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How To Take Proper Care of Your Car's Matte Paint Finish

Taking care of a vehicle should be second nature for any petrolhead, but it might not feel the same for regular car users.
Frozen Grey paint on BMW M3 E92, another name for matte paint 6 photos
Frozen Grey paint on BMW M3 E92, another name for matte paintDodge Viper SRT with matte white paint2017 Ford GT with matte black paintMicrofiber towelNever use a sponge like this one to wash a matte painted car
Whatever the case, you should do your best to take care of your car. It does not matter if you own a rare model, or just the average white sedan with black bumpers. You still have to take care of it, and this is not because of the money someone (not necessarily you) paid for it when it was new.

Instead, you should take care of the said vehicle out of respect for the environment, which will be damaged if you stop the regular maintenance of a vehicle and ditch it to get a new one. Evidently, taking care of a car is not cheap, but it will give you a more pleasant experience than simply getting in a dirty vehicle and driving it until its wheels fall off.

Today’s auto guide focuses on a rather mysterious element: matte paint finishes. No, we are not talking about regular paint that has faded out to the point where it has become matte. We are referring to the purposely matte paint that has been applied to automobiles.

We must note that this guide focuses on OEM matte finishes, but that it also applies to aftermarket matte finishes as long as they had been implemented with the same procedure.

This does not work for you if you have a vinyl wrap or a rubberized paint. The latter two require a different kind of care, and you should inquire about it with the professionals that apply them before paying for a new color on your vehicle.Don’t go to an automatic car wash
If you have a car with a matte paint finish, it is best to clean it yourself. If you happen to be in a hurry, or it is inconvenient for you to clean the vehicle on your own, go to a car wash that still uses humans. Instruct the person that will cleanse your prized vehicle not to touch it with any brushes, sponges, or whatever tools he or she uses for any other car.

Automatic car washes can cause uneven shiny spots on matte paint, which will not go away quickly. In fact, they will be costly to repair, which is why many automakers that have offered matte paint on recent model year vehicles have asked their owners to hand wash their cars every single time.

So, remember, do not use a brush or sponge on a car with matte paint. Regular wash mitts, terry cloths, and paper towels are also forbidden. Only micro fiber (the extremely soft fabric) is permitted. The damage might be irreparable, and a respray will be necessary. The repair is done by reapplying matte clear coat on the entire panel where the said surface damage was sustained.Never use traditional wax on matte paint
Polish or a waxing does miracles for a regular car. It will make it shine like it did when it first left the paint shop. I remember waxing one of my previous cars one day and achieving a finish that let me see my reflexion in it even a few days after I had completed the work.

The joy described above will not happen if you have a matte paint. Moreover, if you try to apply any treatment of this sort to this type of paint, it will be damaged. That means waxing, polishes, paint sealers, paint chip repair pens, and whatever treatment for regular paint is strictly forbidden for matte paint.

If your heart is not contempt with this kind of care requirements, you will gladly learn that there are chemical solutions for your needs. Look for a “liquid matte paint sealant,” but be entirely sure that it is formulated NOT to increase the painted surface’s gloss rating, which otherwise means disaster for matte paint.Micro fiber or bust
Regular paint jobs are not that easy to scratch as they once were, and this applies to matte painted cars. In the case of the latter, micro-scratches are nearly invisible, because there is no shine to the clear coat layer that is specific to this kind of paint. However, just because you may not see those little scratches that attract your eye it does not mean that they do not exist.

In other words, matte paint finish should not be touched by anything except water and specialized cleaning solutions. Otherwise, do not even put your hands on it, and make sure you do not touch the paint when you exit or enter the vehicle. Those small rivets on your jeans might damage the paint as well, so be sure to get into the car carefully, and instruct the passengers to do the same.

Evidently, matte paint is not made out of unobtainium so that it will last as long as any other kind of paint put on an automobile. The only thing one must remember is to take care of it by respecting its individual requirements. That does not sound so difficult, right? Only use products that are designed for matte finishes
The only thing that works on any paint for cleaning purposes is water. Matte finishes will require specific solutions to clean, and almost anything else can damage it. Anything from wax, cleaning solvents, and whatever solution devised to bring shine to regular paint will lead to potential damage when a matte paint is involved.

It is recommended not to wash a car that has matte paint if the sheet metal is hot, like it might be after sitting in sunlight for several hours. You must also be sure to wipe down any water left after the washing process is concluded, but it must be done with a dry microfiber towel.

If you are using a pressure washer to clean the car, make sure you keep the nozzle at least 10 inches (25 cm) away from the surface of the body. This applies to regular paint finishes as well, but they can be fixed easier if you happen to disobey this rule. Be sure to try out a new pressure washer on something else before using it on a matte painted vehicle to have an idea about its power and capacity.Don’t try to fix damage with traditional methods
As we wrote above, you cannot polish or wax matte painted automobiles. Doing either job will ruin the paint, and so will applying stickers, magnets, or whatever solution to the paint job. Any contaminant, like bugs, bird droppings, or tree sap, should be removed immediately.

Do not rush into rubbing the said contaminant with a wet cloth, because you risk damaging the matte finish. Instead, you must use water, and then a wet clean cloth soaked in car-wash soap.

Be sure not to use something that contains aggressive cleaning solvents, and avoid excessive friction when attempting to remove the stain. The remaining water spots should be cleaned off with a damp microfiber towel.

According to specialists in the field, the best way to clean a matte painted car is to use two buckets of water, each with its set of microfiber towels. The first bucket should be filled with a solution of water and liquid car-wash soap, while the second should only have water. The wheels should be washed using a third bucket, because they have too much dirt and will contaminate the soapy bucket.

After the soapy water is applied to a part of the car using a cloth, the said fabric should be doused in the second bucket to prevent smudge being carried back into the first one. Be sure not to press too firm on the body surface when you are cleaning dirt or any impurities from the surface. Wipe down the excess water left on the body, and then admire your work. That was not so bad, was it?


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