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      01-07-2013, 08:11 PM   #54
Private First Class

Drives: Z3 M Rdstr
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Charleston, SC

iTrader: (1)

Originally Posted by chris s View Post
I'd like to hear from people who have actually owned one of these or have first hand knowledge... I see a lot of frozen limited editions for sale on the used market lately, which makes me wonder if caring for the paint is really a huge hassle?

I know you can't polish or compound them....but how delicate is the finish with regard to bird droppings, sap, etc??

Any info is appreciated....
I've never personally owned a car with frozen paint, but I have a lot of experience "detailing" them. Matte paint a hassle? I think the correct answer to this question would vary from owner to owner. I say that becuase we all have different goals in mind when we think of our cars appearance and how much work we're willing to put in to achieve that goal. With that being said...

It helps to understand how a matte finish is acheived:
Most known auto manufacturers achieive a matte finish on their production vehicles by using a specific clear coat formula. This formula allows the clear coat to be applied with tiny imperfections. Think of a microscopic mountain range covering the entire car. VVVVVVV These small bumps don't allow light to be clearly reflected off the vehicles paint causing the rough but awesome looking matte finish. A gloss finish clear cloat doesn't consist of these types of imperfections allowing the paint to be a mirror like surface that clearly reflects various forms of light. (Picture a mirror ______)

And you'd need to understand why scratches are visible:
Think of a scratch as a V shaped line when looking at your cars finish parrallel with the body. If you've ever seen a face cleanser commercial that shows a pore on the surface of your skin, picture that but the pore is in the shape of a V. Now, the only reason a scratch is visible is because the light is now reflecting off of the inside of that V which goes against the head on reflections of an otherwise glossy "flat" surface. Now apply that same scratch to a matte finish and it becomes nearly invisible. This is because a matte finish already has imperfections and they act as a camouflage to most scratches in the clear coat. For most, this would be a positive aspect of owning a matte finished car because you don't have to invest in removing the clear coat scratches or imperfections via time consuming and expensive polishing techniques.

Typical polishing and waxing intended for regular gloss paints are not essentially "damaging" when used on your matte finish, however these products do clash with the whole idea of the manufactured imperfections that create the matte look. They are all intended to smooth over any imperfections and reflect the highest gloss possible. So by using these products and techniques your essentially removing or covering up the mountain range.

Substitues for widely known detailing procedures and products for matte finishes:
Claying/polishing - Claying is intended to remove any decontaminents or residue before polishing a gloss finish to prevent any further surface damage while removing the already present imperfections. Now we know it's no use polishing a matte finish, but when applying matte finish sealants it's still important to have the cleanest surface possible to prevent any further damage when applying these products. So there are matte finish-based cleaners in the form of liquids that are safe and will get rid of a lot of the surface contaminants.

Waxing/Sealaning your paint - It's still important to protect your cars matte clear coat as it's suceptable to the same wear from the environment as a gloss finish. However, using a sealant that's intended for a gloss finish will get you closer to just that, a glossier finish. There are tons of products available now for matte finishes that protect your clear coat, but at the same time maintain that "rough" look.

Washing/daily maintenance - Given the fact that polishing works against the whole idea of a matte finish and claying is virtually impossible, removing any water spots, dried bird crap, etc immediately is the only way to go when maintaining a matte finish. To say matte finishes need much more daily attention when coming into contact with the elements can be true. However, with both finishes bird crap or sap in the sun for one day is one day too many. Frequent hand washes with proper water and soaps, and removal of any bird droppings, sap or bugs immediately will lenghthing and help protect your finish from leaving permanent imperfections.

One type of finish can save you a step while the other can add one. So in essence, both types of paint require attention and like I said before it all depends what your goals are with regard to the finish of your car.