Vehicles sporting matt finishes are very on-trend at the moment, but coating and repairing these surfaces can prove to be quite a challenge for even the most experienced refinisher.
A matt finish needs to be dealt with very differently from a high-gloss one, for instance it must not be sanded or polished. Refinishers should not try to polish out tiny stone chips, minute scratches or fingernail marks as this would result in small glossy areas, ruining an otherwise evenly matt surface. Micro Repairs and blend-in repairs are not possible either, as they too would diminish the overall appearance. This means that even for small paint defects the entire panel must be repaired, and depending on where the damage is, it may be advisable to repair the complete side of the vehicle.
Jodie Henly, Standox brand specialist, advises, “repairing matt surfaces requires more time and more materials than repairing gloss finishes. It’s important to capture these increases in the estimate. But if the job is prepared properly, due care taken during the repair and the right products used, perfect results can be achieved.”
Precision is the most important aspect when repairing matt finishes – even minor deviations from the correct mixing ratio of hardener, clear and thinner can lead to changes in the level of matt effect. Refinishers should not use a mixing stick but should weigh the quantities on the scales. Exact weighing is made easier by the product mix tool in the Standox Standowin colour search software. It is also vitally important to be 100% accurate when recording the repair procedure and materials used, which will make the finish easier to reproduce during any further repairs.
Before starting the repair refinishers should remember that different coat thicknesses have an impact on the final appearance and so may have to adapt their normal application techniques. In some circumstances two normal spray passes will look different from two rich ones after drying. Correct flash-off is equally important. To avoid glossy areas, the intermediate and final flash-off times recommended in the technical data sheet should be strictly followed. Even the type of drying is important when repairing matt clearcoats. Refinishers should never use infrared curing on matt clearcoats. Air drying or forced oven drying also have different influences on the degree of gloss. Oven-dried paintwork looks a bit shinier than an air-dried finish.”
To watch a video on matt finishes and repairs or to download the ’Simple matt refinishing’ poster visit www.standox.co.uk/matt. To obtain an A2 sized copy of the poster, contact your Standox distributor.