As matte (no gloss) finishes are distinctly different to traditional gloss paint finishes, they require special care to maintain their appearance. Today’s latest market trends find matte finishes in varied forms –  these being vinyl wrap, original manufacturer matte paint and after-market matte paint refinishes.


Caring for these finishes is very different to a traditional “gloss” finish. If a compound, swirl remover or even a polish/wax product with a “cleaner” product in it is used, it can change the visual appearance of the finish, leaving it with a patchy/blotchy uneven result. Unfortunately there is no way to remove below surface defects (scratches) from matte finishes, regardless of whether they are vinyl wrap or painted.

Helpful Tips for keeping matte surfaces looking their best:

  • Regular washing maintenance is always recommended to minimise the risk of bonded contaminants.
  • Avoid most automatic car washes, especially brush type as they create scratches that can’t be removed.
  • Pre-rinse the vehicle first to cool down the surface and then select a car wash product that is detergent free- PH neutral. Frequently rinse off suds to avoid them drying on the surface.
  • Wipe dry using a quality microfibre chamois.
  • Products NOT recommended to use on matte finishes are Clay Bar, Swirl Removers or Cutting Compound products, as these products will burnish the surface causing a shinny spot that cannot be removed.
  • Selected spray detailers in conjunction with a microfiber cloth can also be used for basic surface/spot clean-up.
  • Traditional polishes and liquid & paste waxes should never be used as they add “shine” changing the visual appearance of a matte finish. However some spray type waxes can be used.
  • When applying any recommended product, apply with a light back-forward wiping direction.  Don’t wipe in a circular direction as this can leave a swirl effect.

It is important to note that some car manufacturers’ who offer OEM matte finishes have very specific paint maintenance requirements, so always check with the manufacturer first.

Suggested Maintenance Products:
Traditional Washes: Soft Wash Gel (A2516), Ultimate Wash n Wax (G17748)
Sprays: 3M Heavy Duty Wrap Cleaner (DW6016), Quik Detailer (A3316).