How to paint your front grill black on Volvo 850

by: dooby


I’ve been meaning to do this mod for a while – I got a 2nd hand grill off eBay for about £5, and bought some spray plastic primer and spray black bumper paint from Halfords (maybe £5 per tin).

1st, remove the ‘slash’. It’s held in 4 places, 1 at each end and two behind the square in the middle. It’s held by some grip washers (don’t know the technical term). Just carefully lever with a flathead screwdriver from the front, covering the chrome
with a cloth not to scratch it. The plastic stud will gently pull out of the grip washer.

Next, mask up anything you want left with masking tape. In my case I was aiming to leave the chrome surround, so put masking tape as deep as I could into the groove all round.

The plastic primer I used was clear, so it’s hard to tell that that’s the 1st coat on. Remember to shake well, and invert the tin for a quick blast at the end to clear the nozzle.

Here’s the grill and ‘slash’ after 2 coats of primer (10 mins apart, as per instructions).

An hour later, it’s ready for top coat so here’s the first coat of black bumper paint. I chose this as it’s listed as being suitable for plastics.

Here’s coats 2 and 3, 15 mins apart.

Here’s the results on the ‘slash’ – not much difference, just a bit cleaner and maybe more matt than before.

And the grill’s ‘after’ shot.

Back together again – I used some shrew nosed pliers to locate the grip washers on the plastic studs, then a suitably sized socket to push them all the way home.

I swear you’d never know this colour combo wasn’t a dealer option 🙂

Removing the grill from the car is quite simple – pop the bonnet and find the 6 fixing points (3 on top, 3 below). Each one has a black slider catch, slide it to the other end when it will come off the white stud. Once all 6 are off get ready to catch it! Refitting is the reverse of removal 🙂

Here’s the before and after shots on the car – I’m quite pleased with the subtle difference.

Here’s a shot of it at the Orwell Crossing meet.

And in the line-up – note the difference between it and Gary’s silver V70R grill if you want a side-by-side comparison.

And back after a 120 mile round trip, the latter half in torrential rain.

So – not really a very difficult mod, no new scars this time 🙂

Cheers, Pete


The instructions in this tutorial will work in the following models / years:

– 1991,1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 Volvo 850