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Matte Finishes are super popular as OEM equipment in the auto world right now, so I was able to snag this from an auto mag:

Though there are several ways to create matte paint finishes, most use a different type of clear coat. Whereas regular automotive paint is designed to be shiny, clear, and reflective, the clear coat on matte finishes is hazy and somewhat diffuses the underlying base coat color.Aftermarket suppliers also offer many colors for owners to repaint their cars in a matte finish, and exotic manufacturers like Lamborghini routinely show off custom matte cars. There also are matte vinyl wraps that can be applied over a car's existing paint, but those require different care methods that we won't touch here.

What Not To Do

The key point is to avoid allowing scratches or damage to the paint surface. Whereas small scratches or swirl marks in normal shiny paint finishes can be corrected with waxes or other methods, damage in a matte paint job is usually permanent. Attempting to fix even a small scratch can start to change the surface qualities of matte paint, making for an inconsistent appearance.

"Will it become glossy like a traditional paint job? Of course not, but the sheen will begin to change," Pennington says. "It will stand out like a sore thumb."
For the same reason, all three aforementioned automakers recommend against automatic car washes. The tough nylon bristles of rotating brushes will scratch and damage the matte paint, so owners should wash by hand every time. Finally, most liquid or paste car waxes should be avoided because they include cleaning agents that will change the luster and sheen on the paint surface. BMW, Mercedes, and Hyundai strongly warn against ever using any kind of polish, wax, or rubbing compounds.

How To Wash And Clean -- Safely
Compared to glossy paint finishes, the surfaces of matte cars need to be washed more often and more gently. The most important step is to avoid creating scratches or swirl marks while washing. That means buying high-quality microfiber towels and soft wash mitts, and washing them thoroughly after each car wash. Any type of automotive-specific liquid car wash soap can be used safely. Owners also should use two buckets -- one with soapy suds, one with just water -- to avoid contamination. After applying soapy water to the car, dousing the wash mitt in the plain water and wringing it out will prevent some grime from being carried back into the clean, soap-filled bucket.

"We preach the two-bucket method on a gloss finish, but it's almost mandatory on a matte finish," Pennington says.

To avoid introducing corrosive and scratching brake dust into the paintwork, owners should also use a separate wash mitt for cleaning the wheels, and should do so with a separate bucket of water.Hyundai, meanwhile, recommends beginning each wash session by pressure-washing the car. The nozzle should be at least 10 inches from the surface of the car. After that, Hyundai suggests using the same two-bucket wash method advocated by Meguiar's.

Both BMW and Mercedes stress that anything that sticks to the paint surface, like dead bugs, tree sap, or bird droppings, should be removed immediately. Because rubbing aggressively can ruin the matte finish, the companies recommend dousing the item in insect remover or car-wash soap before gently rubbing it away. The key, Pennington says, is to avoid excessive friction when trying to remove anything stuck to the paint surface. Water spots should likewise be cleaned off quickly, even if they result from something as trivial as driving past a garden sprinkler.

As waxes and polishes are verboten, Pennington advises adding some UV protection and shine to matte paint with specially formulated spray waxes. Meguiar's own Ultimate Quick Wax, for instance, doesn't have any harsh cleaners that will damage matte paints, and it creates a protective coating over the paint surface.

No Warranty Coverage
Pennington, who has worked for Meguiar's for 23 years, stresses that matte paint finishes aren't any less durable than regular gloss finishes, but they simply need more attention to keep them looking new. That could dissuade some people from spending a few thousand dollars on the unique paint, unless of course they've got a strong desire to stand out from the crowd. He said he believes most people would only opt for such paints on a second or weekend car.

"You're really speaking to those people who want to identify themselves and want to be a little bit different," Pennington says.
There's one final word of warning to customers considering buying a car with a matte paint finish. Both Hyundai and BMW explicitly state that any damage to the paint caused by improper care or environmental factors is excluded from warranty coverage. In other words, you're on your own if you ruin the paint.


Read more: Flat Finish: How You Should Tend To Matte Automotive Paint
 

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Can we explore this topic some more. I think the matte black is sexy. The shine on the red and black seems like more than usual car shine. But I'm sure it is in my head. From the research I have done I'm hearing the care that has been described above is necessary. Those of you who have the matte color how is it working out for you?

Is the grey matte also?
 

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The biggest thing to remember about matte surface paints is the inability to correct flaws. If you get a scratch or rub a surface smooth over time then that's just "patina" that you will need to get used to.

If you are the type that obsesses over scratches or paint imperfections a matte finish is not for you. If you appreciate patina, the inevitable imperfections that show the bike is actually used and not just waxed then go for it.
 

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For those of us that are looking to get the Smoke color options, what is going to be the best way to keep the matte finish looking good? Anyone got any pointers?
Rough Cut-- product specifically for suede finishes-- also, get your finish Simonized first while new… protects the clear over the matte finish. I have it on my Jeep and I've never buy a vehicle again without it! Bugs come off easy...
 

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I rinse loose dirt off with water, then I use MacGuire's matte finish detailing wipes. Easy as pie, works perfectly.
 

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Rough Cut-- product specifically for suede finishes-- also, get your finish Simonized first while new… protects the clear over the matte finish. I have it on my Jeep and I've never buy a vehicle again without it! Bugs come off easy...
I can't find any reference to "Rough Cut" but I did find this: Protect Matte Paint and Flat Wraps

Sealing the Matte finish is probably not a bad idea to prevent "stuff" from damaging the matte finish but the point still remains that imperfections will occur and it can't be "repaired" like a gloss finish. It's not a problem IMHO but people new to the look just need to be aware it's not going to look the same in a few years and that's part of the point of these Matte finishes.
 

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I use chemical guys meticulous matte soap and also their detailed and I love them. They also smell good haha but I use the detailed after washes and in between. They also have a jet seal matte protector but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. Although the matte finish isn't exactly repairable and will show scratches and whatnot it's still a durable paint job. You have to be a little more careful but the care is nothing crazy and doesn't differ from gloss care. Just uses different products
 

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You have to be a little more careful but the care is nothing crazy and doesn't differ from gloss care. Just uses different products
This is what I'm trying to figure out. What I like about the Scout is it looks vintage. A paint that makes it look more vintage is OK in my book. But I'm not into cleaning my bike every time I ride. And I feel like that is what is recommended. What is recommended and what people actually do are often not the same. I'm trying to figure out the reality of it all.

Also can you put detailing on the flat black if you wanted to?
 

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This is what I'm trying to figure out. What I like about the Scout is it looks vintage. A paint that makes it look more vintage is OK in my book. But I'm not into cleaning my bike every time I ride. And I feel like that is what is recommended. What is recommended and what people actually do are often not the same. I'm trying to figure out the reality of it all.

Also can you put detailing on the flat black if you wanted to?
Detailing-- as in pin striping and such, yes!
 

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Silver smoke and I clean it with a spray of windex and a wipe with a microfiber. No circular motions and no rubbing. If the bugs are too stuck for the windex I soak the microfiber in hot water then let it sit on the bugs. I'd rather ride than wash and aside from an occasional wipe down, the bike may get washed once a year.
 

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... get your finish Simonized first while new… protects the clear over the matte finish.
INTEGlvr: Is Simonizing the matt finish something an owner can do or does it have to be done professionally?

Thanks
 

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I guess my concerns with a matte/suede finish isn't the upkeep, it's the scratches and scuffs. The only matte finishes I've ever seen are on new vehicles where scratches and scuffs don't exist yet. I want to know what scratches, scuffs and other damage looks like over a season of use. I don't mind some patina, but I don't want the bike looking 10 years old when it's only 10 months old.

So anyone with a matte finish Scout, please provide some thoughts/comments on how your bike's finish looks now that you've had your bike for a few months. Photos of any scratches and scuffs would be a HUGE help.

Thanks
 

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My bike looks great 4 months in and I would make the argument that the matte finish actually hides more small blemishes than a gloss finish. I chose the matte silver as I felt it would hide all but the worst scratches.
 

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INTEGlvr: Is Simonizing the matt finish something an owner can do or does it have to be done professionally?

Thanks
Like auto dealerships-- simonize is exclusive to the dealer network, but I'm sure that there are other branded products other than Simonize. I did it on my jeep and also the Scout… It's mainly an upkeep thing, not for scratches etc...
 

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This is what I'm trying to figure out. What I like about the Scout is it looks vintage. A paint that makes it look more vintage is OK in my book. But I'm not into cleaning my bike every time I ride. And I feel like that is what is recommended. What is recommended and what people actually do are often not the same. I'm trying to figure out the reality of it all.

Also can you put detailing on the flat black if you wanted to?
If anything I feel like it can be cleaned less often because it's not shiny it doesn't show dirt as much, biggest thing is give it a rinse before you scrub to take off all the big dirt particles

Silver smoke and I clean it with a spray of windex and a wipe with a microfiber. No circular motions and no rubbing. If the bugs are too stuck for the windex I soak the microfiber in hot water then let it sit on the bugs. I'd rather ride than wash and aside from an occasional wipe down, the bike may get washed once a year.
Be careful with windex it needs to be the ammonia free kind or it can change your paint over time
 

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I recommend Plexis designed for your shield, bucket or bike, cuts bugs and grime when applied before its allowed to bake on. Also leaves a slight glow and if its gentle enough for face shields its not going to hurt the paint not a lick.
 

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I guess my concerns with a matte/suede finish isn't the upkeep, it's the scratches and scuffs. The only matte finishes I've ever seen are on new vehicles where scratches and scuffs don't exist yet. I want to know what scratches, scuffs and other damage looks like over a season of use. I don't mind some patina, but I don't want the bike looking 10 years old when it's only 10 months old.

So anyone with a matte finish Scout, please provide some thoughts/comments on how your bike's finish looks now that you've had your bike for a few months. Photos of any scratches and scuffs would be a HUGE help.

Thanks
I've had my denim black H-D for almost 6 years and still looks great. Where they tend to get a bit shiny is on the gas tank where your thighs tend to occasionally rub. No big deal...
 
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