Rumors are far too common in the automobile world in regards to matte paint. People love it. People hate it. But like we’ve been saying all along, matte paint is not as difficult as you may have heard!
Our office frequently gets calls, e-mails, tweets, and comments in regards to matte paint. We enjoy talking to people and answering questions but in case you’re pressed for time, here’s a list of some of the most common concerns we get and our responses to them.
1) The dealership said I can’t clean it!
This question makes me laugh. These so called “experts” on the cars they’re selling don’t know the very basics about the paint on the car. BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac…it happens all over. Car buyers and others tell us how car salesmen actually steer people away from factory matte because they say it can’t be cleaned. You know as well as I do that that is not true. Dr. Beasley’s has a full line of products made specifically for matte cars that has been widely reviewed!
2) How often do I have to wash my matte vehicle? Every week?
Classic question. Usually comes after the previous question. The answer is the same as any other car. There are factors involved in answering this question like weather, driving conditions, amount of driving, storage of the car…etc. But the short of it is you wash the car the same as your would a glossy car to keep it clean and looking nice. For a guide to decide what’s best, check out this article on how often you should wash you car.
3) What happens if something gets on it? Like bugs, bird droppings, rain. Do I have to immediately get out and clean it up or else I risk a stain?
Well what are you doing to protect your matte paint? If your car is sealed with a matte paint sealant then there’s little to worry about. Our rule of thumb for contaminants like bird droppings, water spots, and other light easy to remove contaminants is to get it before it dries into the clear coat.
If you keep a bottle of matte paint touch-up spray like Matte Final Finish in your car along with a microfiber towel to get those contaminants, you’ll be ready to be proactive. There’s no need to go to a screeching halt on the freeway because of a bird, leave it until you get to where you’re going.
4) I probably can’t drive it in the winter because of snow/salt right?
Actually you can. Again going back to the fact that if the car is sealed, then you don’t have to worry. Just like any other car, you’ll want to wash it so that salt isn’t sitting on the finish for too long.
If for some reason you’re worried about snow itself just landing on the car, don’t worry. Be smart and don’t use a scraper to get the snow/ice off the paint. It’s fine to leave it until it melts or until your next car wash. Trying to get the snow off will probably lead to more problems than leaving it there.
5) It gets hot where I live, is that probably with UV rays?
UV rays can often cause some trouble for paint finishes, glossy or matte. The fact that UV rays are raining down on the car for hours on end can lead to the paint fading and discoloring. A clear coat can help and provide some protection, but it’s not a one stop fix. However, a strong durable paint sealant will help exponentially.
If you haven’t noticed yet, the key to matte paint, like any other paint is to be preventative. Spending a little money for a sealant you only need to apply a couple times a year is going to save you from trouble in the future.
6) What happens if it gets scratched? I heard I’d have to repaint the whole car…or at least half.
Questions about scratches in matte paint are common questions for us. People can be a tad misguided when it comes to scratches, so I can clear those up. It’s pretty easy to notice where touch-up paint was used, thus it’s not actually fixing any scratches, it’s just making it less noticeable. Its other function is to prevent rust from forming and spreading. So if you actually want to fix a scratch, normally the entire panel would be repainted. That’s exactly the same when it comes to matte cars.
In order to fix a scratch and make it look right, take you car to an authorized matte paint dealership. Ideally, if it’s a factory matte car like a BMW Frozen paint, then go to an authorized BMW matte paint shop. They’ll have the right paint to properly match the rest of the car. If it’s a custom matte paint job, then go to the place where you got it painted. These tips will ensure that the colors match correctly and they don’t have to repaint the whole car to avoid mismatched colors.
But scratches only need repainting if they break the clear coat. Matte paint finishes have an imperfect surface filled with rises and valleys that deflect light, giving it that “dull” look. So if you’re worried about swirl marks and other micro-scratches, don’t. You won’t see micro-scratches because the surface is already imperfect. Here’s an article explaining the surface of matte paint finishes and why you don’t have to buff matte paint micro-scratches.
7) Can I take it to a car wash?
Yes and no. You can take your car to a hand car wash that specifically knows how to work with matte paint. No automatic car washes can properly clean matte paint. If you take your car to a car wash that doesn’t know how to care for matte paint, they’ll use car wash soap and other products that already have waxes, silicons, optical brighteners and other fillers that will ruin that matte finish you wanted. Matte car washes can be a little more expensive, but it’ll ensure the look of that new matte car you wanted.
8) So I really only need the sealant right? I can use my normal body soap and touch up spray right?
This goes back to the last question. The sealant is necessary, yes you need it. But if you’re using that gallon of car wash soap you bought from Target two years ago, most likely it has fillers and waxes that naturally make cars shine. You don’t want any of those products touching your matte car.
Again, the RULE is, no chemicals touch matte paint that are not made for mate paint!
9) If I can’t buff/polish the paint, how do I get stains, scratches, imperfections out?
Talking about tough stains like water spots and sun baked bird droppings that stained the finish, a powerful matte paint cleanser is the way to go. Matte paint cleansers will be able to get stains and imperfections out chemically without the need to buff or rub the car hard, risking a shine in the finish. The chemical reaction will break apart the stain and allow a simple microfiber cloth to remove the stains.
If you own a matte car or are thinking about getting a matte car, these questions might pop up from time to time. This article was provided for just that reason, a tool to use going forward. If you have any other concerns that we did not address, leave a comment and we’ll address any issue you may have.