May 13, 2013
In the hands of a custom painter, a smooth matte finish can turn your ride into a work of art. But, it's not just for the custom jobs any longer. Over the past few years, matte finishes have grown in popularity among refinishers and OEM designers. A matte or low-gloss finish is a unique exterior finish that gives your vehicle a distinctively different appearance.
The application process for achieving a matte finish is really no different than a normal high-gloss clearcoat. The car would be sprayed with sealer, with your basecoat color, and when you would normally spray a high-gloss clearcoat, you'll replace that with one of PPG's premium matte clears.
Watch the video below for some tips and tricks on how to achieve a great matte finish.
After color has been sprayed, the first coat of clearcoat should be sprayed as a medium wet coat. That coat should be allowed to dry down to a uniform dull appearance before the second coat is applied. Any not completely dull areas could result in a blotchy, inconsistent gloss in your final appearance.
The second coat should be applied as a full wet coat, and allowed to dry for a full 5-10 minutes, and then a drop coat will get applied. A drop coat helps to achieve that final, uniform appearance. That final coat should be allowed to dry to a completely dull appearance before baking it to cure.
The most important tip is proper preparation and cleanliness. The paint booth, the painter, the car, and the equipment all need to be as clean as possible. Any dirt or dust that comes into the paint job while the painter is spraying the clear can't be polished out because that would raise the gloss of the clearcoat.
Chris MacMahan demonstrates how to create a classic fish scale effect. In this tutorial, Chris uses a traditional circular scale, but other shapes work just as well.
To maintain your vehicle’s low-gloss appearance for years to come, please refer to these maintenance recommendations.
Mitch Lanzini teaches how to create a classic tape shading effect that you often see on custom lowriders and hot rods.