Learn how to decorate your car for a 4th of July parade, and you will meet up with nice folks who share your love of the automobile as well as your patriotic fervor. From Pinto to Corvette, a car decoration for July 4th is festive and easy on the paint job.
Choose the right car
If decorations for 4th of July adorn your vehicle, be prepared for curious bystanders to come and take a closer look at your car. This includes touching, probing and even having some more daring souls ask you for permission to sit behind the steering wheel.
This is not the type of event to which you would take your showstopper classic Cadillac — unless you are one of the vehicle enthusiasts who does not gasp at the sight of a youngster with an ice-cream cone walking up for a closer look. At the same time, do not pick your rusty beater to bring to the event.
Select the festive gear
What are your options when picking out car decorations for 4th of July?
DupliColor Car Art Temporary Paint: Northern Auto Parts explains that this temporary paint applies via aerosol spray can. It looks like a real automotive paint job, but washes off with soap and water. Drying time is about 60 seconds. Use it with stencils to apply Old Glory to the side of the car or give it that Constitution paint job that sets apart your car from the rest of the pack.
Vinyl Window Clings: These are great for the glass but also for the body panels. Stunning dark colors lets you contrast blue and red against a very light-colored vehicle. Apply them to the windows as well to the side panels to complete the look of stars and stripes.
Balloons and Flags: If you have a roof rack, balloons and flags are excellent choices. They attach to the rack and add height to the display. Coordinate them with clings or temporary paint to pull off the “float look.”
LED Under-glow Lights: Urban Neon Car Lights sells these products to help you “pimp” your ride. Put these lighting kits to patriotic use. Wheel well lights cast a blue glow onto the black tires, while appropriately colored flexible LED strips let you light up any portion of the vehicle’s anatomy. These are a bit more on the expensive side, so be sure that you are committed to having a car decoration for July 4th — or can use them for other display purposes.
Nuts and bolts: How to decorate your car for July 4th (and avoid some big bloopers)
Map out your d©cor scheme. Do not simply pile on the decorations in the hope that it all matches. Wash the car very well. Applying vinyl decals to a dirty car can result in scratches during removal. In fact, go ahead and use window cleaner on the areas where you place decals, even after washing the car.
Decorate on the day of the parade. Granted, this makes for a very early morning, but it avoids having the decorative paint or decals on the vehicle overnight. If you are bringing your prized car to the show, know ahead of time that some chemicals in the paint or decal material might react with the paint job, so keeping them on for the shortest period possible is the best idea.
Keep it street legal as well. Assuming that you will be driving the car, you should not obstruct the windshield or create artificial blind spots. Last but not least, remember that any roof rack decorations must withstand wind and weather. While the parade speed is most likely going to be slow, the same might not be said for sudden gusts that grace the event.