06 March 2019
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.
SLV4985 Universal Flattening Agent – Technical Data Sheet
Designed for use across many PPG paint lines, the OneChoice® universal matting and universal flattening agents are added to various formulas to achieve various degrees of gloss in the final finish.
DSC5250 Ditzler® Satin Clear Kit – Technical Data Sheet
Low gloss. All boss. Ditzler® Satin Clear is a low gloss custom clear providing a uniform, low gloss finish popular with today's custom painters. It delivers superior mar resistance and outstanding color retention. It can be used on accent stripes, hoods or the entire vehicle.
HRB9700 Hot Rod Black – Technical Data Sheet (Compliant Markets)
This Vibrance Collection® topcoat provides a uniform, low glass and deep-looking black finish designed to replicate the glory days of street rods and muscle cars. Inspired by the iconic rides of yesteryear, this classic black, with its smooth satin finish, is the ideal complement to late-model builds as well.
While Ditzler® Hot Rod Black's style is throwback, its two-component, single-stage technology is thoroughly modern. The HRB9700 Hot Rod Black kit includes a quart of Hot Rod Black and a half pint of hardener. And it can be reduced with any PPG urethane reducer in an easy 4:1:1 mix ratio for spraying.
The width of the bands reflects the natural variation seen in OEM colors which feature a matte or reduced gloss clearcoat. The bands also accommodate the variation in gloss levels achieved by refinish products as a result of changes in application process, equipment choice, product selection, etc.
NOTE: The actual gloss achieved by a painter can vary significantly as a result of variables in application, temperature, hardener/thinner choice, etc. The recommended band and the matting agent addition will at best only ever be a guide. It is strongly encouraged that a test panel be sprayed before painting the car.
Matte banding guides are available for both PPG and Nexa Autocolor® brands. Distributors can order them through PPG Online Ordering.
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.