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CUPRA partners with Autoglym to create ultimate care guide for matte paint finishes

CUPRA has partnered with leading car care brand, Autoglym, to produce the ultimate care guide for owners of vehicles with matte paint.

Matte paint finishes have exploded in popularity in recent years, with many brands such as CUPRA offering it as a factory option. CUPRA offers both the Formentor and Leon with two matte paint options: Magnetic Tech Grey and Petrol Blue.

Partnering with the UK’s car care experts
Autoglym, founded in 1965, has consistently innovated its product range to meet the changing demands of all modern paint finishes. At its headquarters in Letchworth Garden City, its extensive laboratory research has enabled it to develop products ideally suited to maintaining matte paint and understand the best practices to follow.

The key difference between a matte finish and a traditional gloss finish is the manner in which they react to light,” said Inderjit Johl, Head of Development at Autoglym.

“Under a microscope, a gloss paint has a smooth finish which causes the light to reflect off the surface. In contrast, a matte finish has a rough surface designed to absorb the light – it’s a bit like a mountain range consisting of a series of peaks and valleys.

“The key to maintaining the matte finish is to avoid flattening the peaks or filling in the valleys. Polishes and other products containing abrasives risk irreversibly flattening the peaks, leaving a gloss-like finish. Hard paste waxes will fill in the valleys, also removing the matte finish. Instead, owners should use a liquid wax which thinly coats the contours of the clear coat surface.”

The matte paint care process
The first and arguably most important stage in cleaning a car with matte paint is the pre-wash. Autoglym recommends applying a snow foam, such as its Polar Blast, to the entire vehicle followed by a high-pressure rinse to remove dirt and contaminants before applying any kind of mitt, sponge or cloth. Removing as much grit, dirt and other abrasives as possible reduces the risk of scratching the paintwork during the contact part of the wash – especially important for matte paint finishes where damage is harder to rectify.

After this, a gloss enhancer-free shampoo such as Autoglym Ultra High Definition Shampoo or Pure Shampoo should be used for the contact part of the wash, ideally with a wash mitt. If applying the shampoo with a pressure washer lance, Autoglym Polar Wash is also suitable. If required, Active Insect Remover and Intensive Tar Remover are also suitable for use on matte paint finishes, should stubborn insect remains or tar deposits need to be removed.

To protect the paintwork, Autoglym recommends its Rapid Aqua Wax. This liquid-based wax will thinly coat the peaks and valleys of the matte paint surface, rather than fill them in like a thick paste wax would. Simply spray the wax onto the surface whilst still wet, use the supplied microfibre cloth to spread it evenly across the surface, and the other microfibre cloth to dry and buff. Alternatively, Autoglym Rapid Ceramic Spray will provide a protective layer with UV protection and hydrophobicity to make future cleaning easier.

If any further detailing or correction is required, the use of any hard waxes or products containing abrasives such as polishes, compounds or scratch removers must not be used. Owners should contact their local dealer to rectify any scratches.

Lastly, for any annoying marks which remain such as greasy fingerprints, Autoglym Fast Glass is ideal as a spot cleaner on matte paint. It should be remembered that over time it will strip away any protective wax applied and so this should be reapplied after repeated use of Fast Glass.

“Motorists are often nervous of matte paint finishes due to the notion of it being easy to damage, and whilst this is true, by following a few simple steps when washing the vehicle and by using the right products, it’s easy to prevent this from happening,” added Johl.

Owners are advised to wash and maintain cars with matte paint by hand.

Perfecting a distinctive paint finish to capture CUPRA’s DNA
The CUPRA Colour & Trim team spent three years developing the two matte paint colours which were introduced with the launch of CUPRA Formentor in 2020. CUPRA’s colour palette is inspired by nature and is designed to capture the essence of brand’s DNA: contemporary design, sophisticated performance and unique style. Each shade is enhanced by mixing pigments and other materials, such as aluminium or mica, to create the desired finish.

The team developed over 800 different formulations to perfect the Formentor’s colour palette. For instance, in the case of Petrol Blue Matte, it requires a precise combination of pearl blue, black, crystal silver, white, violet and aluminium pigment to create its characteristic finish.

Richard Harrison, Managing Director of CUPRA & SEAT UK, said: “CUPRA’s matte paint options are ideal for owners looking to stand out from the crowd. It’s a finish which perfectly complements the distinctive designs of the Formentor and Leon and really emphasises their striking exterior contours. By using our easy-to-follow guide created in partnership with Autoglym, we hope owners will be confident on how best to maintain this eye-catching paint finish.”

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