One of the most important (and most nerve wrecking) steps in the cooler painting process is sealing your painted cooler. To see the full tutorial for how to paint a cooler check out our step by step cooler painting guide.
While the sanding and priming process is the most critical step to have your paint stick to your cooler, sealing your cooler provides a durable coating that will protect your painted cooler from scratches, chipping, sun, and water! It is really important to choose a sealant that gives your cooler maximum protection. After all, you spent hours designing and painting your custom painted cooler, you want to make sure your beautiful cooler lasts.
Cooler Sealant Comparison
We put popular cooler sealants to the test to determine which cooler sealant will provide your painted cooler with the best clear coat! We tested the different sealants in 4 main categories:
1. UV Resistance
3. Easy Application
We cut 3 rectangles samples out of a cooler, painted the samples with white acrylic paint, and sealed using famowood, envirotex-lite, and SratStar Non-Yellowing Cooler Sealant.
Here is what we found...
|Famowood||Envirotex- Lite||SratStar Non-Yellowing|
|Easy to Apply||
We left the samples in the sun for 7 days to see how your painted cooler will look after being exposed to the sun!
Famowood: Started turning yellow after 1 day in the sun. The end result was a pale yellow color that looked old even though it was painted 7 days prior.
Envirotex-Lite: Started turning yellow after 1 day in the sun. After 7 days the white sample had turned a complete yellow/brown color. It looked awful! This was the worst performer.
SratStar Non-Yellowing: After 7 days, the sample had not yellowed at all. The white was as bright as it was on day 1!
Famowood: Cured into a nice glossy clear coat that protected the paint underneath.
Envirotex-Lite: Also cured into a nice glossy clear coat that protected the paint underneath
SratStar Non-Yellowing: Cured into a less glossy clear coat but equally protected the paint underneath
We followed the instructions for the 3 products to see how easy it was to apply the product to our painted cooler!
Famowood: The instructions are quite complicated and require several mixing bowls and measuring devices that are not included. The first time I mixed this, I tried to eyeball the amounts and the resin didn't cure!! The second time, I used a measuring device and was able to get the resin to cure correctly. With the mixing, measuring, and risk of not curing, I really wouldn't feel comfortable putting this on a frat cooler that I worked hard on.
Envirotex-Lite: Similar to Famowood, the instructions are quite complicated and require the same mixing bowls and measuring devices. I tried to eye ball the measurements for this one as well and was successful in getting the resin to cure. All in all, I found the application process more difficult than I would hope for.
SratStar Non-Yellowing: The hardest part of applying this sealant was opening the can! I was able to immediately brush the sealant on my cooler with no mixing, no measuring and no messy clean up!
We put our sealed cooler samples in water for 24 hours and observed what happened to the sealant after being exposed to water.
Famowood: The sealant was not affected by exposure to water! This sealant is waterproof!
Envirotex-Lite: The sealant was also not affected by exposure to water! This sealant is waterproof!
SratStar Non-Yellowing: The sealant was also not affected by exposure to water! This sealant is waterproof!
In our tests, the SratStar non-yellowing cooler sealant provided the protection from the sun and ease of application that outperformed famowood and envirotex-lite. Ultimately, having to mix and measure the famowood and envirotex-lite products before sealing made me nervous that the products would not cure. The application process was a much larger hassle than the SratStar one step sealant. After seeing the UV results, I was shocked by how quickly the Famowood and Envirotex-lite sealants yellowed. Both are not really intended for outdoor use, so if you are wanting to take your cooler in the sun, definitely do not seal with either of these. If you are looking for a durable clear coat, we recommend using the SratStar non-yellowing cooler sealant.
Check out this video before you seal your next fraternity formal cooler: