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Protecting a matte surface

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When you have a matte wrap on your car, or just matte paintwork, you need to take care what protective product you are using. Protecting a matte finish is just as important as on a normal surface, but you need to be careful what you use.

Contents

What is a matte finish

There are 2 typical finishes on a surface, glossy or matte. When a surface is glossy, the surface will be reflective, shiny and has a very smooth surface. Matte is pretty much the opposite of that.

Matte vs. gloss
Matte vs. gloss

Difficult to protect or polish

The problem with a matte finish is that you don’t want to add gloss. When you look at a glossy surface with an imperfection (scratch, Swirl etc.), you’ll notice how the surface appears to be imperfect. Because the surface imperfection isn’t glossy, it stands out. We can fix this by polishing. The polish will remove a part of the paint, and will leave a microscopical smooth surface.
Matte is the opposite of this, it isn’t glossy and the surface isn’t a perfectly microscopic smooth surface. If you would polish a matte finish, you would rub away the uneven surface, and turn it into a smooth surface with gloss.
Wax (and certain other products) are designed to add as much gloss as possible. Which would mean that you add gloss to your matte surface. This is not really what you would want. To polish or protect a matte finish, you would need a product that covers the surface evenly, without filling in any gaps.

What protection to use

A very liquid sealant will cover the surface evenly without filling any gaps. Basically any product that doesn’t fill, and isn’t in paste form, would work. Although some are easier then others. A liquid sealant that is very easy to wipe off, will be easier to work with.

things to keep in mind

  • You shouldn’t wax a matte surface, after a few coats it will become glossy and shiny
  • A matte surface shows patches easier, so pick a product that is easy to wipe off
  • You shouldn’t polish a matte surface
  • When washing, drying and protecting you need to take extra care that you don’t scratch your matte surface

If in doubt, contact your supplier or the manufacturer. There are several products that are not suitable for a matte finish.

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