A popular trend today, Matte paint is becoming more and more common on the roads; thanks to programmes like “Pimp my Ride” and numerous celebrities revealing their personalised vehicles with flat-finish (or Matte) paintjob, what started as an awkward look hinting that the vehicle owner wasn’t able to finance a proper paint job, has now become a sign of wealth and status.
Matte paint finishes are nowadays either part of your original car purchase from the OEM, or done through custom after-market workshops. Either way, taking care of your Matte paint is important as it differs vastly from normal, glossy paint finishes. Here are some great tips to ensure your Matte finish stays fresh:
Avoid Automatic Car Washes – the type with the rollers and brushes that automatically moves over your car whilst you sit inside. The golden rule for washing a Matte car is to never use standard brushes, sponges or cloths; if taking your car to a manual car wash (the kind where actual humans wash the vehicles by hand) – keep this in mind. Using any of these abrasive tools can lead to shiny, uneven areas on the bodywork which need to be resprayed by professionals. Use only soft Microfibre cloth on Matte paint.
No Wax or Polish: Whilst being the go-to solution for normal glossy paint work, waxes and polishes are the nemesis of a Matte paint job. Basically, whatever treatments you usually apply to gloss-finishes vehicles are out of bounds for your Matte painted vehicle. There are special solutions designed for Matte paint and your dealership of customisation shop should be able to instruct you correctly, and even provide you with the product you need.
Use Caution Around Your Car: Matte paint does not show up micro scratches very easily, thanks to it not being shiny and reflecting the damage. However, it is still susceptible to damage and showing up marks. Putting your hands on the Matte paint will show up immediately. My advice – keep a microfibre cloth on hand and give a quick wipe if you have touched the paint. Do not lean against the car either, as little scratches caused by buckles and rivets will be costly to repair.
Washing the Car Yourself: If you are washing the car yourself, it is recommended to do so out of direct sunlight and not when the body is baked hot in the sun. If you are using a pressure washer, make sure the nozzle is kept at least 25 cm away from the surface. Use recommended cleaning solutions and water, and do not let water dry on the body – use a dry microfibre cloth to towel it down.
Damage Repair: If you have managed to damage or scratch the paint work, resist the urge to try to fix it yourself. You cannot rub, scrub or polish damage or messes (like bird droppings or mud splatter) away; stay away from anything potentially abrasive and rather seek professional advice. If all else fails, go back to your dealer and ask for guidance, or visit a professional, high-end car wash that knows how to deal with this specific paint look.
Sticking to the above basics will ensure your Matte-paintwork stays in great condition, allowing you to keep up the swag!
By Desh Bechan