DIY: Black Audi A4/S4 Grille

Black Audi A4 Grill
Stock Grille (L) and DIY Black Out Grille (R)

“The best mods in life are free” – Benjamin Franklin

Okay, maybe he really didn’t say that…but had he been alive today, and drove a B7 Audi A4, he totally would have.

While you could buy a grille for the tune of $2-300 from Audi or an aftermarket vendor, you can create your own Black-out grille re-using your stock chrome one for just the cost of a can of spray paint, making it possibly one of the cheapest mods you will ever do. It also drastically alters the look of the car, creating a more aggressive & sporty look. I did this to my car within weeks of buying it, and have since done it for several other local Audi owners to help them really transform the look of their cars.

The total cost of materials will run maybe $20 depending on what you have lying around.

Supplies Needed:

  1. 2 cans of  PlastiDip – check out for a grille kit
  2. A thin flat head screw driver
  3. Tools to remove your front bumper

Step 1 – Remove the Bumper

The only tricky part of performing this mod is removing your bumper. This thread on Audizine provides really great instructions on how to do so, although I do intend to eventually create my own guide here too. The trick to removing your bumper is having the right tools – invest in a wobble socket adapter & a 10 mm deep socket and things will go so much quicker and easier.

Step 2 – Remove the Grille from the Bumper

Once you have your bumper off, you can remove the grille from the bumper by removing the screws behind the grille. There are a total of 11 screws – 4 along each side, and 3 along the bottom – I have highlighted them with red dots in the picture below. You’ll need torx bits to remove them. Once all of the screws are out, the grille will simply fall off.

To remove the grille from the bumper, remove the screws located where each red dot is

Now to the fun part – removing the grille surround and painting it. Here’s the step by step:

Step 3 – Remove the grille surround.

Start by prying out the bottom or sides – leave the top for last. There are an excessive amount of tabs you need to pop out – take your time doing this and be very patient as you do not want to break very many of these tabs otherwise you may not be able to reinstall the trim surround properly again.

Tabs along the outer edge of the grille

Use a very thin flat head screw driver to press in the tabs, and begin prying off a side. You will see there are two sets of tabs you need to press in, one along the outer edge, and one along the inner edge.

Tabs along the inside of the grille

Eventually, you will have an entire side pulled off, like this:

Lastly, remove the top edge. This is probably the hardest part, but will be easier once the rest of the grille is loose. Be patient and make sure you press in every tab…once you’re done, the outer chrome surround should just fall off. Here is a picture of the inside of the grille so you can see what the tabs look like, and visualize how you’ll need to angle your screwdriver to disconnect the tabs:

Step 4 – Paint the Surround

Once your grille is off, go ahead and paint it. I’d recommend sanding the entire thing using fine sand paper to remove any chips & imperfections, then hitting it was some very fine sand paper to make sure it is ultra smooth. Once sanded, spray with your paint of choice. I used Krylon Fusion which is made specifically for plastics, and this seems to have held up well. Other people commonly use Plasti-Dip, a plastic like material that sprays on like paint, which also works well. Plasti-Dip is a little harder to work with, but it does leave a really nice and OEM looking textured finish which is really nice.  You may also choose to paint the filler plate and/or chrome Audi rings to match, depending on the look you’re going for. The chrome Audi rings just pop out from behind the grille once you press in the tabs, much like the outer surround did.

Paint the surround any color you’d like

While the surround is drying, you can reinstall your grille back into the bumper, and reinstall your bumper. You may want to give the surround a few days to drive to ensure it is fully chip-resistant, and luckily you don’t need to remove your bumper to reinstall the surround.

Step 5 – Paint the Filler Plate

The filler plate is the middle section of the grille, which may or may not have a license plate holder depending on where you live and how your car came equipped. This section is easily removed, and the grille & bumper can even on the stay car! There are simply four T25 bolts holding it along the bottom of the filler plate – remove these and the middle filler plate section will come right off.

To paint it, follow the same steps as the surround – prep it and then use your paint color & type of choice. Pictured below is Krylon Fusion in Matte Black – it was still drying when I took this picture, so it looks a little more glossy than it will once its fully dry.

Step 6 – Reinstall the grille surround piece & filler plate

Once the outer surround is fully dry, it will just snap back into place on your car or off, resulting in a finished product like this:

Black Audi A4 Grill

While you’re at it, you can also remove the rings and paint those black if you’d like, or any color you want really.

Once you’ve painted everything you want to, you’re all done. Install it, stand back and admire your hard work! Here is my car below after painting the outer surround as well as the filler plate – I chose to leave the chrome ring as-is so that they’d really pop against the otherwise all black grille.

Nick Roshon

Nick has been an Audi owner and fanatic for the last 10 years, and started Nick's Car Blog in 2009 to share DIYs and pictures of his A4. Currently he drives a 2012 Audi TT-RS, and has previously owned a B7 S4, B7 A4, and an 82 Audi Coupe (GT) LeMons race car. In his day job, Nick is a digital marketer and lives in San Diego, CA, USA.


  1. Hey Nick,

    Do you have any idea where i could pick up a new surround for the grille? I don’t know that exact name for it but it is the piece that surrounds the grill, it comes chrome stock. Well anyways, mine is cracked so i want to get a new one. If you could help me out that would be great. Thank! -Matt

  2. Unfortunately you can’t buy just the outer surround separately…you have to buy the entire grille.

    If the crack isn’t bad, I’d suggest removing the outer surround, patching it up with bondo, sanding it smooth, then covering it in plasti-dip. The textured finish of the plasti-dip will help hide any remaining imperfections that the bondo didn’t completely cover up.

    If it’s really bad, look for a cheap S-line or S4 grille you can take the outer surround off of…sometimes you can find them on the Audizine classifieds or eBay for pretty cheap.

  3. Alright thanks Nick! The crack isn’t that bad so the Bondo should work out well. Once I get it done I will be sure to post some pictures to show you how it came out. Thank you again, and this DIY is great! -Matt

  4. Nick,
    I have a Canyon Red A6 and I was going to get black rims for it and I was wondering if you can paint the grill on it black too. Also, does the paint eventually wear off or are you set for a while. Thanks

  5. Yeah, the mod is nearly identical for the A6. I’ve had mine done for over a year and no chipping or issues, so you should be set for a while. You’re good to go!

  6. No, it is purely a cosmetic change, it doesn’t affect the car runs whatsoever. I have never once heard of a dealership voiding a warranty for something like this, and the grille isn’t even covered under warranty regardless – if you get a rock chip or damage to the grille, for instance, that’s not covered under warranty.

  7. I just bought a grill for my 2012 S4 B8 from ECS. Was wondering if anyone has any info on the install. Such as how to remove the bumper. Would appreciate any help.

  8. I have a 2009 A4 B8, I am trying to find the correct info on how to remove the front bumper. I wasn’t planning on doing any mods to this car but after it was hit by a co-worker and repaired I figured just go big why not. Starting out with blacking out the whole car, everything is done but the grille, its on its way here just can’t find anywhere with the pics or info to remove it………..

  9. do you by any chance if the B8 a4 outter piece of the grill comes off? just how you painted it for your B7

  10. the blog is awesome nick! may i ask you where you got your fog light grilles? i have a 2006 audi a4 quattro and cannot find them for my car!

  11. Hey, I was wondering. I have a b7 A4, and I have the license plate holder on the front of my car, but I don’t use the license plate(even though I should, CA) Do you know where I can just buy the separate plate like yours? And could I install that on my grill to swap it out, I don’t want to purchase a whole new grill. Any info is awesome, love the site man

  12. Hi Nick, great tutorial. I was wondering something though… I bought this tiem: and it didnt come with the emblem. I was wondering if i can take my original emblem and put it back on the new grille ? When I look at my actual front grill it doesnt look like I pull it off from the grill ? (my car here:

    Thanks 🙂

  13. The chrome rings should pop out, but not the emblem holder. You’ll need to take your grille off the car and then there are tabs on the backside you squeeze in – they break easily, so be careful…I like to use an eyeglass screwdriver (flathead) to pry them out. I don’t know if they’ll fit your aftermarket grille or not, but usually the maker of the aftermarket grille will offer rings if the OEM ones don’t fit so I’d check with them otherwise…

  14. Thanks Nick for your reply.

    Were you talking about the emblem holder when you said to be careful with the tabs?

    Also, do I really need the emblem holder or i can just put the rings?

  15. The emblem holder is fixed to the grille, but the emblem itself detaches by pressing in the tabs.

    You will need some sort of emblem holder to switch over the rings, the back of the rings just have clips and need something to clip into. Check out this image for what the rings look like detached, as well as the tabs on the back you press in to release it from the emblem holder:

  16. hi nick just wondering i was about to change my b7 avant to a black edition (black grills surrounds roof rack,) and seen your blog how did it hold up after the painted option or have ya moved on to different motor??

  17. Paint held up great, had my S4 trim painted a few years ago and no issues. The grille is the hardest part since it takes a lot of road debris head on, so for that I recommend going for the OEM Titanium grille as whatever Audi used to paint that is super durable. For the trim and roof rack I would think any body shop should be good to do this.

  18. Hi NIck I have a 2007 A4 cabriolet convertable s-line package 3.2 looking for a aftermarket black grill what will fit on this car so. Don’t have to go oem

  19. Hi Dean – the S-line grille is the same as the RS4 and S4 grille, so anything that fits those models will do. There aren’t a lot of aftermarket options though, you’ll probably need to get an OEM option. The regular A4 with the smaller grille has some cheap aftermarket options but no one seems to make anything for the bigger S-line/s4/RS4 bumpers.

  20. I have a white, 2012 A4 with S-line package but I don’t like the filler plate at all. It breaks up the seamlessness of the grille. Can I either paint it dark black, or even leave it off? How many screws there? I only see two on my vehicle.

  21. I have a 2013 A4 and I want to change the front grill rings from chrome to black. I know where to get them but I was wondering if the entire grill needed to be removed? I saw your tube video on older one, but these look like they are really in there. Any help or link to a video would be great.

  22. Hey Nick. I was wondering how well this looked compared to buying a new grill and how long the plasti-dip lasts.

  23. The OEM grille is probably most durable, followed by Plasti-dip, and then paint. The nice thing about Plastic-Dip is that it’s fairly easy to touch up if you do get any chips, and the rubber coating is fairly durable in itself. I’d recommend starting with Plasti-dip, and then if you’re unhappy down the road you can opt for a OEM RS4 grille in black to replace it.

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