steps need to be taken in order to paint a Yeti cooler and have it retain the color change. This calls for:

Step One: Gently wipe down, clean, and dry the surface of the cooler

Step Two: Protect all other hardware components that won’t be painted, such as the wheels or handle with painter’s grade masking tape. 

Step Three: Apply an even coating of white primer or paint & primer combination. It’s best to apply a light layer, then wait 10 to 30 minutes to let it fully dry.

Step Four: Continue applying multiple light layers of white primer until the original underlying color has completely vanished. 

Step Five: Wait at least one hour, or whatever the instructions on the primer recommend, to let the spray primer fully cure on the cooler’s surface. 

Step Six: Prepare your new paints or spray paint.

Step Seven: If spray painting work in light layers with at least 15 to 30 minutes between coats to keep the paint from pooling or running. 

Step Eight: Let the paint dry for at least an hour. 

Step Nine: Lightly spray the painted areas with a consistent coat of high-quality clear sealer. 

Step Ten: Wait for 15 to 20 minutes before applying a second coat. Then wait at least another 15 to 20 minutes before you attempt to even lightly move the painted cooler. 

Step Eleven: Give the spray sealer at least three hours to dry and cure before you try to touch or use it like normal.

Can You Polish a Yeti Cooler?

It is possible to polish away a lot of smudges, scuff marks, and minor stains from the surface of a Yeti cooler.

Though the exterior texture of the cooler, and the severity of the stain will factor into the best cleaning technique. 

How to Clean a Yeti Cooler

Sometimes a simple deep cleaning is all the exterior of a dirty Yeti cooler needs to remove dirt, grime, and minor scuff marks. If this sounds like your cooler, you can clean it with the following steps.

Step One: Wipe the Yeti cooler down with a dry paper towel or a clean shop rag. Make sure to get all the dust and particulate matter out of any crevices. 

Step Two: Go over any serious scuff marks and black streaks with a Magic Eraser or some other type of formaldehyde–melamine cleaning pad. 

Step Three: Mix Dawn dish soap with warm water in a small bucket and stir together until it makes suds. 

Step Four: Use a non-abrasive sponge to scrub down the exterior of the cooler. 

Step Five: Spray the cooler down vigorously with a garden hose or a shower head.

Step Six: Hand dry with paper towels or clean shop rags, paying close attention to all the wheels, handles, hinges, or other components. 

Step Seven: Allow to air dry for an hour or so. 

How to Make Your Yeti Cooler White Again

If your Yeti cooler has lost its white luster and is suffering from serious stains and scuff marks, then you need to do more than just clean it. You can use the following steps to get your Yeti cooler as white as possible. 


Step One: Wipe the Yeti cooler down with a clean shop rag or extra-strong paper towels. Be sure to remove any grime and other particulate matter from any crevices. 

Step Two: Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or some other type of formaldehyde–melamine cleaning pad to try to minimize any serious black marks or scuffs. 

Step Three: Make a strong mixture of bleach and cold water mixed at 6 parts of water to 1 part of bleach. 

Step Four: Use a mildly abrasive sponge or cleaning brush to thoroughly scrub down the Yeti cooler. Spend extra time scrubbing on stains and iron deposits. 

Step Five: You can pour any remaining bleach water into the Yeti cooler and scrub it down to help disinfect the interior of the ice chest itself. 

Step Six: Let the bleach water sit in the interior, while you spray down the exterior with a garden hose or warm water from your shower head. Warm water will remove the bleach more efficiently than cold, but you’ll have to watch out for chlorine vapors. 

Final Thoughts 

It is possible to paint a Yeti cooler, so long as you have the right materials, and you use a patient approach. This starts with applying multiple layers of white spray primer to create a solid white base that will help the paint colors pop.

Give the primer at least half an hour to dry before you spray paint it. If you want to be artistic and use acrylic paints to decorate your Yeti cooler, you should mix in a high-quality bonding agent to ensure perfect adhesion. 

After painting and giving it at least an hour to fully dry, you should carefully apply at least two coats of clear sealer to protect the paint in the future. Give the sealer on the cooler at least two hours, or preferably overnight to fully dry and cure before using.