Why You Can’t Wax Matte Paint Finishes

Wax and matte paint are mortal enemies for one reason: wax gradually begins to reverse the ‘flat’ effect. Waxes are most commonly known as protection products that yield a shine, mostly because they’re made of carnauba and filling ingredients. In basic speak, traditional waxes fill imperfections to create an even surface. Problem is, matte paint is full of imperfections. In fact, it’s those very imperfections and microscopic dimples that diffuse light rays and make the surface appear non-reflective to the human eye. Now I know what you’re thinking… what does that mean? I put together some visuals that may clarify this concept a bit further.

gloss clear coat reflection diagram

The even clear coat creates a reflective finish on glossy cars.


matte paint clear coat reflection diagram

Matte paint diffuses light, therefore creating a visibly non-reflective surface.

Now for protection. As you would imagine, adding a wax or sealant to a glossy car essentially adds to the surfaces ability to reflect light specularly. By covering up and filling in blemishes, any scratches or swirls that would otherwise be noticed by scattering light are successfully filled and shielded from your vision. With matte paint, if this happens, you lose your non-reflective appearance. As you can see, enough wax would begin to reverse the matte effect. Because of matte paint’s need for untraditional means of protection Matte Paint Coating was born. As the diagram shows, its unique chemistry bonds to the surface at the molecular level and does not fill like a wax would. Unlike any other protection product available for matte paint, the surface remains ‘flat’ and not glossy.

Wax on matte paint

Wax fills and can make matte paint begin to appear glossy.


How Matte Paint Sealant Works

Matte Paint Coating keeps matte paint non-reflective while protecting it.

So you see, waxing a matte car essentially reverses the effect that makes your ‘flat’ painted car unique. All paste or liquified waxes should be avoided, as the idea behind carnauba (for example) is to fill imperfections. Once again, it’s those imperfections that make matte finishes appear the way they do. Hopefully this clarifies a bit of the worry surrounding matte paint, and I trust you’ll invest in properly protecting the paint to retain its unique appearance. If you ever run into questions, we’re happy to help: facebook, MyTeam, or comment below.