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Ultimate Guide To Matte Car Paint Care

Matte paintwork on Ferrari 488Matte finishes have become popular over the last few years just like their unique appearance, require unique aftercare.

However, the lack of guidance provided by manufacturers on looking after matte car finishes only makes the issue worse.

This is due to the fact that matte paintwork, and matte vinyl wraps, have the complete opposite structure to a glossy finish.

What makes matte paint, matte?

A glossy paint job is structurally flat, and the flatter it is the more gloss and reflections if provides.

Take a look at a piece of glass; it’s super smooth and therefore very reflective.

However, matte paint jobs are structurally rough so doesn’t allow light to reflect back which in turn creates a ‘dull’ appearance.

Therefore, if you polish a matte finish, it will become smoother and ‘flatter’ and reflect more light, making it look glossy.

However, polishing a matte car finish isn’t the only way to ruin it.

As even traditional car care products such as car wax, car polish and most spray on products won’t be suitable and make it look worse.

This is due to any silicone, polymer or carnauba wax ingredients which will darken a matte finish and cause finish issues.

So, if you are looking to clean your matte car finish and keep it looking new, these following sections should help with your matte car paint care.

Cleaning matte car paint

Washing your matte car paint will be the most regular and necessary starting point of care so do it well.

So use a non-silicone, wax-free shampoo so you don’t make it patchy or slick looking.

And using a dedicated matte paint car shampoo will ensure no problems occur on a weekly wash and keeps it looking fresh.

However, feel free to carry on using your favourite lambswool or microfibre wash mitt and microfibre drying towel.

But after washing and drying your matte car paint, deep clean it with Swissvax Opaque Pre-Cleaner.

This will be as close to a polish as you can get but is just a cleansing solution as they don’t contain abrasives.

Therefore they will help clean off light marks and can help clean off light imperfections if they are above-surface transfers.

But as mentioned, these are not abrasive so don’t expect to be able to rub away scratches, they won’t and can’t (looking after matte car paint does require care!).

Once cleaning is complete, protecting your matte paintwork can further improve the appearance, and reduce future risk, of scratches.

Truth behind polishing matte car paint

The most popular reason for wanting to polish anything is due to scratches or imperfections.

Therefore the most popular question we get asked is; can you polish matte car paint?

Matte car paint work isn’t matte naturally and looks matte due to the ‘rough’ texture that it provides.

Hence why it doesn’t reflect light very well as rough finish bounces light in all different directions and doesn’t give a clear reflection.

So if you start mechanically polishing a matte finish you will start to make it smoother which will start to reflect more light and start to look glossy.

Therefore unlike its glossy counterpart which can be polished, sanded, machined or glazed, matte finishes can’t be treated with any of these solutions; or it will start looking like a gloss finish.

And even if your bottle of polish at home says ‘non-abrasive’ it can be loaded with silicone or polymer which will still make it shiny, so stick to matte-safe products!

So there are really only two ways to look after matte paintwork and matte wraps; cleaning, as written above, and protecting them.

Protecting car matte paint

Once you have washed and pre-cleaned your matte car paint, or is already new, the next step is protection.

And although Matte car paint protection isn’t as widely available as gloss finish products, there are still many options.

So if you enjoy to wax your car you still can but again, only with matte-safe products like Swissvax Opaque.

This is a wax dedicated for use on matte finish paintwork and will add protection without adding shine.

However if you prefer something more durable then there are some longer-lasting alternatives.

The latest release of CarPro Skin will add a highly durable coating similar to a ceramic coat.

This will add far better protection than a natural wax but will take more time to prepare and apply.

But the other benefit is far greater UV protection making your paintwork or vinyl wrap stay looking new for longer.

Maintaining matte car paintwork

Keeping your matte finish car looking good each week can be as simple as a normal wash.

But again, it just requires some matte-safe products and some more care taken over product choice.

Using silicone based products will only add to a greasy and patchy look.

So use a decent matte-specific shampoo and a quick detailer so you can keep it clean for when you find a spot you missed or a passing bird left a present!

And of course some decent microfibres will be your best friend when cleaning, protecting or maintaining your matte car paint.

If you’ve come across a problem with your matte car paintwork and can’t find help on here let us know!

Recommended kit for matte car paint

The Swissvax Discovery kit with Opaque products are designed to cover all bases for matte car paint care.

All your shampoo, cleansing solution and matte-safe wax is included plus your towels and applicators.

Plus even aftercare with its matte-safe quick detailer for worry-free quick clean ups.

It will last 1-2 years for average care so only £10 a month, cheaper and less damaging than the hand car wash!

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