Welting on a MK V

I’ve sanded, filled, sanded and refilled the front “wings” on my V. I see a lot of aluminum rivets along the contoured edge of the front end of the wings about 1” down from the edge. Some have evidence of a material. I’m wondering if these rivets held the welting for this portion of the fender. Can anyone verify this? If so, I’ll grind them off so I can attach new welting after painting.

Yes, notice that many of those pop-rivets are for joining the main wing and the upper valence panel. Those were put in before the wing was painted. I would leave those alone and replace any bad ones, unless you have rusting in that joint. If you take that joint apart, I would put it together again before painting.
Then there are some pop-rivets that are randomly spaced and often farther away from the main wing than the others. Those held the welting (aka beading) and were put in after the wing was painted. I suspect they were hand drilled; I counted about 8 on each side on mine plus one mistake. The welting (beading) was painted body color. It was Rexine, kind of a coated fabric, like an early form of vinyl, sewn over a rope. You can get that stuff from restoration supply shops.
I would put the welting on with pop-rivets before putting the wings on the car.
Plus there are two larger holes below the radiator level, where I put in screws to hold the welting.

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Thanks for verifying the rivets. Today I finished all fairing. Seems this cat has had a “bumpy life” in the past. I spent a week with a series of hammers and dollies. Then skimmed it using polyester with fiberglass. The front wings received undercoating as this is going to be a daily user. On another of my cars, I didn’t coat the underside of the fenders and have had damage from stones.
I also plan to follow your suggestion about hanging the doors and boot cover before painting. I just need to finish paint the door edges before hanging as I don’t see how to paint those tight areas once they’re hung.
But in the mean time, it’s back to sanding!