Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Beach glass on a car

Should she do it? Why not? First, I’d suggest she get a car door or two from a junk yard and experiment. She could try things like gluing to a painted or sanded surface, seeing how the glass would survive a bum or drop of the door, and a practice slam or two.

You may not believe this but I actually have some experience that would apply to this project.
Do not buy a new car to do this, buy one that is out of warranty.
If you do this to a new car, you will void the warranty.
Glass is a bad object to glue, try it on any thing and see what happens, it is non porous and non reactive, so getting it to stay in place is very difficult. You may have to set the glass into a pool of adhesive so that only the outer face of the glass is showing, google rim set rhinestone to see what I mean.
It is also very heavy for a an art project, at 3.2 lbs per Square foot, you will add around 300 lbs to your VW. You may want to beef up the suspension, and please never drive this car on a freeway.
Pick up and gas milage are going to be effected adversely.
Glue is a surface adhesive, it only adheres to what is on the surface, so if you have loose paint on the surface, the glue only attaches to the loose paint. So you may want to strip the car before you start, if this is going to be a long term driver, if not then make sure that any dirt and wax is off the car.

Lastly for help you can start at

Don’t let anyone discourage you,
All these things can be over come, easy, and I love a good art car.

E6000 is a great adhesive for glass to metal.

100 grit on paint and back of glass. upgrade shocks/struts and tires. practice driving again. its different. VIVA ART REVOLUTION!!!

And for the love of God and all that’s holy, never ever under any circumstances give a ride to a fat person, or carry two passengers, even though the car is built to carry three comfortably, and under no circumstances should anything EVER be put in the trunk!!!

She needs to get together with some people who make artcars, like these:

She should absolutely do it.

Actually, I’m in the process of tiling a Chevy El Camino and have been talking to the Art Car folks. The magic glue is GE Silicone II. 100% silicone will move with car where some other glues might be brittle and crack. First degrease and then sand. That’s what they told me. I’ll be starting in a week or so. Good luck!


This type of car is commonly referred to as an artcar. I think people’s estimation of the weight of this covering is way over the top. A couple of hundred pounds of extra weight is not going to make all that big of a difference for any kind of car since it is evenly distributed over the entire surface so there’s an extra fifty or so pounds at each wheel. No big deal.

She should first clean the car with TSP. This cleanser will not leave an oil sheen like most detergents and it will dull the car’s finish, leading to better adhesion. There is no need to sand the backs of the glass pieces as beach glass is already covered in tiny pits and scratches. The type of glue to use is GE Silicone II. I have pieces of glass glued TO MY WINDSHIELD that have stayed put for over four years.

To get an idea of what you can do to a car, go to Flickr and search for “artcar.” You will be amazed and definitely not bored.

I would also say, do it but not with a new car, a new car is probably not really appopriate for experiments like these. You need some experience with it to get a good result so practising is the first thing to do, trial and error. Would love to see the result if she’s trying it out.