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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas

VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas Discussions area for A5/MkV Jetta/Golf (2005/2006 PD and 2009 CR).

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Old April 13th, 2009, 07:47   #1
F250_JR
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Default How to: Chrome delete and blackout grill

I know there are tons of people who have plasti-dipped or just painted their chrome grills, or replaced them with GTI grilles. However, I read that someone had actually peeled off the chrome before painting, so I thought I would try that. If you think about it, peeling off the chrome allows you to remove most of the small pits from road grit, while also providing a much better painting surface (plastic) with better adhesion.

For starters, here is a before shot of my car, with the chrome grill:


The tool list does not include the screwdrivers needed to remove the grill-that part is pretty self explanatory. For the main grill, there are two screws on the top corners, and two other screws in the space below the bottom set of slats on eather side of the VW logo.



For the bottom side grills, there is one screw in each, plainly visible. It is on the inside end of the grill, vertically centered.
They are pretty tough to remove, just yank them hard. You can see in this picture the slots in the top and bottom edges where tabs from the grill reside. This gives you an idea of where the grill is attached, so that you can know where to pull. I found that pulling from the screw point outward worked best.



The center bottom grill also has 2 screws, attaching right inside the top edge. They are the same ones which were pictured earlier at the bottom of the main grill. They attach both grills together. The bottom center grill has tabs on the top which need to be loosened (gently), then the top can be pulled forward. After the top is pulled forward, you must reach inside to loosen the tabs on the bottom. Again, some force is required.

Here are the tools I used to remove the chrome from the grill:


And here is a picture of the chrome being peeled off:


Basically, I used the file to wear down an edge on each piece of grill, then I used a razor to loosen that edge of chrome. After I had a loose edge, the chrome could be pulled off. You will just need to experiment as to exactly how this will work best for you.

Here is a picture of the slats after they have been pulled off from the grill--you need to be careful to not break the tabs when removing them. I found the needlenose pliers very helpful with that. They must be removed so that you can peel off the chrome and paint them seperately.


And just for kickers, here is another picture of the chrome partially removed. This was before the slats were removed from this half of the grill.


Sorry I don't have all the pictures up yet, I will be adding more pictures tonight.
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2005.5 VW Jetta TDI Special Edition, ~70K miles, 5 sp manual, Graphite Silver, Gray interior w/ leatherette seats
Blackout mods:20% tint/smoked side markers, mirror signals, taillights/FK angel eyes/black interior dash trim/black front grill & inserts/black emblems/debadged rear

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Last edited by F250_JR; April 14th, 2009 at 11:13.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 07:48   #2
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Ok, here is the partial after picture--the bottom side grills are giving me some trouble, and I am not finished with them yet. I have something else planned for the VW logo, so the black logo is just temporary.



I have been using black Krylon Fusion paint to do at least 2 base coats on the plastic, then Rustoleum gloss black paint on top. The Rustoleum has a much higher gloss, while the Krylon gloss looks more like satin. For those who are not familiar with Krylon Fusion, it literally fuses with whatever plastic on which it is sprayed. Oh, and it actually does completely dry to the touch in 15 minutes, so you get very quick results. So, it provides a very tough base coat which sticks very well to the plastic grill. The Rustoleum sticks fine after a couple of Fusion coats have been laid down.


You have already seen the main grill, here are the bottom side grills.

You can see that they are not finished. I have been having some orange peel problems with them, so I ended up partially stripping the paint back off of them, leaving them the way you see them now. I will spend some more time sanding all of the old paint off, then clean them more thoroughly before I repaint them.
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2005.5 VW Jetta TDI Special Edition, ~70K miles, 5 sp manual, Graphite Silver, Gray interior w/ leatherette seats
Blackout mods:20% tint/smoked side markers, mirror signals, taillights/FK angel eyes/black interior dash trim/black front grill & inserts/black emblems/debadged rear

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Last edited by F250_JR; April 14th, 2009 at 11:24.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 09:33   #3
Kriesel
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or, be like me; buy a salvaged vehicle with no front end, rebuild it with Golf GTI grille parts, and have a black front end... haha

I don't recommend this method, but I do have a nice looking TDI!!!

NOTE!!! Be sure to paint with many layers (like 4) when using spraypaint or something to do blacked out chrome pieces. If you don't do many layers, the paint will chip away within a few weeks just from driving down the highway... been there, done that... The VW emblem on my front end is krylon commando... (spray painted) Just because one or two coats of spray paint looks good, don't count on it lasting a long time... And don't use cheap paint... Your car deserves the best! haha

The best method is to have a shop paint parts with automotive oem quality paint. On my bumber, notice the center grille piece between the upper and lower grille is the same color as the car, and not chrome. Had it painted to mach the car, thought it looked better than all black, or with the ugly HUGE amount of chrome... personal preferance though... Black is the new chrome


now i just gotta spray paint those headlights!
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Last edited by Kriesel; April 13th, 2009 at 09:44.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 11:52   #4
sohccammer427
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Wow! That looks great. When I did mine I did not remove the plastic chrome film, although I have not had chipping problems within the year that I have done it.

I buffed the chrome w/ steel wool and used Krylon Fusion spray paint. I probably used around 8+ very light coats. Did not "do" the slats, because I liked them chrome. If I do have chipping problems, now I know I can redo after removing the film. Thanks for the writeup and photos.

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Old April 13th, 2009, 11:59   #5
Pelican18TQA4
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I was going to do this a couple weeks ago but decided against it. Now I'm wanting to do it again! How hard is it to peel the chrome off?
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Old April 13th, 2009, 12:43   #6
F250_JR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelican18TQA4
I was going to do this a couple weeks ago but decided against it. Now I'm wanting to do it again! How hard is it to peel the chrome off?
It's not terribly hard, but it is time consuming. I spent roughly 4-6 hours on Saturday, then another 2-3 hours yesterday peeling it all off. You've got to be careful, though, because the chrome is really sharp. The two most important tools are razor blades and needlenose pliers. I tried utility knife blades, but they were too thick, and just tore the chrome. The razor blades are the perfect thinness to slide between the chrome and plastic without messing up the plastic.

You've sort of got to be willing to just waste a little time messing around to find a good system for getting it off, and you've got to figure that out for each different shaped piece.

I also did this to the bottom chrome stripe, and the two side grill chrome slats. Now, I have all of that drying at home with paint on them, but I know that I am going to have to sand some of it and do it again. The one thing I did that I haven't seen anybody else do, is that I painted all of the plastic grill parts too. So, when everything is installed, every grill piece will be smooth, gloss black. I will take some more pictures tonight.
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2005.5 VW Jetta TDI Special Edition, ~70K miles, 5 sp manual, Graphite Silver, Gray interior w/ leatherette seats
Blackout mods:20% tint/smoked side markers, mirror signals, taillights/FK angel eyes/black interior dash trim/black front grill & inserts/black emblems/debadged rear

TDI Club mkV FAQ
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=261091
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Old April 13th, 2009, 13:11   #7
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Looking forward to your pics. The only concern I have is the mismatch between the de-chromed front pieces and the chrome trim around the windows.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 13:25   #8
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no chrome on these windows, and rear emblem blacked out. TDI and Jetta badges removed on trunk lid. the VW badge is blacked out also. and an (illegal) smoked cover on the license plate for more blackness... Just thought I'd show you what the black around the windows looks like...


and again the front blacked out
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Old April 13th, 2009, 19:37   #9
Pelican18TQA4
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I'm assuming you added the non-chrome trim?
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Old April 13th, 2009, 19:40   #10
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sanded and painted the trim on mine
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Old April 13th, 2009, 21:39   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kriesel
sanded and painted the trim on mine
You definitely have a nice blackout look going there. I like it!

That may be in my list of future paint mods...and it's already pretty long. This summer, I am going to have close to a month of steady 40-60 hour work weeks with nothing else to do, and I will be spending my spare time blacking out things. I am already planning on a joey modding the headlights, blacking out the tails, blacking out the front side markers and turn signals under the mirrors, and possibly painting some of the interior trim as well. I don't have money to spend on performance or anything expensive, but I can afford paint!

Sorry I haven't gotten any more pictures up yet, it was too dark when I got home. tomorrow hopefully.
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2005.5 VW Jetta TDI Special Edition, ~70K miles, 5 sp manual, Graphite Silver, Gray interior w/ leatherette seats
Blackout mods:20% tint/smoked side markers, mirror signals, taillights/FK angel eyes/black interior dash trim/black front grill & inserts/black emblems/debadged rear

TDI Club mkV FAQ
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=261091
VW Vortex mkV FAQ
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2374154
How to Post Pictures
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Old April 13th, 2009, 22:09   #12
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yeah, will be nice to see what yours turns out like. i still need different headlight, taillights, and wheels. otherwise i've eliminated all the chrome i can haha
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Old April 14th, 2009, 11:26   #13
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See the first two posts for more pictures! I will finish posting the pictures when I finish painting the two bottom side grills.
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Benjamin

2005.5 VW Jetta TDI Special Edition, ~70K miles, 5 sp manual, Graphite Silver, Gray interior w/ leatherette seats
Blackout mods:20% tint/smoked side markers, mirror signals, taillights/FK angel eyes/black interior dash trim/black front grill & inserts/black emblems/debadged rear

TDI Club mkV FAQ
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=261091
VW Vortex mkV FAQ
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2374154
How to Post Pictures
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=207484
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Old April 14th, 2009, 11:43   #14
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The black front looks great but I just can't decide if I want to go through with it!
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Old April 14th, 2009, 13:14   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelican18TQA4
The black front looks great but I just can't decide if I want to go through with it!
I was actually in the same position, and my brother helped me out...I used a file to wear down a small edge, just to see how thick the chrome was. Well, the chrome broke a bit. It would have been fine, but while I was vascilating between leaving it, and going ahead and actually pulling it off, my brother reached over and pulled it off for me! Right on the front of the main grill! So, the mod that you see was pretty much inevitible after that.
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Benjamin

2005.5 VW Jetta TDI Special Edition, ~70K miles, 5 sp manual, Graphite Silver, Gray interior w/ leatherette seats
Blackout mods:20% tint/smoked side markers, mirror signals, taillights/FK angel eyes/black interior dash trim/black front grill & inserts/black emblems/debadged rear

TDI Club mkV FAQ
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=261091
VW Vortex mkV FAQ
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2374154
How to Post Pictures
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=207484
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