Matte Black vs Gloss Black Wheels [Detailed Comparison]

Ollie Barker

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Matte Black vs Gloss Black Wheels

Matte Black vs Gloss Black Wheels

Choosing between a gloss and a matte finish can be a headache if you’re looking for new black alloy wheels. It’s important to understand how these finishes differ and how to maintain them.

To help you decide which is ideal for your car, I’ll compare matte black vs gloss black wheels in this article in terms of color compatibility, their properties, and maintenance.

Simply put, matte black wheels will make your car magnificent, but they require more maintenance and are prone to scratches. Shiny, gloss black wheels, however, are less prone to stains. But scratches and swirls are more visible on them.

Here is a quick summary table:

Matte Black WheelsGloss Black Wheels
ReflectivityVery lowHigh
Suitable forBlack and white carsMost cars
Scratch and dust visibilityLess visibleMore visible
CleaningMore effortNormal
PolisingNot applicalbeHighly recommended

Black Matte Wheels

What is matte black?

Because it absorbs more light and stays darker, matte black is just black; it is neither shiny nor sparkling. Since they reflect very little light, matte black rims on a black car will give you a distinctive impression.

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Features of matte black wheels

Although it has a beautiful appearance, it is very vulnerable to scratches. Additionally, it attracts dirt and dust. As a result, the owner must spend too much money on maintenance and cleaning.

The main benefit of a matte surface over a gloss finish is that, unlike gloss coatings, it will not display minor dings and swirls caused by washing.

Pros of matte black wheels:

  • Matte black wheels provide a distinct and modern look
  • The matte finish is less prone to show scratches, dirt, and brake dust compared to gloss black wheels.
  • They require less cleaning and upkeep
  • matte black wheels can be easily touched up using touch-up paint or spray.

Cons of matte black wheels:

  • Limited Availability: finding the right fit for your vehicle is slightly harder.
  • Matte finishes absorb and retain stains, such as tar, oil, or brake dust.

What car colors go best with matte black wheels?

Nearly all cars look amazing with matte black wheels, but they seem incredibly cool on black and white cars.

Are matte black wheels difficult to maintain?

Maintaining a black car is indeed much harder than others. So, black wheels are not exceptional. First, black is incredibly vulnerable to scratches. In addition, matte black makes the scratches much more noticeable.

Second, if you drive it off-road, it soon accumulates dust, creating a complete mess. It will smear dirt more quickly than other wheel colors, even on the road. Deeper spaces like tire rims, barrels, and even lug holes are easily penetrated by dust.

How do you maintain matte black wheels?

Maintaining a matte finish is difficult since it cannot be polished or clayed without ruining the matte aspect and the aesthetic of the wheels. Iron fallout remover and tar remover will need to be used on them to keep them decontaminated, however, be cautious because these are corrosive chemicals.

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polishing satin black wheels

Black Gloss Wheels

What is gloss black?

Gloss black reflects more light and absorbs less of it. It seems glossy because of this. Gloss black surfaces are more durable and feature a shine, making them more difficult to scratch or harm.

Features of gloss black wheels

Car owners do not have to spend much money on maintenance because it does not absorb a lot of dust. However, you can use gloss black spray paint for cars if the color is destroyed.

Gloss black wheels have the main drawback of being far more susceptible to light scratches and swirl marks than the matte finish.

In addition, gloss black requires less maintenance because it is less staining.

Pros of gloss black wheels:

  • Gloss black wheels create a captivating, luxurious appearance that demands attention.
  • They’re easier to clean.
  • Gloss black wheels are more commonly available

Cons of gloss black wheels:

  • Gloss finishes show scratches, dirt, and imperfections more prominently than matte finishes.
  • They require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep their shine intact.

What car colors go best with gloss black wheels?

With cars other than black, this wheel looks excellent. Several car colors, including red, silver, green, and yellow, will blend flawlessly with this color. However, using these wheels on a black vehicle will make you appear more aggressive and sporty.

Are gloss black wheels difficult to maintain?

It’s always a little challenging to keep the wheels clean, whether the wheels are gloss black or matte black. Gloss black is less intense than matte black in its ability to repel dirt and grime. It’s an advantage that this gloss black wheel uses less dust.

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How can gloss black wheels be cleaned?

Use a pH-neutral or moderately alkaline specialty wheel cleaner or shampoo to clean gloss black wheels, and never allow any chemicals to dry on the surface.

Because dust and other material might enter the wheel, you must clean the rim flanges, bearing, and hub.

Matte Black vs Gloss Black Wheels

Even though they are both technically black, you can still tell there are significant distinctions. The difference is not just in the glossiness.


One of the main factors that distinguishes these two black wheels is reflectivity. Since it is less reflective, matte black absorbs more light and keeps its darkness. As a result, it looks fantastic and elegant.

Gloss black, on the other hand, seems to be exceptionally glossy because it reflects more light and absorbs less.

Scratch and dust visibility

Compared to matte black, gloss black has higher dust and scratch visibility. Even just one or two rides will make that obvious. It also rapidly catches minor scratches in addition to absorbing dust.


It would be best to polish the wheels every other day because matte black becomes dirty rather quickly. When you wash your wheels, try to wash the entire vehicle as well; otherwise, the body will appear dull while the wheels are brand-new.

The color matte black is sensitive to light. Therefore, if you clean it with a harsh agent, it could be damaged. Therefore, always use the wheel cleaner that is suggested for use with black wheels.

On the other hand, a glossy black surface does not get dirty very easily. Consequently, you don’t have to clean it after each ride. Since the dust is more noticeable here, wipe it off whenever possible. The glossiness of the paint will be reduced if you use any abrasive scrubbers or brushes when cleaning.

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You should not polish matte black under any circumstances. This is because only glossy objects are polished, and matte is not glossy in this instance.

Polishing is a fantastic method to enhance the appearance of a gloss black wheel. However, as only clean wheels can be perfectly polished, you must first thoroughly wash the wheels. This gloss black wheel can have numerous coats of polish applied to it.

Choosing the Right Finish for Your Vehicle

When deciding between matte black and gloss black wheels, it’s important to consider the overall aesthetic you want to achieve for your vehicle. Here are some factors to consider:

Vehicle style

Think about the style and design of your vehicle. Matte black wheels are often preferred for a sleek and modern look, while gloss black wheels can add a touch of elegance to classic or luxury vehicles.

Personal preference

Consider your taste and the image you want to portray. Matte black wheels convey a more subtle and understated appearance, while gloss black wheels make a bold statement.

Exterior color

Take into account the color of your vehicle’s exterior. Matte black wheels complement a wide range of colors, especially darker shades, while gloss black wheels can provide a striking contrast with lighter-colored vehicles.

Maintenance effort

Evaluate the time and effort you’re willing to invest in cleaning and maintaining your wheels. Matte black wheels require less maintenance and are more forgiving for minor imperfections, while gloss black wheels need regular upkeep to keep them looking their best.

Check out this video for Matte Black vs Gloss Black Wheels in terms of Maintenance!

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Which Black Finish Is Better, Matte or Gloss?

Based on how they appear, maintain, and last, gloss black and matte black wheels can be distinguished from one another.

Glossy wheels have a more modern and refined appearance. Matte, on the other hand, is for individuals who favor the sophisticated appearance of the wheels.

Matte wheels also need more upkeep than glossy ones. Gloss is rather simple to work with and requires no extra time. Both car wheels are tough, but gloss black wheels hold up better over time.

Which one is the best? Here is my final judgment after taking everything into account:

  • Gloss black wheels are fashionable and have minimal maintenance, making them a good choice for most cars.
  • Consider matte black wheels for people who don’t mind spending more time on maintenance and want a stylish, distinctive design.


Are matte black wheels more expensive than gloss black wheels?

The price of wheels depends on various factors, such as brand, size, and material, rather than the finish alone. Matte and gloss black wheels can be found in a similar price range.

Can I repaint my wheels from matte black to gloss black or vice versa?

Yes, it is possible to repaint your wheels to change the finish. However, it is recommended to seek professional assistance for the best results.

Do matte black wheels require special cleaning products?

While specific wheel cleaners are designed for matte finishes, mild soap, and water can also be used to clean matte black wheels effectively.

Can I mix matte black and gloss black wheels on my vehicle?

You can mix matte black and gloss black wheels on your vehicle for a unique and contrasting look. This can create an eye-catching and dynamic appearance. However, keep in mind that it’s important to maintain a balanced and cohesive overall aesthetic.

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Can I apply a clear coat to matte black wheels to make them glossy?

Applying a clear coat over matte black wheels is not recommended to make them glossy. The clear coat may alter the matte finish and result in an uneven or undesirable appearance. If you prefer a glossier look, opting for gloss black wheels instead is better.

Final Words

Choosing between matte black and gloss black wheels is an exciting decision when it comes to customizing your vehicle. Both finishes offer distinct visual effects and have their own set of pros and cons. Consider your personal style, maintenance preferences, and the overall look you want to achieve before making a decision.

By understanding the differences and considering the factors discussed in this article, you can make an informed choice that will enhance the appearance of your vehicle and turn heads wherever you go.

Further Reading:

3 Ways to Clean Black Rims