Matte Paint Care Made Easy

Washing Matte PaintMost 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.

Washing

Clean Matte CarWhether 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

Protect Matte CarProtecting 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.

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  • J

    Thanks again James.

    What about those commercial car washes with a the manual spray booths that cost a few quarters. Would you recommend against those if we are just using a rinse function to remove dust or bugs? Or is the risk of soap residue in the booth and piping splashing onto the matte finish too great?

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com Dr. Beasley’s

      J,

      Actually the manual spray booths aren’t a bad alternative to your driveway. Just never use their chemicals. You can always bring your own bucket/products/etc. to those places, so really you’d only be using their water. I don’t see any risks, and it should make for a great alternative if rinsing/cleaning at home is tough. In many ways the booth puts you at an advantage because not all driveways are covered, and washing/sealing/cleaning/etc. should (for the most part) be done in a shaded area to prevent against water spots. That said, I think you have a great idea and it should work perfectly.

      As always, we’re here to help if you have any other questions!

      - James

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  • http://drxbeasleys florus

    i just want to know if i paint my car matte black with matte clearcoat and have a defect on the spray job how do i repair it with out polishing the car or can i polish and it will still be matte
    kind regards
    F.V

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com Dr. Beasley’s

      F.V

      The direct answer to your question is no, you should not polish the car. The matte clear coat itself has fine imperfections that, if you smooth them out, will be rendered ineffective. You will see that area reflect more light and be noticeably inconsistent from the natural finish of the clear coat. Polishing simply reverses the “flat” effect that the car was intended to give off. That uniform factory look will be compromised.

      To fix defects in the paint, repainting is your only option at this time. I hope this helps and be sure to let me know if there’s anything else I can answer for you.

      - James

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  • Jesse Giambatista

    I live in Vermont, we have long winters with lots of snow. Due to the snow and ice, we have lots of salt on our roads. I’m worried the combination of snow and salt will destroy the paint job if I go with Matte paint. Thoughts?

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com Dr. Beasley’s

      Jesse,

      You could throw heaps of snow and salt on the car and as long as you’ve protected it, you’re fine. There’s absolutely no difference here between a matte and a glossy car. The snow, the sun, the salt, the dirt – it all affects the car somewhat negatively, but this is the exact same case with a “normal” glossy car. Just stay protected and you’ll be fine.

      Hope this helps and let me know if you need anything.

      James

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  • J

    James,

    Another question I have is in regards to clear bras that we sometimes see installed to protect against chips on paint… would a clear bra on matte paint give an illusion of gloss because the bra is smooth and possibly reflective, or will the matte clear coat continue to diffuse light through the clear bra?

    Thanks for any insight.

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com Dr. Beasley’s

      You’re exactly right, it does make the surface reflective. We detailed/photographed a C63 in matte grey and he had clear bra in specific areas (wheel arches mostly). I’ll post a quick blog about it today along with a picture to show you how it looks. Keep an eye out later today, I’ll also email you to check it out.

      Thanks for your question.

      - James

  • J

    James, is there a safe way to remove paint transfer in case some uncaring person dings a matte door in a parking lot? Would the matte paint cleanser work for that?

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      J,

      Should work fine, but worst case scenario some paint thinner (or even gasoline) may be needed, in which case you’ll want to wash and protect the car immediately afterward.

      I recommend trying Matte Paint Cleanser first. Let me know if you need anything else (sorry for the delay – new comment system wasn’t notifying us)!
      James

  • Samantha

    Just bought the protection kit for matt finishes for my Can-Am Spyder. They are big and the 2012 models are all matt. Beautiful machines – looking forward to years of gorgeousness with your products.

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      Happy to help Samantha! Thanks for reading!

      James

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  • tony

    James I washed my car and didn’t dry it in time and now my hood and my trunk have soapy water spots. How can I remove them? Also why is it t
    hat the top of the car is already fading after only 2 months?

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      Not a problem, Tony.

      Matte Paint Cleanser will do the trick and have the surface looking great. Spray it on the areas with water spots, let it sit for about 30 seconds, and wipe with a microfiber towel. Should do the trick, just remember protect afterward.

      As for your paintwork fading… it could be due to lack of protection, but typically that takes a few years. It sounds, however, like your matte paint doesn’t have a clear coat. May I ask if it’s factory, aftermarket, or a wrap?

      If it’s aftermarket and the shop used a single stage paint instead of a matte clear coat, your surface is a lot more vulnerable to UVs, which cause fading. It’s not uncommon at all, but certainly a problem.

      Let me know and I’ll do my best to help you out. Thanks for reading!

      James

  • Konrad Polak

    HI I have a 2012 ducati with matte paint and it has a very small scratch on my paint, it is very small and not deep at all but i cant stand it. Is there anything I can do to fix this or something I can try before getting it repainted?

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      There are some matte clear coat touch up pens on the market. Most people don’t know about them, but you can find them for under $15. Should do the trick, at least partially.

      It can be a bit messy, but it will fill & remove the scratch.

      Hope this helps!

      James

      • Konrad Polak

        Thank you very much I’ll give it a try and let you know how it went and by the way love your line of cleaning products for matte paint

        ——————————

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  • http://www.facebook.com/carl.woodburn Carl Woodburn

    Hi on the door of my car there is a slightly shiny area where it looks like something has rubbed against it. Is there a way of covering up so it looks more Matt and less shiny again?

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      Hi Carl,

      Depends what the real problem is. If someone brushed down the finish by leaning on it with jeans and it has become somewhat glossy, there may be nothing you can do. However, if it’s just oil or buildup (for instance), you can use Matte Paint Cleanser to remove it from the surface.

      Matte Paint Sealant will also help to cover it up and even out the finish, but once you start to smooth out the intentional imperfections in matte paint, there’s no going back.

      Do you by chance have a photo? I can give you a better idea if I can see it up close. Feel free to post one here or shoot it to me at james@drbeasleys.com.

      Best,

      James

  • Geogos

    Hi James,

    I’m Geogos all the way from Singapore in part of asia region. I having a headache now dealing with birds dropping, I just got my whole car respray in matte and I realise that after I wash and clear away the dropping, it leaves a grossy stain behind, but when I look closer. it wasn’t a stains, but part the matte finish paint have eaten up or caked by it. In close up, i can see clearly that there is a mild in-depth different and between the paint. It really hurt to see that happen.

    Could yours “Matte Final Finish” or “Matte Paint Cleanser” product do the job as what you all have claim? cause I already have use other brand, but couldn’t solve it. I will not hesitate to purchase your product, so long it works!! all the want is the matte finish is back to it’s uniformly spread.

    Please kindly give me some advise and recommend

    Thank you,

    Geogos

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      Geogos,

      I agree, even a small difference hurts the appearance. Fortunately, yes, both products will help greatly. Matte Final Finish will remove them with ease if the droppings are fresh, and if they are caked on such as in your situation, Matte Paint Cleanser should help with just a few sprays…

      Let Matte Paint Cleanser sit on the surface for 30 seconds to a minute and remove. Be sure to protect the finish afterward to prevent against such damage in the future.

      Matte Paint Cleanser wont repair the matte paint, but anything that may be clogging up the textured finish and adding gloss will be removed quickly and easily.

      I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Take care and thanks for reading!

      James

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  • Joe

    I recently bought a 2013 Veloster with matte paint, and I had a minor gas spill on the side of the car. I came home and rinsed it off within 10 minutes, but will that ruin the paint?

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      Not at all, Joe. You’re fine.

      I do recommend washing and re-sealing the area, however, just to be sure the finish is protected at all times.

      Congrats on your new Veloster!

      James

  • JRJalapeno

    I’m ready to buy a veloster matte and the dealer put their name on the back like most dealers do. I want them to remove it before I take it home but I’m not sure if its safe to do so. Should I just leave it to avoid any potential damage? Thx

    • JRJalapeno

      Also sine it’s a new purchase, do I need to use the cleanser before applying the sealant…or can I just wash and seal? It’s been in the showroom at the dealer.

      • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

        You’ll be fine with just washing and sealing for now. I recommend a thorough look-around first just incase.

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      You should be fine as long as they’re careful when removing it (I’m sure they will be). If there is any sticker residue you can always use Matte Paint Cleanser to remove it from the surface.

      Congrats on the new Veloster!

  • Jen

    California duster ok to use on matte paint? Lots of pollen covering the car.

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      We don’t usually recommend california dusters on any surface. It’s safer to use a detail spray (Matte Final Finish) and a microfiber towel to avoid dragging anything across a dry surface.

  • PC

    Hi James,

    I’ve got a couple of questions that I hope you can shed some light on, I’ve tried forum but theres just not enough experience with matte paint:

    - I’ve brown spots on the side of the car behind my front wheel, from Googling it seems to be “rail dust”. Forums suggest using Clay bar to remove them but I don’t think that works on matte paint. Do you have any suggestions?

    - I still have that “BlueEfficiency” sign on the side of the car, is it still safe to remove it if the car is a bit over a year old. Would there be discolouration or anything like that?

    - Are there anyways to remove or reduce scruff marks? I’ve got this rainbow shaped scruff or swirl mark on the trunk and its quite visible under daylight.

    Thank you in advance,
    PC

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      PC,

      Happy to help and glad you found us.

      - As for the brown spots, the assessment is correct. You can’t clay matte, but you can use a paint cleanser. We use Matte Paint Cleanser to remove staining and dust and have had success removing rail dust and exhaust dust. Depending on the severity you may have to let the product sit longer and repeat multiple times as it is designed to be “gently powerful” if that makes sense. The next action to take is protect the finish—this will make it easier to remove when the environment strikes again. We are planning a more intensive matte paint cleaning syrum that will make cleaning up these harder to remove contaminants much easier… stay tuned if it’s a frequent problem.

      - As for the “BlueEfficiency” badge… I’ve seen these types of signs safely removed without discoloration but I can’t say I have on matte finishes. We have removed clear bra without a problem, and any remaining residue can be easily removed with Matte Paint Cleanser.

      - Protect the finish and keep it clean. It’s tricky because when a matte car is covered in dust, you have to imagine two rough surfaces fighting against each other. If the surface is protected and clean, the minor damage to the surface is happening to the protection layer which is much tougher than your paint. Unfortunately you can’t polish matte paint but we’re in the process of conceptualizing a new solution.

      Thanks for reading and your questions! Hope to hear from you again soon.

      James

  • tjp77

    I have a Mercedes W140 with two-tone paint, and the lower half has a matte finish, but its not quite the same kind of finish that modern full-car matte paint jobs seem to use. Will this product still work? I’m having a hard time finding a good solution.

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      Absolutely our matte paint care products will work! They are safe and effective on all flat finishes, even vinyl wraps. Let us know how it goes!

  • Jean

    Hi, I just plasti dipped my car and need to know what products to use as it has a tiny scratch which happened when i dusted it. I know there is a wax which is called MATT DETAILING which you spray and wipe with a BLACK MICRO FIBER CLOTH to protect it from happening again… Can you please help and let me know what one needs to purchase and from where please as no one in the USA ship to Malta. Your help is very much appreciated.

    Regards.
    Jean

  • d2

    I have a satin finish on my truck and had gotten a small scratch..made them mistake of trying compound and shined it..will this help take that shine away and blend it a bit

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      Unfortunately, if the surface has been polished or otherwise smoothed out there’s not much you can do besides respraying that particular panel. Our matte products are designed to retain the original look of the matte finish, so they won’t necessarily make the surface look flatter.

      The one exception to this may be the Matte Paint Sealant. it isn’t designed to take away shine, but we have seen it help even out surface blotches and unevenness before. That may be worth a try. And besides, it’s a good idea to keep a sealant on the vehicle anyway.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions. Thanks for reading!

  • Mike G

    Hello, I got to my bike and noticed this hairline scratch? Honestly I’m not entirely sure what it is… Like the paint rubbed off or something randomly. Any ideas on how I could treat it? Your advice would be greatly appreciate it. It’s very minor, but it’s driving me quite insane.

  • Glennc

    Hello James,

    I don’t own a car yet that has this kind of finish because of those common concerns about the upkeep, but your article here has helped in relieving those fears. Thanks! Well written!

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  • Mike Graham

    Touch up could be a bit tricky on a matte finish unless you have a single stage paint with just the right amount of flattening agent in it.

  • Karen Jennings

    There might be some unexplainable reason people are afraid of Matte paint as they think it might be very hard to accomplish. But actually, people will find it very easy after reading this post.

  • Kelly

    James-

    I waxed my Matte Grey Veloster before I knew better. It didn’t totally ruin the finish, but it is a little bit shiny. Is there any way to restore it?

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      Hey Kelly,
      Wax could be difficult to remove from matte finishes because it gets caught in the little groves of the paint. The only thing we know that may possible help remove the wax is Dr. Beasley’s Matte Paint Cleanser.
      Out of curiosity, what country did you get your car from? Did you receive a box of Dr. Beasley’s Matte Paint Care Prescription with the vehicle?

      Good luck and I hope that you can restore the paint, let me know if you have any other questions.

  • laurie

    Hello! Wondering what the process is if you decide to go back to a regular gloss clear. I want to put a satin finish on my car, but also want to know what to do if I decide to go back glossy in a few years. Sand and re-clear?? Thanks!

  • chris

    Matte is so easy to care for! If you can spare 15 minutes twice a month, your car will look great for years. A quick rinse with some Dr. B, and then apply that wonderous smelling sealant. Towel off and your done! This product is excellent!

  • Ltk

    I have a question, what would you do if you hit a piece of tire on the freeway and it leaves black scuff marks on the paint?

    • http://www.drbeasleys.com/ Dr. Beasley’s

      Hey Ltk!

      We’ve gotten this question a few times and did some testing to ensure the right response! Matte Paint Cleanser from http://www.drbeasleys.com is perfect! It’ll remove many if not all of the black scuff marks and road grime associated with the tire. Make sure that when using it, only scrub the finish with your microfiber towel when the paint is lubricated with the cleanser! If there’s more on there and you’re still scrubbing, you can risk damaging the paint.

      If the force was great enough that it etched the paint, then unfortunately there isn’t much to be done at that point.

      I hope this works for you! Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

      Will @drbeasleys

  • Fire

    I laugh when I read articles written by people that have no idea what they are talking about. I work for a Major Paint Company that has worked very close with the repair process of matte finishes on foreign and domestic vehicles. Did you know that at the time of purchasing a matte vehicle from a dealer you have to sign a waiver for the finish. There is no warranty. Hmmm. I wonder why that is? Because it doesn’t hold up to normal driving conditions or elements (period) Scratches are not visible? Really? Tell them what happens after getting tree sap off of a matte finish. Any manufacturer. How about a Harley painted denim Black after you rub on the tank for a while when riding, Makes it shiny and there’s no fix except a re-spray. And as far as every shop has a repair process or can repair a matte finish. Complete BS. Good luck with that. There are very few “painters” left in quality shops across the U.S. Most are just applicators that cant even tint a color. I would love to watch your normal everyday shop try to repair a matte finish and blend within a panel.