How to Up-Cycle a Ordinary Cooler into Functional Outdoor Furniture
Most people when they look at purchasing a home, whats available outside the home is just as important as whats inside. Space to entertain and enjoy being outdoors comes in various shapes, sizes, and spaces. When you have the perfect outdoor entertaining space, the fun part is creating an atmosphere that provides comfort and function. Theres nothing better than firing up the barbecue, having something tasty to eat, and a cold beverage in hand. Except, the old cooler we have isnt the prettiest nor is it the best function, so I decided to up-cycle it to something a little more in line with our decor.
I found the perfect little table at Home Depot that was about the size of the cooler I have at home. It also coordinated really well with the outdoor chairs we already had on hand. I put the table together per the instructions. I did remove the glass top that came with the table and set it aside.
If theres anything that Ive learned, its that paint is a game changer, and spray paint has come a long way. Not only for this projects but so many others, you can really update a space or an object simply by painting it. After I wiped the cooler down, I gave the cooler a coat of the paint coordinating with the side table. this would allow the cooler to also blend in with its surroundings. This particular Rust-Oleum spray paint works on plastic and the coverage was really good after just one coat. It took a second coat only to catch a few areas I missed initially.
Using scrap wood I had on hand, I created a top that would allow an opening for the cooler and provide a solid surface to place drinks on. I picked the layout I liked the best and gave all the wood a good all over sanding to take off any splinters and smooth the edges.
I used my Kreg Jig to create pocket holes allowing for stability and a way to connect the pieces together. I also added some wood pieces underneath the top to keep the top from shifting and sliding off the table.
I gave the wood top a coat of classic walnut stain, then followed up with a weathered gray to give it more of a rustic look. Once it was all dry, I sealed it with spar urethane that will hold up to temperature and rain. The removable top makes it easy for me to access the cooler and will allow me to put the glass top back on too.
Now when guests come over, they can have easy access to drinks without having to leave their seat. The storage underneath is perfect for storing drink coozies or even bug spray. Not only was I able to turn an old cooler into something more functional, but I was also able to add to our decor too.
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