For over 75 years, Turtle Wax has been one of the most trusted brands when it comes to car care. From spray waxes to rubbing compounds to detailing products, they got it all. The car care manufacturing company focuses on producing high-quality cleaning, restoration, detailing, and protection products.
And if you are one of the many who owned or switched to matte-finished cars, you’d probably want to try their trusted products, especially if you are fond of detailing. But as you look for that special care for matte paint, you’d probably get frustrated like us.
Even if you look at Amazon, you’d only find a list of car care products dedicated to glossy-painted cars. Turtle Wax specializes in creating car care products for polishing, protecting, and improving their sheen. Turtle Wax’s line of products is so tempting. Given their technology is outstanding, you cannot use most of their products on a matte-painted car.
When you own a matte-painted car, you come across many limitations to care and maintenance.
Owning a Matte-Painted Car
The beauty of a matte-painted car comes with a price. Its perfectly imperfect finish bounces light in different directions, leaving the surface flat non-reflective look. Matt/ matte paint should always pull off this aggressive look and not be messed up by glossy products. Be it wax, spray-ons, paste, or liquid, you will always need to find on the label that the product is for a matt finish.
1) Wax and matte are enemies
Turtle Wax uses carnauba wax on most of its products. This wax from Brazil’s particular species of palm tree leaves repels water, enriches the paint’s color, and protects the paint. However, any type of wax is enemies with matte, including carnauba wax.
The wax fills in the gaps of imperfections on a matte surface, even in different forms (paste, liquid, spray-on, or wax). Applying wax regularly will smoothen the uneven surface, which makes the surface reflective.
If you want to use carnauba wax on your matte-painted car, check those labeled “for a matte finish.”
2) Limited cleaning options
You can not bring it to car wash shops. Your best option for cleaning your matte-painted car is through handwashing. The least you want to use for a matte car are abrasive clothing and harsh cleaning solutions.
Matte surfaces do not have a protective coating that will shield the surface, unlike glossy paint. It is bare as it is and prone to scratches that you cannot simply correct like you would on a shiny car surface.
You cannot wax, polish, or clay matte surface. Otherwise, your matte will not keep its flat, sheen, and sleek.
While Turtle Wax offers high-quality car care bundle kits, they are mostly for regularly painted cars.
3) Hard to clean
One of the biggest problems of a matte-painted car is the dirt, and damages can be permanent. Most carmakers advise cleaning dirt, bird droppings, water, or any visible spots on your matte paint at once, or they will stay there forever.
With a non-reflective surface, these marks will become more visible each day.
And even if you tend to it immediately, you still need to use cleaners specially formulated for matte.
4) Prone to scratches
The surface of matte paint is bare and without any protective layer. The non-reflective finish is softer than reflective glossy paint, which makes it more prone to damage. Imagine using abrasive and harsh cleaners. It can leave a significant amount of damage that touch-up paint or matte sealant cannot repair.
5) Limited repair options as well
You cannot simply repair one part of the panel. It can cause discoloration, and that will become unsightly. You cannot use a buffer, polish, or blend the matte finish, unlike what you do on glossy paint. Most damages on matte paint are permanent. Even minor damages may require you to ask for professional repair, which means repainting the entire panel.
6) Limited availability of matte-specialty products
Matte-specialty products are more expensive than traditional car care products. Most matte finishes are painted on luxury cars. For this reason, there is low demand to produce matte-specialty products.
Matte paints need special ingredients and formulations compared to traditional car care products.
The Turtle Wax Technology
Turtle Wax specializes in enhancing shine and gloss. However, you would only find matte-specific products on a few interior detailing sprays from Turtle Wax. And their line of glossy car care products indeed offers premium results.
1) Carnauba Wax
Turtle wax has carnauba on most of its car care products. Carnauba wax is one of their primary natural waxing ingredients. One of the outstanding natural waxes for car paint, this wax is known for its durability, heat resistance, high gloss, and deep shine. Because of this composition, you cannot use it on matte because the wax will reverse the imperfections that are supposed to be on a matte finish.
2) Ceramic Coating
Ceramic coating is one of the most reliable technologies for protecting car paints today. The combination of Silica Dioxide or SiO2 creates a protective shield that repels water and UV rays and prevents cracks, swirls, streaks, scratches, and water stains. Also, the shield helps the car maintain its paint color and prevents it from fading.
The good thing is you can use a ceramic coating on a matte finish. However, Turtle Wax discourage the use of their products on a matte finish because of the seemingly added shine after application.
Due to the coat’s natural reflective properties, the ceramic coating will enhance your matte paint’s texture, but it will not cause the matte finish to be reflective. Again, the ceramic coating will not make your matte paint shine or glossy. It will enrich its texture and color.
So yup, your matte paint can enjoy the benefits of a ceramic coat. We’ve seen enthusiasts and auto detailers using ceramic coats for matte paint. And it protects even better with graphene as an additive.
3) Graphene coating
Graphene coating is one of the most advanced ingredients used in ceramic technology. Graphene is also a ceramic coating but with an upgraded twist.
The smallest but strongest material provides durable protection from damage. It produces a protective shield from UV rays that keeps car paint finishes from fading. It repels water and prevents the formation of water stains.
Graphene contains promising properties like anti-static properties, thermal conductivity, and optical transparency. These properties set graphene from ceramic coatings apart.
The longevity of graphene depends on its concentration in the formula. Think of those low-priced graphene sprays. They have less graphene in them. In general, graphene coatings could last between five and ten years.
Also, graphene does not make a significant impact on matte surface reflectivity.
However, Turtle Wax discourages using graphene sprays and liquid products on matte paint. It is because these graphene-infused products have wax in them.
Ways to Care For and Protect Matte Paint
1) Only Microfiber Cloth and Handwashing
You will be handwashing frequently, so you must have lots of microfiber cloth. Matte paint is sensitive to rubbing. And microfiber cloth contains tiny fibers, smaller than regular cotton cloth, that catches dirt and dust without scratching or rubbing them on the matte surface.
For this reason, matte cars get rejected on carwash shop visits often.
2) Matte Paint Washes, Sealants, Detailing Sprays
For every car care product you’ll purchase, always find products specific to a matte finish. Stay away from enticing high-end car care products when they are not for a matte finish. You’ll end up with higher repair costs for dried bird poop.
Many carmakers void warranties for improper care of the matte finish.
3) Graphene Ceramic Coating
We’ve seen auto-detailers applying the ceramic coating with graphene as their additive. It is a very intensive process that requires focus, preparation, and measures to make the effort effective. In this process, you have no room for mistakes. But once executed properly, you’ll drive out with a fancy head-turner whip that anyone would like to have their hands on.
From the durable shield to that enhance matte texture, this combination will protect your matte paint for five to ten years, depending on your maintenance efforts.
What do you need?
- Lots of microfiber towels
- Matte paint cleaner
- Matt paint prep
- Air blower
- Applicator pads
- Graphene ceramic solution (for a matte paint)
Here are the stages of applying ceramic coating with graphene.
1) Clean the surface
Go on with your regular matte car wash routine. Use matte-specific cleaners. Use a microfiber cloth or mitt to remove dirt. Remember to be gentle because you have no room for errors.
2) Dry the surface
This stage is very critical to graphene ceramic coating. You need to ensure the entire exterior is dry before applying any coats. Check those sidings and hard-to-reach areas because most water will thrive in there. The problem with this process on matte paint is when water drips out from somewhere when applying graphene ceramic coating, your matte paint is done.
Air blow your car. Let it dry for hours. Then inspect for any signs of water.
3) Prepare the surface
Use a prep solution intended for matte paint. When your surface has dried thoroughly, spray on your prep solution and wipe it gently with a clean microfiber cloth. Fold your microfiber cloth and wipe one side after the other carefully. Change as needed.
This process should remove the pastes, sealants, or coatings previously applied on your matte paint.
4) Apply graphene oxide
This stage is crucial. You need to do it gently and thoroughly. Put a few drops on the applicator pad. Apply it on the surface with short strokes back and forth carefully but fast. Keep overlapping strokes to make them even and to avoid streaks.
Matte Paint Protection Film (Matte PPF)
If you don’t want to hide your matte-painted car and want to bring it on the way, Matte paint protection film is your best bet. Driving on wide rocky roads exposes your exterior to chips and stones. The best way to care for a matte-painted car is prevention.
Although this option will cost you thousands of dollars, you can drive without worrying about scratches, dirt, bird droppings, and even limited matte-paint car care products.
A matte PPF will not make your vehicle shiny but a glossy PPF does. And it will protect your car for five to ten years, depending on the abuse.
And to add more protection, you can apply a ceramic coating over matte PPF to protect the film. This last step solves all the maintenance problems of owning a car with a matte finish.
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