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Congratulations on your recent acquisition – a beautiful vehicle with a unique matte paint finish! However, you might find yourself pondering, “How do I keep this beauty looking brand new for years?”
Fear not, as matte paint, despite its pros and cons, is surprisingly straightforward to maintain. Yes, it comes with a different set of instructions compared to your regular glossy paint, but once you understand the basics, it’s a breeze to look after.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of washing and protecting your matte paint finish. I will help you unlock the secrets to prolonging that fresh-off-the-lot look, ensuring your car turns heads wherever you go.
How To Wash and Protect Matte Paint Cars
Before we dive into the exact steps, let’s see what you’ll need:
- High-pressure washer (check my recommendations)
- Snow foam
- Microfiber cloths: wash mitt, drying towel, applicator pad
- Car wash buckets and shampoo
- Wheel cleaner, tire dressing, wheel protectant
- Matte car protective coating
- Pet hair dryer or an air compressor (optional)
1. Treat Tough Stains and Marks
Matte finishes, while stunning, have a reputation for being magnets for stubborn stains and marks.
To effectively tackle these blemishes, your first step is to use a car paint degreaser. Spray it onto the affected areas and give it a few minutes to work its magic. It’s crucial to address these stains before moving on to wash the rest of your car.
Once the degreaser has had some time to sit, rinse it off using a pressure washer. But remember, the secret to preserving the matte finish is not to go too high with the pressure. Aim for around 1200 PSI, which is the ideal pressure for washing matte cars.
This method will ensure those tough stains and marks are loosened and ready to be washed away in the next steps.
2. Spray Snow Foam and Rinse The Car Again
Having removed most of the larger dirt particles, it’s time to bring out the snow foam.
Snow foam plays a crucial role in the car detailing process. Its purpose is to break down and loosen dirt, dust, and other contaminants clinging to your car’s matte paint.
Just cover your vehicle in a blanket of snow foam. Allow it to sit for 4-5 minutes to work its deep-cleaning magic.
After the snow foam has had enough time to break down the dirt, it’s time to rinse your car again. Make sure to wash off all the foam thoroughly. This step ensures a scratch-free and thoroughly clean in preparation for the next phase.
3. Hand Wash The Car
Let’s start with the wheels before moving on to the body of the car. Cleaning the wheels thoroughly is essential and should be tackled before the rest of the car. For an in-depth guide on how to get this done properly, check out my detailed article on wheel cleaning.
Now, let’s move on to the body of the car. You’ll need two washing buckets, one with clean water and another filled with water and a high-quality car wash soap like Dr. Beasley’s Matte Body Wash Shampoo (check price).
Start by soaking your microfiber wash mitt in the soapy water. Begin washing from the top of the car, working your way down to the bottom, applying gentle pressure, and moving in straight lines to avoid causing swirl marks and scratches on the matte finish.
Here’s a crucial tip: after washing each panel, rinse your mitt in the bucket with clean water to remove any accumulated dirt. Then, dip it back into the soapy water before continuing with the next panel.
After the entire car has been washed, it’s time for a thorough rinse. With this done, your car is spotlessly clean and ready for the next step.
4. Dry The Car
It’s now time to dry the car in preparation for paint protection. When it comes to drying a matte paint finish, we need to approach it a bit differently than glossy finishes. While microfiber drying towels are suitable for use, there’s an even safer alternative.
If available, I suggest using a pet hair dryer or an air compressor. These tools can help dry your car effectively without touching the surface, thereby reducing the risk of leaving any marks or scratches.
However, if you prefer using a microfiber towel, ensure that you opt for a high-quality one with extremely soft fibers. This type of towel will help prevent any inadvertent damage to your matte paint finish.
5. Apply Protection For Paint, Wheels, and Tires
After the car is dry, it’s time to protect that pristine matte paint finish. For this, I recommend Dr. Beasley’s Matte Paint Coating (check price now). It’s a top-tier product specifically designed to provide superior protection to matte car finishes. Applying it is straightforward, requiring just an applicator pad and a microfiber cloth for buffing. Remember to adhere strictly to the guidelines on the bottle to achieve the best results.
Once the body of your car is protected, it’s time to shift focus to the wheels. I suggest applying a ceramic coating to offer them an additional layer of protection. If you need more information on how to do this effectively, here’s my comprehensive guide on the best ceramic coatings for wheels.
The last step is ensuring your tires are not left out. They, too, deserve some care and protection. A high-quality tire dressing will do the trick here. From my experience, Gyeon Tire Dressing (check my review) stands out as an exceptional choice.
Following these steps will ensure your car, from its matte paint to its wheels and tires, is well-protected and continues to look its best. Lastly, don’t forget to clean windows on your car (check my guide).
Is Matte Car Paint Hard To Wash?
As we’ve explored in the steps above, washing a car with matte paint is not as complicated as it might seem. In fact, the process isn’t much different from washing a car with a typical glossy finish.
The main difference lies in the extra care and specific methods employed to preserve the unique look and feel of matte paint. So, to answer the question, washing matte cars isn’t inherently harder. The key is to be extra cautious to avoid scratching or marring this special paint finish.
Yes, you can use a pressure washer on matte car paint. However, it’s advised to keep the PSI below 1500, ideally around 1200, to prevent any potential damage to the finish.
Yes, matte car paint requires different washing techniques. This includes using a degreaser to remove tough stains and being extremely careful during contact washing to avoid scratching the paint.
Wax should not be used on matte cars. It can fill the tiny bumps on the matte surface and add an unwanted gloss to the finish, which can ruin its unique look.
Maintaining matte paint is not hard if you use proper techniques. Regularly applying paint protectants and frequent pressure washing can help preserve the finish. Quick detailers are also useful for the immediate dirt removal.
The best protectants for matte car paints are sealants or ceramic coatings that have been specifically created for matte finishes. Dr. Beasley’s Matte Coating is one of the best products out there.
To prevent matte car paint from fading, regularly apply a paint sealant or ceramic coating. These will block damaging UV rays and help maintain the paint’s integrity.
Maintaining the pristine condition of your matte car paint requires a blend of gentleness and quality. Ensuring that you’re as gentle as possible during the washing and protection processes is crucial. Similarly, choosing high-quality products is a non-negotiable aspect of caring for your matte paint finish.
While these requirements may seem a bit daunting initially, with time and practice, you’ll find them easily achievable. By following these guidelines, you can keep your matte car looking as stunning as the day you bought it for years to come.