The SEMA show is chock-full of cars painted in matte finishes of all colors. There is no accounting for bad taste. Although some people think these cars look keen, there is of course the maintenance problem.
When asked about the pros and cons of matte black, one forum member (niky) responded: “Matte black paint looks awesome when it’s new and kept clean… but give it a few weeks, let it get dirty, and no matter how you clean it, it looks old and crappy.”
I think such owners want to make their cars look stealthy, like the B-2 Bomber with its radar-absorbing paint. They don’t realize their cars may become just as obsolete.
You can’t use wax on it, scratches are impossible to get rid of, special detergents and frequent washing are required, and a matte paint sealant is a good idea. Every defect will show (primer paint is flat—remember?—to show defects).
If you want to make a statement with your car, vinyl wraps (see the camo TT above) are a much better idea.
But unless you’re on a tight budget, give the wrap job to a pro, since the application process is really difficult. You’ll save a lot of money doing it yourself but will curse the creases and bubbles that result. Truly, you have to be a little nuts to go the cut-and-paste route.
That said, here are some of the many variations on a theme that appeared at SEMA last year. Turn off the wretched sound and check out these matte and wrapped cars, a few of which do look great, I must say.
Vinyl is a lot more durable than any matte finish; it comes in all kinds of patterns, colors and finishes; and you can remove it to get the original paint back when you sell the car. More information here.
Are you, or have you ever been, tempted to go the matte or vinyl route with your wheels?