12 Pros and Cons of Matte Black Car Paint

When new vehicles rolled off of the assembly line, the goal was to create a shiny finish. Drivers loved the idea of having a surface that could gleam. If you couldn’t see your reflection in the gloss, then it wasn’t a good enough job.

Those days are gone. Although a glossy finish is still a popular option, the idea of having a matte painted car is gaining some traction. This flat finish creates a distinctive look that everyone will remember when driving down the street. It creates a softer look that tends to accentuate the trim of the vehicle while working to hide the imperfections that might be on the painted surface.

You’ll experience the most benefits of matte black car paint when the vehicle is under direct sunshine. There will be less reflection off of the vehicle’s surface to create consistent visual appeal. The disadvantage of choosing this option is that the soft textures can often show visible dust and dirt when compared to the other options that might be available.

Here are more of the pros and cons that you’ll want to consider when looking at matte black car paint as an option for your vehicle.

List of the Pros of Matte Black Car Paint

1. It looks clean and tight when first applied.
The idea of matte black car paint is more for the vehicles that remain in storage more than they drive. When you can keep the surface clean, then there isn’t a better look available on the market today. The issue is that the surface is almost impossible to keep clean, so the flat factor begins to dull after only a few weeks of daily use. It can be a way to make the vehicle feel like it is unique, almost stealthy, but the best way to preserve it is to keep it in the garage. Think of this option as more of a museum piece.

2. You can pick up a vehicle with this finish without breaking the bank.
It is true that almost every vehicle that comes with a matte-paint finish has a premium price tag to consider. This issue places the cost of ownership beyond what the average person can afford. There is an exception to this issue, and that is the Hyundai Veloster Turbo. That car comes with a factory matte paint for less than $30,000, which is why it is becoming such a popular option.

In 2014, the matte finish for dealerships in Canada for this specific vehicle accounted for about 1 in 5. Transactions. Over the next 24 months, that figure rose to be 1 in 3 sales.

3. Matte black car paint is remarkably forgiving as a surface.
When you apply a matte black car paint with an appropriate finish, it is a remarkably forgiving surface. It delivers one of the best color payouts for any paint options, glossy or matte. This option produces a velvety finish that delivers rich results. It. Will hide uneven textures that might exist on the surface, with the flat surface absorbing sunlight to make imperfections less noticeable. Even though this option is more susceptible to some forms of damage and repairs could be costly, you generally need to be up close to the car before it becomes a noticeable issue.

4. Preventatives can make the paint surface become resilient to most contaminants.
UV rays can cause a lot of trouble for painted surfaces, whether they are matte or glossy. When you have sunlight raining down on the vehicle each day for hours at a time, discoloration and fading can occur. A clear coat helps to resist this issue, but that’s not a one-stop fix. You’ll need a sealant to provide another shielding layer.

This advantage might take a little work, but it can protect your surface against salt, snow, and other contaminants that happen on the road. It can help to prevent rust from forming. And although you might not have the option to paint over a scratch or use wet sanding techniques, most patches are solvable problems if you’re willing to work on the issue.

5. A matte paint cleanser will solve many of the cleanliness issues.
If you need to remove stubborn contaminants from a matte surface, then a cleanser made specifically for the matte black car paint will get the job done. Dr. Beasley’s is a popular brand in this category, providing a bottle of cleanser for about $35. This product breaks down the problem areas without changing the appearance of your finish. It’s the easiest way to remove bird droppings, tree sap, insect remains, and road tar.

You’ll need to use a product that is made without fillers or harsh chemicals. Then you’ll want to work with a product that comes with a guarantee that your paint will survive the efforts. It should also spot clean after the wash to remove anything that might be leftover from the cleaning work.

List of the Cons of Matte Black Car Paint

1. Defects in the paint are going to stand out like a sore thumb.
If your car manages to collect a small scratch for any reason, then it is going to stand out prominently if you use matte black paint. That’s why you’ll see most vehicles operating with a glossy finish instead. This issue also comes with a secondary disadvantage that you’ll need to consider because there are no ways to rejuvenate the paint when damage occurs.

Glossy finishes allow you to use polishing, waxing, or wet sanding to help the paint restore its finish. None of those efforts will work when you have matte paint on the care. You’ll also be stuck with fading if the work was done more than a few months ago, which means you either live with the damage or pay for an expensive repaint.

2. Cleaning matte black car paint is challenging.
You must take every step possible to reduce the threat of a scratch happening when you have matte black car paint. That means you need to stay away from any equipment that might have an abrasive brush. You can’t use washing products on the vehicle that have chemicals in them that could erode the finish. Even a contaminated towel could cause a problem for you. Want to go through an automatic car wash? Forget it – that service is too much risk.

You will need to invest in matte paint cleanser and wash your car by hand. Sheepskin cloths and mitts are your primary equipment option – not microfiber. Then, a matte sealant and protection film are necessary to ensure the best possible result occurs each time.

3. You must approach paint care in a very different way when compared to glossy paint.
The requirements for matte finish care are very different than what you’ll experience with glossy paint. You cannot use any detergents when trying to care for the paint. You should not use anything that could polish the surface either as that can lead to a lot of unwanted shine. A clay bar is sometimes an option to remove contaminants with other surfaces, but not when you have a matte black car paint finish to protect. That’s why the online advice you’ll find recommends that you use a professional service.

4. It costs a lot more to care for matte black car paint.
The reason why you’ll find a matte finish on high-end vehicles more than any other option is because of the cost of the auto detailing supplies. The products are more expensive to purchase, which means every job is going to drain your wallet. It can be a way to create a unique custom look if you don’t mind the expense, but drivers that can afford the overall cost of the vehicle in the first place have the means to manage these circumstances.

An easy way to achieve a dull paint appearance on your vehicle without killing your budget is to use a vinyl wrap. Even then, it helps to enlist the work of a professional unless you’re familiar with the steps involved in that task.

5. There is no additional warranty given for matte paint.
If you decide to have the manufacturer apply a matte black car paint surface for your new vehicle, the exterior is not going to come with an additional warranty. It doesn’t matter that the product is more delicate than the average glossy product. That’s why taking care of the paint must become a top priority. The regular care of your car is going to be in your hands. Even if you take the vehicle to a professional, anyone familiar with the characteristics of a matte surface is going to want you to sign a waiver against holding them responsible for any damage.

6. You must remove acidic products from the. Paint’s surface immediately.
Andrew Fine told The Globe and Mail in 2016 that his 2011 BWM with a factory matte finish became more stressful to maintain as the years passed. The initial look of the vehicle looked fabulous, but there were lots of challenges that had to be managed. “I was told by BMW that if a bird pooped on it, and I didn’t clean it within 15 minutes, it would eat the thin clear coat and leave a stain.”

That’s what happened to Fine’s vehicle. It left a polished stain that made it look like the car had a glossy spot on it. This disadvantage is not as prevalent today as it was in the past, but there are still significant issues for care that you must consider that people with glossy paint don’t need to worry about with their cars.

7. The matte black car paint comes at a higher cost.
The popularity of matte-paint finishes has made them become more available from many of today’s automakers. That benefit comes with a price tag that will make some people think twice about the issue. If you are in the market for a Mercedes-Benz, then you can expect to pay at least $2,500 more for the privilege of this surface. It can be an expense that reaches more than $4,000 more for some makes and models. If you’re trying to keep costs down, there aren’t too many options available in today’s market at the moment.


A matte black car paint finish is not the right option for everyone. If you are driving every day in areas with heavy contamination, then you could spend a lot of money taking care of that surface.

When your vehicle remains in storage often or money isn’t a problem, then a matte paint finish can provide a velvety look that glossy options cannot provide.

The pros and cons of a matte black car paint finish ultimately involve the amount of work you’re willing to put in your car. If you want a low-maintenance solution, then glossy paint is the better option.

About the Author
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.