If You Buff Matte Paint, You will RUIN your Finish!

The average person isn’t going to put a Rupes polisher to the hood of their matte Mercedes. However, we think it’s important to show you what happens when you do buff matte paint.

From time to time we get panicked calls because someone had a scratch or chips in their matte finish and without even thinking, tried to polish it out. They call us in hopes that we can help them fix it.  But it’s not that simple.

The surface of matte paint isn’t smooth. There are actually lots of ridges and grooves in the paint that allow the reflection of light to scatter, giving it that dull look. So if you buff matte paint, it’s going to smooth out those intentional imperfections and create an unwanted shine.

Matte Paint Diagram

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

The only way (currently) to fix this issue is it to repaint the car. Repainting is going to properly resurface the finish to restore the look.

So basically since we don’t expect anyone to destroy the paint on their own cars, we have a hood from an old Nissan and painted it matte. It’s a single stage black finish and as you can see, it’s been beat up pretty bad. It’s one of the first matte surfaces we used for testing for our products.  That’s also why it’s the perfect surface to try and buff out some blemishes.

Granted being able to buff out scratches in matte paint hasn’t been solved yet, that’s not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that knowing how to clean and protect matte finishes isn’t as widely known as it should be. Please share, educate, and spread the word on matte paint care so that don’t continue to buff matte paint!


  • Eric

    The end statement is “you really won’t need to buff matte paint, hardly ever”. Please edit the last comment OUT. “you really won’t need to buff matte paint, NEVER”. Never Ever. OR would you ever buff matte?

    • Eric,

      Thanks for the comment and you’re absolutely right! As of this point in time, there is no reason to buff matte paint. However, I’m continuing to be optimistic to think that there will be a solution to remove scratches from matte paint with either a polisher or another piece of technology.
      When that technology becomes available, you can believe this article will be updated.
      As far as removing scratches from matte paint, that option is not available as of yet, however you can remove/hide scratches from matte vinyl with the use of a heat gun (on many wraps which are self-healing).


  • j74656

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/65587a3c8d83b14f85b544c1642bccd9a0ffdecbb4597d488e78819ac0bb4bf3.jpg If the scratch has only just touched the matt coat layer and no deeper and appears white in appearance then try using Humbrol Matt Coat. Its available in a small bottle available from most model hobby stores and online. For my scratch I was able to just apply a small amount on a cloth – not a brush! and only apply what you need to. A finger width will do it. Leave it dry for 10 minutes and you might need to use Isopropyl Alcohol and very very lightly just apply over the matt coat to remove any excess.