Some of you may have read some of our past matte care articles and recommendations. This pesky paint finish undoubtedly looks amazing, but it does have many things to watch out for when caring for it. Meguiar’s recently shared with us some great matte care recommendations and we wanted to take the time to share them with you. Below you will find Meguiar’s recommendations, along with links to some of the great articles our AAP Authors have taken the time to write.
Matte (no gloss) paint finishes have been around for many, many years. It dates back to the 1940’s when “hot rodding” was born. Rat Rods were one of the 1st cases paint with no gloss to it. In many cases, customizers could not afford paint, so the matte finish “primer look” was the perfect solution. In other cases, it was a counter-reaction to the high priced typical customs being built.
Today, you can find matte finishes in many forms. Vinyl, aftermarket refinish industry and even OEM’s are offering matte paint options to consumers. Lamborghini, BMW, Mercedes and Hyundai just to name a few. Bottom line, matte finishes are becoming more and more mainstream.
Keep in mind, there are many ways to create a matte paint finish. Primer is still used in some cases, single stage paints can be matte and even base coat clear coat finishes can have a matte appearance.
Regardless of the type of matte finish, care for them is similar yet very different than a traditional gloss paint job.
The main thing to remember with matte finishes is…you cannot remove oxidation, scratches, swirls, acid rain, or other below surface “defects” like you can with a traditional “glossy” paint finish. If you do use a compound, swirl remover, polish or wax with any kind of “cleaner” in it on a matte finish, you will begin to change the appearance of the matte finish. It will begin to look uneven and blotchy. As a result, it is vital that you do everything possible to not create scratches or swirls while caring for the vehicle on a regular basis.
Whether you have matte vinyl, a custom matte paint job, or an OEM matte paint job, there are several products that are safe to be used on these types of finishes to maintain and protect them. Here are some tips for keeping them looking their best!
- Avoid most automatic carwashes, especially the “brush” style as they can create scratches that cannot be removed.
- Always wash and dry the vehicle yourself for best results. All our car washes are safe and can be used on a matte finishes including Ultimate Wash & Wax Anywhere and Rinse Free Express Wash.
- Premium microfiber wash mitts and premium microfiber drying cloths are a must. Poor quality, dirty toweling will create swirls and scratches that can’t be removed from a matte finish.
- 2 buckets with Grit Guards in both buckets will also help reduce the chance of scratching.
- We do not recommend using clay, compound or swirls removers on matte finishes. If you do use a compound or swirl remover, the finish will begin to look blotchy and uneven. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove scratches, swirls, stains or any other below surface defect in matte finishes, so the key is to use the right product and techniques to start with.
- Polishes (cleaner/polishes or pure polish) should also be avoided. They will begin to change the appearance of the finish, and it will begin to look blotchy and uneven.
- Traditional liquid or paste waxes should not be used as they may also change the appearance of the matte finish. They could create blotchy and uneven appearance.
- Spray waxes, like Ultimate Quik Wax (G175), Gold Class Premium Quik Wax (G77) and Synthetic Express Spray Wax (D156) are safe to use and work great to add protection without changing appearance of the matte finish. Make sure and use premium, clean microfiber towels to ensure a scratch and swirl free finish.
- Spray detailers, like Ultimate Quik Detailer (G144), Gold Class Premium Quik Detailer (G76), Final Inspection (M34) and Last Touch (D155) are safe to use and will work great to remove light dust, fingerprints, fresh bird droppings etc. Again, always use premium, clean, dry microfiber towels for best results.
NOTE: If in doubt of what to use, contact the mfg of the vehicle, paint or wrap to confirm care instructions.