Your car stands out from the crowd because of its matte finish. Perfect! The next step is to figure out how to safeguard it.
One popular choice is a ceramic coating, known for its durability and long-lasting effects. However, if you have a matte paint finish on your vehicle, you may be wondering if the ceramic coating is suitable for this particular type of paint.
In this article, we will explore whether can you use ceramic coating on matte paint and discuss the benefits and considerations associated with it.
The Quick Answer
You can get a ceramic coating for your matte car paint, but this will add little richness to the surface.
Table of Contents
Understanding Matte Finishes
No matte paint
It’s a matte finish; there isn’t a matte PAINT. Automotive paint is drab by nature. It will attach and initially cure when sprayed over metal, plastic, or other surfaces.
The car paint’s surface is coated with a clear coating to give it a glossy appearance. The purpose of a typical clear coat is to cover any divots or small dips left by the paint’s coarse pigment. This results in a surface that is smoother and deeper. This is what looks like a gloss.
The matte paint job includes a clear coating as well. However, the final coating is left with tiny dimples rather than filling and leveling the uneven paint. As a result, the paint has a dull or matte texture and is unable to reflect light.
Types of Matte Finishes
There are different grades of matte paint finishes, each producing a different luster. Three different matte finishes are available.
Flat Matte Finish
The most typical kind of matte finish is this one. It basically has the same appearance as when the bare metal has been covered with a can of flat black spray paint. It tends to have no gloss at all and is unpolished, gritty, and coarse.
You won’t notice any reflections with this finish when gazing at the paint. The biggest issue with a real flat matte finish is that it gives the car a slightly unfinished appearance. Car enthusiasts adorn the vehicle with accessories like wheels or bumpers to address this problem.
Satin Matte Finish
Compared to matte, a satin surface reflects more light.
The majority of factory-direct automotive paint jobs have a satin finish. Even though it might not seem as “stealthy” as the flat matte surface, the satin finish truly pops, especially in natural light or when illuminated by LEDs.
Semi-Gloss Matte Finish
The semi-gloss matte suits this goal admirably for individuals looking to push the glossy paint-coated envelope. The easiest analogy to explain the distinction between satin and semi-gloss is to draw a parallel between white plastic and eggshell.
Small flaws or dimples will be concealed by semi-gloss paint to produce a muted paint finish. For those seeking a user-friendly matte finish, semi-gloss paint is a suitable option because it requires less upkeep.
Can You Use Ceramic Coating on Matte Paint?
Yes, you can. It is important to safeguard matte finishes, and applying a ceramic coating is fantastic. Naturally, the dull surface is impacted in some way. A matte finish with the ceramic coating will usually become slightly richer but not glossy. It won’t have a polished appearance.
Note: If you are unsure of the final finish’s appearance, test the coating on a small area to see how it turns out.
How does this work?
By filling up those minor flaws with a clear but incredibly durable layer of quartz or glass, the ceramic coating is designed to adhere directly to the clear matte coating.
The ceramic coating then creates an incredibly flat layer after curing. That defense becomes stronger with each new coating layer, improving the protective qualities without raising the shininess. The matte surface stands out because it draws attention to what is behind that layer.
Benefits of Using Ceramic Coating on Matte Paint
There are reasons why people want to protect their matte cars with ceramic coating:
- Protection: Ceramic coatings provide strong protection against UV rays, oxidation, bird droppings, tree sap, and other contaminants that can damage the paint. This protection is equally important for matte paint finishes.
- Easy maintenance: Matte paint requires careful handling and maintenance. Ceramic coatings make the surface hydrophobic, reducing the adherence of dirt and grime. This makes it easier to clean and maintain the matte finish.
- Longevity: Ceramic coatings offer long-lasting protection compared to traditional waxes or sealants. They can keep the matte paint looking vibrant and fresh for an extended period.
How to Protect Matte Paint Finishes?
Many people have the impression that matte coatings require a lot of upkeep. This isn’t always the case, though. The resilience of matte paint has increased recently, and it is now just as simple to maintain as a standard gloss finish. However, it still has its own specifications.
1. Car wash options
# Hand wash
Avoid using an automatic car wash when washing your automobile because it will damage the matte paint. Sealants and protectants will be removed by the rough rollovers, brushes, and harsh chemicals used in an automatic car wash. Still, only dirt and pollutants will be removed by a delicate hand wash using excellent soap.
# Touchless car wash
Choose a touchless car wash if you must send your vehicle to a car wash station.
2. No polish or wax
Using conventional waxes, sealants, or ceramic coatings intended for glossy automobiles should be avoided because they will change the finish of matte vehicles. Only paint protection products made especially for matte cars should be used instead.
3. Use cleaners designed for matte surfaces
Use matte-specific soaps and detail sprays for sporadic spot cleaning or removal of dirt. With the exception of the harsh components that have negative consequences, they function exactly like their conventional equivalents. They can be applied as frequently as required.
Standard paste wax will destroy the matte finish by filling in surface flaws. Select sealant products made especially for matte paint; they can provide comparable levels of protection.
How to Apply Ceramic Coating on Matte Paint
The process of applying ceramic coating on matte paint is similar to that of applying it on glossy finishes. However, following the manufacturer’s instructions and choosing a matte-specific ceramic coating is crucial.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
Gather the necessary materials
- Ceramic coating kit (includes coating, applicator pads, and microfiber towels)
- Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) solution (70% concentration or higher)
- Microfiber gloves
- Masking tape (optional)
- Soft detailing brush (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the vehicle
Ensure the car’s surface is clean, dry, and free from contaminants such as dirt, wax, or polish residue. Wash and dry the vehicle thoroughly before proceeding.
Use a clay bar or clay mitt to remove any embedded contaminants if needed.
Step 2: Mask off delicate areas (optional)
If you’re concerned about getting the ceramic coating on certain areas like rubber trim, plastic trim, or unpainted surfaces, you can use masking tape to protect them from accidental application.
Step 3: Prepare the ceramic coating
Shake the ceramic coating bottle well to ensure proper mixing of the product.
Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to mix or prepare the coating, if necessary. Some coatings may require dilution or additional steps.
Step 4: Apply the ceramic coating
Put on the microfiber gloves to avoid any direct contact between your skin and the coating.
First, pour a small amount of the ceramic coating onto the provided applicator pad.
Starting from the top of the vehicle, apply the coating in straight lines, working in small sections (e.g., half a panel at a time). Avoid circular motions to prevent swirl marks.
Then, spread the coating evenly and thinly across the surface, making sure to cover the entire area.
Repeat the process on the remaining vehicle sections, ensuring even coverage and maintaining a wet application.
Step 5: Allow the coating to cure
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the curing time. Typically, the coating needs to be left untouched for a specific duration to allow it to bond with the paint.
During curing, you should keep the vehicle in a controlled environment, free from dust, rain, or excessive humidity.
Step 6: Remove residue and buff the surface
After the curing period, take a clean, dry microfiber towel and gently wipe off any residue or excess coating from the surface. Check for any streaks or smudges and remove them carefully.
Use a fresh microfiber towel to lightly buff the surface for a smooth, uniform finish.
Step 7: Final touches
Inspect the coated surface under proper lighting to ensure even coverage and a flawless finish.
If desired, you can apply additional layers of the ceramic coating following the same process after allowing sufficient curing time between layers.
Remember to clean and store the applicator pads and towels properly for future use.
Other Alternatives for Protecting Matte Paint
If the ceramic coating is not the ideal choice for your matte paint, there are alternative options to protect and maintain its appearance:
#1 Matte paint sealants
These products are specifically designed for matte finishes and offer protection against environmental elements.
#2 Matte paint protection film (PPF)
PPF is a clear film that can be applied to the vehicle’s paint surface. It provides excellent protection against scratches, stone chips, and UV rays while preserving the matte appearance.
#3 Matte-specific waxes
There are waxes available in the market that are specifically formulated for matte paint. These waxes can provide a layer of protection and enhance the matte finish.
Check out This Video on How They Apply Ceramic Coating on A Matte Mercedes!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply a regular ceramic coating on my matte paint?
No, it is recommended to use a ceramic coating specifically formulated for matte finishes to preserve the unique appearance of your matte paint.
How long does ceramic coating last on matte paint?
The lifespan of ceramic coating on matte paint can vary, but it generally lasts 1 to 5 years with proper maintenance.
Can I wash my matte-coated vehicle like a regular car?
While you can wash your matte-coated vehicle, it’s important to use pH-neutral car wash products designed for matte finishes to avoid damaging the coating.
Do I need professional help to apply ceramic coating on matte paint?
While it is possible to apply a ceramic coating on matte paint as a DIY project, professional application is highly recommended for the best results and to ensure the preservation of the matte finish.
Are there alternative options to protect matte paint?
Yes, you can consider using matte paint sealants, matte paint protection film (PPF), or matte-specific waxes as alternative options to protect and maintain the appearance of your matte paint.
Ceramic coating can be used on matte paint surfaces, provided you choose a product specifically designed for matte finishes. It offers several benefits, including protection, easy maintenance, and longevity. However, it is essential to consider the unique requirements of matte paint and follow proper application and maintenance procedures. If unsure, consult a professional for guidance.
Hi everyone, My name is Ollie Barker.
As a seasoned auto expert I have 25 years of experience working in repair and detailing shops. I love to share my tips & tricks to all car lovers, so that’s why I’m here at Automotive Gearz publishing my content, sharing my passion. Also, I’ve been giving my recommendations on which products are the best to have on the market. I always thought it was hard to pick the right part, so hopefully I can make that a bit easier for you.
Hope you enjoy your time on my little blog!