Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Painting fuel cap door on 2005 VW Jetta

The door comes primed so one less step to mess with. I’ve already located the paint code so that’s taken care of. The only thing I don’t know is if this car has a separate clear coat applied after the initial base coat. And if I do need to use clear coat does it matter which type I use or all of them pretty much the same? I kind of imagine that they are all the same because there would be a separate paint code for the clear coat located next to the paint color code but you never know sometimes.

I’ve done a few searches but got lazy and came here to ask since I figure at least a few people on this forum would likely know right off the top of their heads.

If you need the VIN just ask and I’ll post it.

I painted my mirrors and just used the clear coat at the parts store. Looked great.

+1 for @knfenimore because I did the same thing.

Every paint job I do consists of primer, surfacer/sealer, base coat, and the clear coat.

The surfacer/sealer provides the proper surface for the base coat to adhere and seals the metal.

Ever see a vehicle driving around where it looks like it was just primed? That’s not primer. That’s the surfacer/sealer.


It would not be a good idea to put your vin number on a open website.

Why post the VIN if you have the color code, that’s all anyone would need.

‘‘Every paint job I do consists of primer, surfacer/sealer, base coat, and the clear coat.’’

‘‘The surfacer/sealer provides the proper surface for the base coat to adhere and seals the metal.’’

Now I’m confused. I thought the primer provided the proper surface for the base coat to adhere. What’s the point of the primer?

Looks like I need to purchase a small amount of surfacer/sealer. Which product do you recommend?

Primer comes is two forms. Sandable and non-sandable.

Sandable is used to find high/low spots in the body. It’s also called a guide primer.

Non-sandable primer is applied once the body is smoothed out to protect the metal from corroding before the paint job.

Just go to a parts store that sells automotive paint supplies and explain what you want to do.


You’re not actually going to buy paint in the can are you? With the additives and everything else, you’ll be spending $200 for a gas cap cover. In that case just have a body shop do it. If you are using the rattle cans, use the same clear coat that the base paint is. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t stand up like the factory finish though.

I’d suggest getting some raw steel and priming and practicing on it. It’ll be a good learning experience, and if the color doesn’t match perfectly you’re better to become aware of it on a test piece of metal.

There are stores that sell proper automotive paint rather than the rattle can stuff, and it does a much better job (with a bit of practice), especially the clearcoat. The place in Nashua NH will even put it in a pressurized container for you if you don’t have a compressor. Since you’re only doing a gas door, you should have plenty to practice with. It’ll be much more costly, but does a far better job. You’d have to seek such a place out in your area. Perhaps a body shop can refer you to one.

NOTE: also check the parts store for the proper rubbing and polishing compounds. “Polishing” is generically used for anything that creates shine, but the compound I’m referring to is actually a abrasive compound that come sin various “micron” sizes (the abrasive sizes). Personally, I like to do the final polishing steps using a wet-sponge polisher pad.

I’d suggest also getting a book on automotive painting at the local bookstore, reading it first, and using the gas door as a learning experience. It’s a perfect minimal-risk opportunity to learn automotive painting, and that’s a skill that will pay dividend forever. A well done paint job is a source of pride, and justifiably so. Most people never have to opportunity to lean to do it well. To me this sounds like the perfect opportunity.

I use those small cans of Dupli-Color from AutoZone or O’Reillys to repaint small things (mirrors, door handles, etc) on my cars. It’s always come out spot-on as to color match and sheen.

Just go through repainting and installing a replacement right side door handle (curse Ford for using pot metal…) on my Lincoln and there’s not an iota of difference between it and the factory paint.

The only difference between the Dupli-Color paint and the manufacturer’s paint is the type, not the color. DupliColor paints is acrylic lacquer. Factory paint is a 2-part urethane. Laquer over urethane will work fine. Don’t spray factory type urethane clear over DupliColor lacquer, it will craze.

Stay with the same brands and type. If you can’t find your color, sites like can mix up your color in urethane into a spray can and send a can of clear, too. It will be dead-on as will the proper DupliColor. A separate part like a fuel filler door will pretty much hide any slight variation in shade, if there has been any fading of the original paint.

I’m in the process of picking out the paint. I found a place online that seems to be pretty good called paintscratch. I emailed them to ask if they thought their base coat would be compatible with the primer that comes on the gas cap door and the reply was: ‘‘as long as it’s not enamel primer.’’ So does anyone know if Volkswagen used enamel primer on their 2005 Jettas? If nobody knows would I be able to tell by just looking at the primer? What does enamel primer look like?

You can’t tell by looking at the primer. Offhand, it sounds like the paint source may be a type of lacquer and if lacquer is applied over enamel anything there will be a problem with the new paint bubbling, cracking, and blistering; usually within minutes.

You can spray enamel over lacquer but not vice-versa.