For occasional spot cleaning or debris removal, again, use matte-specific soaps and detail sprays. They work just like their regular counterparts, except without the harsh ingredients that have undesirable effects. They can be used as often as necessary.
Don't use a regular paste wax because it will fill the imperfections in the surface and (temporarily or permanently) ruin the matte effect. Choose sealant products designed specifically for matte paint; they offer similar protective benefits. Matte sealant is actually easier to use than paste wax, because it can be applied on a wet car, doesn't require cure time, and doesn't leave the kind of hazy residue that wax can leave on trim and emblems. A matte car's finish should be sealed every six to nine months.
On a regular gloss finish, damage such as minor scratches, swirls and etching can often be buffed out, as long as the damage doesn't go all the way through the paint to the primer. On a matte car, though, abrasive polishes and glazes will cause shiny spots that will permanently alter the car's finish. Matte paint generally doesn't show very minor scratches because the surface is already imperfect. That means there's no need to polish a matte car. And you actually can't polish a matte car, anyway, because polishing gradually wears down clear coat.
In the case that a scratch or scuff shows in the clear coat, or penetrates down into the color, the truth is, you'll need to go pro. Visible scratches will need to be repainted by a professional rather than buffed or filled with the usual at-home techniques. Body work that requires repainting can be handled by any quality body shop.
Whether you're shopping for a new car or considering custom work on a car you already own, the decision to go for matte paint shouldn't be taken lightly. It's not quite as much of a challenge as you may have heard — or as difficult as it used to be — thanks to the availability of better-quality paints and care products. Still, it does require effort.
Originally Published: Oct 1, 2019