After my car was technically "totaled" in an accident in 1987, I decorated it. That was before I had any idea that others did this, too, so it was all trial-and-error as I sat in my driveway with glitter paint, silk flowers, and a glue gun.
Many years later, I discovered that it's an art form!
Paint - What I used: Acrylic, tee-shirt paint. Yes, it peels off after about six months. This can be a plus (you get to redecorate) or a minus (works of art don't last).
What others use: Professional sign paint… the oil-based kind. It lasts forever, so I've heard.
What to paint? I did swirls. Others do hand-prints. Or murals. Self-portraits. Slogans.
One warning: Don't put glitter paint on your dashboard. It reflects the sun on your windshield and you can't see out the window!
Collaging the car - What I used: Every glue under the sun. I settled on hot glue, the hot, high temp kind. Yes, it can peel off. If whatever you glue on gets "tired," this is helpful. And it doesn't peel off too easily.
What I glued on: Glass and plastic jewels (glass lasts longer). Silk flowers. Funky figures as hood ornaments. Small toys.
And yes, it survived the carwash just fine!
All original text, photos, and art are © 2000, Aisling D'Art.