With the continued popularity of satin and matte finished wheels, we quite often find ourselves discussing what exactly a ceramic coating will do to the finish. Will it protect? Will it add gloss? Will it change the finish? So let’s walk through an application of Gyeon quartz Q² Rim over a set of 2012 Corvette ZR1 satin black wheels.
As always, clean and prepare the wheel for coating. We have removed all (4) of these wheels, cleaned with Gyeon quartz Q²M Iron, blown dry with the MasterBlaster, and wiped down with Gyeon quartz Q²M Prep. The Q²M Prep process is very important to ensure that all lubricants or detergents from the decontamination stage are gone and we can achieve a direct and clean bond to the surface with Q² Rim.
I like the Gyeon quartz Q²M SoftWipe Microfiber Towel for Q²M Prep as it is very plush and absorbent.
Once the wheel is clean, apply a generous amount of Q² Rim to the Microfiber Applicator Suede. I like to mush the bottle into the suede and run two line across it long ways, up and back.
Next, apply Q² Rim on to the surface using 3 overlapping and cross-hatched passes for even coverage.
Keeping the working environment in mind, remove the excess product with a plush and absorbent microfiber towel. The higher the humidity the faster the solvent carrier will evaporate so the quicker you will want to remove the excess. This is usually in the 20-30 second range. Due to the high SiO2 content, Q² Rim will feel thick to remove if left on too long.
Now into the meat of the article. We ran a tape line down the barrel of this wheel so we can clearly see the coated vs non coated areas. So what does a SiO2 based coating like Q² Rim do to satin or matte finished wheels? It will certainly protect the finish. It will provide a protective barrier that will resist UV and chemical damage. It will create a surface the will actively repel dirt and contaminant making the wheels easy and efficient to clean. But what will it look like? A ceramic coating will not add gloss to a satin or matte finish. But it will “darken” the finish, or leave a “rich” look. This is not something isolated to ceramic coatings. Any time we apply something (wax, sealant, coating, etc) over the surface that smooths out the surface and fills the pores, this darkening effect will take place. We are changing the way the light reflects from the surface. The coating can not “change” the underlying color of the material. But it will darken it. The benefit of the coating is the durability as well as the capability to protect from UV and chemical damage.
Personally, I am a fan of the look once coated. Paired with the benefit of protecting the finish and easy wash maintenance coating the wheels is of value. For those of you professionally installing coatings, this is definitely a conversation to have with your customers. Explain to them what is happening to the satin or matte finish and why. The same effect takes place over satin or matte paint or vinyl. Enjoy!