Most of the internet is afraid of matte paint – and for no reason. You may have heard us debunk some typical matte myths, but there’s one that we continue to see day in and day out: that matte paint is tough to care for. The most recent intrigue was sparked by the announcement of the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo (available in a Hyundai first matte grey). Media outlets and bloggers took to the streets claiming how much of a pain-in-the-@$$ this new matte option from Hyundai would be to care for (read more). Funny thing is, even Hyundai has fueled the flames with a precautionary pamphlet on proper care (read here). Bottom line, matte paint isn’t hard to care for and actually is significantly easier to maintain than a “regular” glossy car. We’re here to set the record straight once and for all.
Whether you have a matte car, a Gremlin, a BMW or a brand new Maybach Benz, the best car wash you’ll ever get is one that’s done by hand. A machine simply doesn’t cut it (read more). Sure, you may shorten your day by an extra 8 minutes, but your car is much better off. Automatic car washes utilize caustic chemicals to strip dirt, grease, grime, etc. Unfortunately, these chemicals also strip sealants or waxes that you’ve protected the car with – leaving the surface bare and vulnerable. Additionally, the cleaning “noodles” and twirling brushes have touched many, many cars before yours… and as you can probably see from looking, they’re not the cleanest things in the world. Other than choosing a matte car wash soap and learning how to properly wash any kind of car (learn here!), there’s nothing complicated about washing a matte car by hand.
Scratches, Swirls, & Polishing
Typically this is one of the first topics forum goers and media outlets want to cover, mostly because this is the #1 issue facing glossy cars. Unbeknownst to them (because frankly they don’t do much research), matte cars don’t get your typical swirl marks, holograms, hairline scratches, etc. You see, matte cars diffuse light that reflects off of the “flat” surface, whereas glossy cars reflect specularly (like a mirror). It’s that direct reflection that, when interrupted by a scratch, makes you notice a swirl mark or hologram. Putting two and two together, matte paint doesn’t show scratches because the surface is already diffusing light. Additionally, swirl marks are caused by machine buffers… and without having to use one, you just won’t get them. In many ways this alone makes matte paint easier to care for than glossy paint. No polishing means longer lasting factory finish, less repainting, and stronger UV protection throughout the life of the car. So while there’s a warning in regards to matte paint that says you shouldn’t polish (because it will smooth out the imperfections that make matte appear flat), you really don’t need to in the first place.
Protecting matte paint is much easier than you think. Unlike a glossy vehicle, you can’t use any type of paste wax on matte paint (even if it says matte safe, it will fill and gradually add a gloss – read more). Because of this, protecting matte paint may seem more involved, but we’ve taken care of all the brainwork for you with our molecular bonding matte paint sealant so all you have to do is apply. Protecting matte paint is easier than a wax because Matte Paint Sealant bonds instantly using water. It can be applied immediately after a car wash in just minutes, go over emblems without chalking or leaving residues, and it bonds instantly so there’s no cure time like a wax. See for yourself how easy it is: How To Protect a Matte Car.
Bug Splats to Bird Droppings
No special concoctions needed, just matte specific cleaning products that don’t use fillers, silicones, or waxes. Much like those for a glossy car, a matte specific detail spray is perfect for removing bird droppings and bug splats that haven’t caked on the surface. Oh, and if you read and believe that you need to stop the car on the highway to remove the bugs immediately, you’re crazy. You wouldn’t do that with a normal car and there’s absolutely no reason to do that with a matte car. If they have caked on the surface, fear not. Without the use of scrubbing, Matte Paint Cleanser loosens the contaminants so that they lift off the surface without the use of abrasive cleaning. Dealing with these unpleasant surprises is no harder with a matte car than it is a glossy car – and both scenarios are simple and easy.
Body Work & Repainting
With a matte car, body work and repainting is no more confusing than a regular car. Obviously you’re not going to do it yourself, but most manufacturers and body shops can handle you no problem. They won’t charge extra, and they know what they’re doing. There are essentially 3 or 4 major paint manufacturers, and every body shop uses the same codes provided by the factory to repaint pieces of your vehicle. If you do end up getting in a fender bender or get a nice key dragged across your hood, you’ll have to repaint just like a glossy car would. The fact remains, whether you have a matte car or a glossy car, there’s no polish or polisher that can fix a scratch that has dug through the clear coat and pigment layer.
Matte paint is not hard to care for – plain and simple. There’s no reason to be afraid of matte paint, as its unique finish actually makes it much more durable and long lasting than a glossy finish. Without the need for polishing, the clear coat will stay more durable and defensive against UVs and contaminants, and so long as you remember to protect with a matte paint sealant, you’ll have no issues whatsoever. Do us a favor and next time you hear speculation in forums or on media outlets, set the record straight and help us spread the word that matte paint isn’t as scary as people are making it out to be.