This is a bit of a change to my normal posts but hopefully it’ll be just as informative (or at least interesting!)

The net is full of instructions to remove and paint (or vinyl) your VW badges but I found a couple key points were brushed over every time, namely the removal of the front badge where instructions were simply “just turn it a bit” or “turn it about x amount”. It seemed there was quite a polarisation between people that could “just” pop it off and those that had all kinds of trouble to the point of having to remove their grille first, most falling into the latter in the hope to spare doing damage to the badge or grille.

So just like a onesie party or writing a novel about a futuristic amusement park where dinosaurs are brought to life through advanced cloning techniques and calling it “Billy and the Cloneasaurus”, he’s my version of events…

This is specifically for a current model MK6 VW Jetta but I believe it will also apply to Golfs and several previous generations.

Removing the front badge

The badge is attached to a deep mounting bracket which is held on by 3 clips in a triangle shape. The one at the top can be access from behind near the bonnet latch with a long thin flat head screwdriver.

Come in from behind... errr..

Come in from behind… errr..

First “just” try turning it to the left, you never know, you could be one of the lucky ones, if you are, you only need to turn it till the right side of the V on the badge is vertical. It is quite likely that you will over shoot the mark if you put a bit of force behind it so just dial it back to that position then pull the badge forward and off.

If you’ve put two hands on it and given it a “carn you bas-tard!” heave-ho and it hasn’t budged, itll need the extra persuasion. First check the emblem itself to see if there’s any damage or imperfections on it. If there is, you might want to go a bit gentle on it. As seen in the photos, my badge has a slight bubbling in the chrome and a small crack, both acerbated after a few big cranks to get it free.

Next, lightly (or not so lightly) jiggle the housing left and right and back and forth. Grab that screwdriver and press the tabs towards the center while continuing to turn and twist. There might be a couple creaks of protest but after a little bit you will notice the housing will feel slightly looser in places.

Take the screwdriver and line it up with the right hand side of the top tab and push while turning the housing with your other hand. You may need a bit of force so watch you don’t skin your knuckles or puncture part of the car or yourself with a wayward screwdriver.

As above, you may over shoot the “open” notch, if so, just dial it back and pull it out.

Right side of the V is in the 12 oclock position

Right side of the V is in the 12 oclock position

The housing, note the 3 slots for the clips

The housing, note the 3 slots for the clips

The bane of your existence, note the notch which locks it into place.

The bane of your existence, note the notch which locks it into place.


Prep and Painting

(I didnt bother taking any photos of the badges sitting on the bench covered in paint, there’s plenty of those online)

Like painting anything, if your base surface isn’t prepped right then you’re not going to have a good time. Any blemishes have to be smoothed out otherwise they’ll be just as visible after painting. I used 400 grit to smooth down the bumps, crack and a couple little dibbits then scuffed up the whole thing (housing and emblem) with 800 grit. I’m painting it black so I didn’t bother removing the emblem from the housing (see rear badge removal for tips below on separating the emblem).

Warts n all

Warts n all

Hit it with a primer, then your chosen colour. Remember with painting anything, don’t get impatient, follow the instructions on the can and give it plenty of time to dry. Sand the first coat as well if you have to.
(Also don’t use old paint (I’m talking close to 10 years), it’ll give a nice marbling effect which you’ll have to sand back and redo… just saying :-\ )

Throw on a couple coats of clear for extra protection, especially since its going to be on the front of the car. If you want a matte finish, use a matte clear. If you don’t have matte you could use a gloss with a 2000 grit sanding over the top to take the sheen off but only if you have a black belt in sanding.

Refitting the badge is as simple as a flick of the wrist and it should just click into place. You may notice the locking notches are a little rounded after removal, this makes it heaps easier to remove for future changes of mind but also for grubby little mitts so a dab of hot glue or some strategically placed two sided tape.

Front - After

Front – After

Removing the rear badge

This, by the general consensus is a million times easier, and it was. The recommended old credit card seems to do the trick no problems too. The double sided tape holding it on is rubbery and sticky so you could probably even fashion a jagged “blade” from a juice bottle to give more cutting power, otherwise the card will work fine.

Find a spot around the edge that isn’t sitting as flush, you may need to get your fingernails under it to kick it off. If no where really works, try dead center up the top, there’s a small notch in the housing on the underside that might be just enough for the card to slide in. You could also try some dental floss if you get really stuck.

Work your way around to the soft spots, gently lifting the badge as you go. Take care not to scuff your paint or bend the badge up too far, let the card do the work of separating the badge from the car.


When you’re about half way you’ll notice there’s 3 little stems sticking out, these are used to align the badge for mounting. The problem is they’re built on to a very weak frame so in the course of removing, painting and refitting you will no doubt, bend or break at least one of them off. Not the end of the world but do your best to preserve these, it’ll be a godsend when it comes to refitting.

Super sticky goo

Super sticky goo

3 dibbits for mounting

3 dibbits for mounting

Bom-bom.  Look how thing those supports are!

Bom-bom. Look how thin those supports are!

I gave them a bit of strength straight away with a couple dabs of glue.

Looks messy but the glue I used shrinks as it dries

Looks messy but the glue I used shrinks as it dries

Separating the emblem from the housing

Most sites suggest using a screwdriver or other tool to push the tabs through from the back, I found this is pretty much impossible to do without damaging the tabs or slots in some way. The chrome plating is strong but brittle so it tends to crumble or dent with only the smallest amount of pressure so I figured the best way is to not touch them at all, instead just pushing it out with my fingers.

Put your thumb on the front of the housing (black part) and your fingers on the very edge of the underside of the emblem (chrome part). Push with your thumb and pull/peel with your fingers, kind of like opening a can of tuna or baked beans with a pull tab. Work your way around the outside, these are the easier ones. For the center ones you may need to change your grip using more of a 3 finger pinching motion, pulling with your finger tips and pushing with your nails on the same fingers. Pulling from the outside while the center is still attached may bend or crack the emblem where the letters meet the circle so be careful. A bit of wiggling and changing of angles should pop it off eventually.

Use two hands and go slow...

Use two hands and go slow…

One problem I came across is one of the tabs was glued/melted to the housing, possibly for extra security to stop it from falling off. Thanks to the brittleness and thinness of the tab, you can keep going with the “pincher” and it will eventually snap, if you don’t think its going to give, leave it to last so there’s enough room to get a blade in to cut it. Cut the broken tab off to save it from getting in the way when you’re refitting.

Which one is the anchor on yours?  Its a gamble!

Which one is the anchor on yours? Its a gamble!

Removing emblem from the front housing would be very similar. Even though I didn’t try it, I think you should be able to use a similar method to removing it from the front badge, prying from the front instead of pushing from the back. The problem here is there’s nothing to push on from the front so you might have to try a couple spots around the edge first with the ol credit card, then once you have a big enough gap use something like a disposable chopstick to get in between the two layers and pop the tabs out.

Prep and painting is the same as describe above, but if you are matching the housing to the colour of your car take note that there is some texturing to it so you’ll need some extra sanding and a few extra coats of paint to give it a smooth panel finish. I found the paint still wasn’t very glossy after this (fine in the grooves where the emblem sat tho!) so I topped it off with some clear gloss to better match the car’s body.

Fitting rear badge

Standard double sided tape (the foam stuff might be a bit too thick and may make it easier for thieving hands) from an automotive store should do the trick ($5 for a small roll from Autobarn). Take a hobby knife to the edges to give it a good fit. Before peeling off the tape, give the area a good wipe down to make sure it is free from dirt and old tape. Also check to make sure the areas you have taped are making contact with the body, you may need to stack the tape to give it more height. If you kept the mounting stems itll be a simple matter of lining them up and pressing firmly.

Back - Before

Back – Before

Back - After

Back – After


Side note: I lazily looked up my paint code online instead of in the manual and found VW’s “candy white” colour code LB9A. Giving this code to the paint man he could only find this colour going up to 2004 but nothing under the model search for a current gen white (weird, I know) so I figured it was the right one. It wasn’t till I got back to the car and threw the stuff I bought into the passenger side that I noticed it was printed on a label on the door sill (derrp) but this was listed as B4B4. I did a quick search but couldn’t find anything about the difference but found plenty of places selling the one “candy white” with both codes. After painting the backing I walked around the car with it and couldn’t really tell the difference on most parts of the car (in fading sunlight). If anything, the small discrepancies would be of a slight fade on the original paint. After fitting it seems to have blended pretty well so I would have to say the codes, to my eye, are interchangeable but please correct me if I’m wrong!

Hope this post helps to clear things up for some people and give a bit of confidence to those who weren’t sure before hand. Happy DIY customising!

ps. I’ll get some proper photos when its clean… and I find some time!