Autoglym Australia & New Zealand blog

How to take care of matte paint with Autoglym

In the last few years Autoglym have worked with Bentley, Audi, McLaren, and Land Rover on different matte paint finishes. This work has increased knowledge of these finishes and provided confidence that Autoglym have within its range the products that the consumer needs to care for their car.

It should be noted that the information here is relating to matte paint and is not based on vinyl wraps.

Tests on Matte Paint

In testing compatibility of products with matte paint it is the effect on gloss which is most critical. We use an industry standard device which measures gloss precisely and we use this to gauge the effect our products have on the surface. In all cases we are looking for a product which improves and preserves the original characteristics of the paint but does not alter the gloss from the original spec.

how to clean matte paint with Autoglym

This is a comparative test showing the light reflected back from a surface. When testing a polish, the higher the gloss reading, the glossier the surface and so the better the polish. This is a great test for showing how Autoglym polishes compare to other competitor products.

  • 20 deg = High Gloss surfaces ( >70)
  • 60 deg = Medium Gloss surfaces (10‐70)
  • 85 deg = Matte and low gloss surfaces (<10)

Traditional Gloss Surface

Gloss surfaces are glossy because they reflect light in a predictable way. Mirrors are ground as smooth as possible in order to give a good reflection. A good automotive surface with a gloss finish will be very smooth. Polishes improve the gloss by removing surface imperfections and cutting/polishing down to a fresh smooth surface.

How to take care of matte paint car

Matte Finish

It is a common misconception that a Matte finish does not have a clear coat. This is not the case because Matte paint does have a clear but the structure of the finish is different. Matte paint differs because the final clear coat is [I]NOT SMOOTH[/I]. The matting agents create an irregular surface which does not reflect light in a predictable way. It is this irregular surface which our products need to protect and preserve.

Cleaning matte paint with Autoglym

Caring for a Matte Surface

If you use a heavy wax on a matte surface you can fill some of the valleys in the surface and make it smoother. This increases gloss and is not desirable. Our experience with HD Wax is that for most people one coat is OK, but multiple coats increase the gloss to a level outside the manufacturer’s spec. If this happens the effect is not permanent and as the wax wears off with regular washing the matte finish returns.

Similarly polishes can remove the tips of the peaks and increase gloss. This is a permanent effect and cannot be reversed. For this reason SRP, Paint renovator, Scratch Removers, Harsh cloths and hard sponges MUST BE AVOIDED.

clean matte paint car

The best way to seal and protect the finish is with a thin durable layer of protection which follows the contours of the matte finish. EGP, Aqua Wax, Rapid Detailer, will all do this and work perfectly with the Autoglym range of microfibre cloths and applicators – even on multiple applications – we’ve tested many times in succession and measured the gloss.

To clean the surface Fast Glass and Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner work perfectly well.

cleaning matte paint car

The green layer indicates how Aqua Wax, Extra Gloss Protection (EGP) or Rapid Detailer covers the surface

he Ideal Routine for Caring for Matte Finish

Matte Finishes can be fickle if not cared for. Regular maintenance is critical to keep it looking as it should.

Clean – Bodywork Shampoo ‐ Every week or two

  • Using Rapid Detailer – A coating after every wash
  • Using Aqua Wax ‐ A coating with every wash or every other wash (assuming the surface is being cleaned regularly)
  • Using EGP – A coating every 3 to 4 months.

For more information all Autogym products mentioned, visit the website at

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  1. Jack May 16, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Thanks for the info… what mitt/cloth should be used to wash and dry matte finish?

    • Autoglym Admin June 1, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Hey Jack, we supply a great little soft microfiber wash mitt with our Autoglym buckets. They are great for washing. For drying we sell a microfibre towel or chamois.

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