Caring for your Matte paint

Matte paint jobs and wraps are becoming increasingly popular with some of the major manufacturers offering this type of finish from factory. This type of finish requires a totally different style of care so as to not add shiny spots and ruin the look. Read more on this below.

Flat Out Finish

When working with matte finishes, it's very important to not use any products that are designed to add gloss, this includes washes, detailing sprays, polishes or cleansers, waxes and sealants etc. 

You will also need to avoid any kind of extended rubbing or buffing using any kind of product, which rules out the Clay Bar and Claying Rubber, or any other clay mediums as these will wear away the matte surface and leave shiny spots underneath.

In our range of products, we can recommend using Snow Job or Mega Snow for a prewash, Auto Body Gel as your bucket wash, Three Way can be used touchlessly for iron decontamination, and Clean Detail as your detailing spray for general wipedowns.

 

Matté Spray

Taking what we learned while creating the super hydrophobic Bead Machine, we set our chemists to work creating a sealant that would work just as well on a matte finish, without adding gloss or affecting the finish. After multiple different versions (including a wax) we settled on this formula which lasts just as long and is as protective as Bead Machine, while being purpose-built exclusively for matte or satin finishes. 

 

Snow Foam Pre Wash

The Snow Job pre wash is an important start to any detail. This step is vitally important in helping to reduce the chance of putting swirls and scratches in your paint by laying a thick blanket of foam over your vehicle, helping to break down heavier dirt and grit, before pressure washing it off.

Start foaming at the back of the car, on the dirtier lower sections first, moving up to the roof last to allow the foam the longest dwell time on the dirtier sections of the car.

You can do a strip snow, by adding 100ml of Orange Agent and 100ml of the Snow Job foam to 800mls of water if you wish, but due to the intensive detailing to come after, we don't feel it's always needed unless your vehicle is extemely dirty or has an oily residue on it.

For a detailed how-to guide on using the Snow Blow Cannon and Snow Job, see the guide below - 

Hand Washing

Now that you've removed the heavier dirt and grit from the car, it's time for a 2 bucket hand wash with Auto Body Gel. We use this wash as it's a more pure wash and won't leave any extra elements on the paint after its use. Grab your Wash and Rinse buckets with Great Barrier Thingy's in them, and your favourite wash tool (we love The Wash Pillow). Put 1 capful of the Auto Body Gel wash into the Wash bucket with approx 10-12L of water, and froth it up with your pressure washer or hose.

Wash sections of the vehicle at a time, starting at the top, and working your way down to the dirtier lower sections last. After each section (quarter of a roof, bonnet etc), dip your wash tool into the Rinse bucket to get any dirt and grit out of it, then go back into your clean wash suds bucket and continue around the rest of the car, doing small sections at a time.

For a detailed look at washing, have a read of the guide below - 

Drying

With the pre wash and wash now done, it's time to dry the car. At this stage, for this process, we're using The Big Green Sucker. Normally we would use Boss Gloss for this as it will help the cloth to absorb water a bit better, but we don't want to add shine to the finish so we won't be using it.

Start by drying the glass first to avoid getting water spots. After doing the glass, start from the top and work your way down to the lower sections of the car last. 

For more information about The Big Green Sucker and how to use it, see our guide below:

Paint Decontamination

If you have a vinyl wrap over the entire car, we do not recommend the use of Three Way.

Make sure the vehicle you're decontaminating is in the shade and the paint is cool to touch. A well-ventilated area outside in the shade is ideal.

Spray Three Way directly onto the painted surfaces (don't stress if you get it on headlights, plastics, etc, as it's 100% safe for all of these surfaces) 1 panel at a time, and allow 1 minute for the purple reaction to begin. This reaction is the ingredients in Three Way reacting with the iron particles on your paint, and safely breaking them down so they can be rinsed away. You will notice this reaction will be stronger on the bonnet, roof and rear of the car, as these are the panels that will see most of the fallout on them through normal use.

After 1-2 minutes (no more than 3-4 minutes), rinse the panel thoroughly. If you're worried about water drying on the panels, dry the panel before moving on. Move onto the next panel and use the same method on each subsequent panel, until the whole car is done.

After you have washed and rinsed the vehicle after using Three Way, dry the whole vehicle. It's good practice to run around the vehicle with a small battery powered blower if you have one, and blow all of the water out of the nooks and crannies like around the wing mirrors, behind door handles, wheels and tyres etc. It's also a good idea to quickly dry the door jambs, wheels and tyres with a couple of Dirty Deeds cloths.

Flash Prep

If you're wanting to get the best results out of the Matté Spray, you will need to clean the paint with Flash Prep to remove any leftover residues, oils, etc, so that it has a perfectly clean surface to bond to.

Flash Prep is a really simple one to use - with 2 Big Softie cloths in hand folded in quarters to the low pile, spray Flash Prep directly onto the paint surface in small sections (1/4 of a bonnet) at a time. Wipe the product in with your lead cloth - up and down, side to side, so that the product has time to work into the paint properly and remove silicones, oils etc, then give it a final buff with your second cloth. It will flash off nicely right in front of your eyes, leaving a beautifully clean surface for Matté Spray to bond to.

Matté Spray application

Work on small sections at a time, in the shade on surfaces that are cool to the touch. Break the car up into small sections (1/4 of a bonnet for example). Grab 2 fresh, dry and clean Big Softie cloths folded to the low pile side. One of these cloths will be your application cloth, and the other will be your cloth for buffing off residue.

Step 1 -

Shake the bottle well and mist 4-6 sprays of Matté Spray into the low-pile side of a folded, clean & dry Big Softie microfibre cloth. Wipe the product evenly over the surface in an overlapping up and down, then side to side motion.

Step 2 -

Immediately use the second clean and dry Big Softie cloth and buff off any residue. Fold and turn the cloth often for a nice, even finish.

Step 3 -

Mist 1-2 more sprays only into the application Big Softie cloth for each subsequent section, and continue the above process till the whole car is completed.

Allow at least 4 hours to cure before it can get wet for best results.

Once you've finished the whole car, put both of your cloths into a bucket like our Microfibre bucket, half filled with water and throw 10ml of Microfibre Wash in there and thrash it around to release the super hydrophobic polymer from the fibres of the cloth. Keep them wet and then put them in the machine wash together with the other microfibre cloths you've used in the process. 

Quick Detailing

Clean Detail is safe for use for general detailing purposes, bird poo removal etc, as it is not protective and does not add gloss to your finish. 

Lightly mist Clean Detail evenly over the surface you need to be cleaned. We find it's best to do smaller sections at a time, so it doesn't all evaporate away. Use enough product to have the area mildly damp, then lightly wipe over it with a clean, folded Big Softie microfibre cloth. Finish it off by turning the cloth over to a dry side and gently buffing the area for a perfect, natural looking finish.

If you're doing a bigger area, use two Big Softie cloths; one for product removal and the other for buffing to a clean finish. 

Check your cloth often for dirt in it. Don't use the dirty sections again, turn it to a clean side and replace for a new cloth once all sides have been used. 

Clean Detail is lubricating, but it's not made to use on areas that are excessively dirty or with heavy build ups of grime. You're always best to clean those by rinsing down with water first and then washing with Auto Body Gel

Any questions?

Should you have any questions about anything mentioned in this article, or have questions about other products and processes, feel free to get in touch on 1800 351 308, or shoot us an email to info@bowdensown.com.au

Brett Hobbs.