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PPG Tech Tips – Repairing matt clearcoat

John Hristias – PPG Business Support Manager Asia/Pacific

Compared with traditional gloss clearcoats, vehicles finished in a matt clearcoat are not only radically different in appearance, the coating itself also requires a quite specific process to ensure it’s repaired with the correct colour match, along with a correct and consistent matt level.


Matt finishes are a growing trend amongst vehicle OEMs. Thanks to its partnership with PPG, Italian supercar brand, Lamborghini, was first to launch matt clearcoat on production models but a wide range of OEMs have since followed suit, including mainstream brand, Hyundai. It’s also becoming a growing trend in the aftermarket sector. Although there are still relatively few vehicles finished in matt clearcoat, they do seem to be finding their way into bodyshops across the region and have generated plenty of questions to PPG staff on how to deal with them.

Tips and recommendations

  • Firstly, it’s important to note that not all OEM matt finishes are the same. For example, Lamborghini’s has a very low gloss level (around 10%) and PPG D8115 Matt Clearcoat is recommended for refinish, whereas the gloss level on Mercedes Benz matt finishes varies (approximately 30%) so it’s recommended to use a combination of D8115 and D8117 Semi-Matt Clearcoat.
  • Refer to the appropriate Technical Data Sheet wherever possible.
  • Variations can occur in the original OE matt gloss finish in different areas of the vehicle and changes can also appear depending on how the vehicle is cleaned / maintained. As a result, the refinish clearcoat may need to be adjusted to match the original.
  • Matt clearcoats contain raw materials to reduce gloss but these can also affect the final colour. Therefore, colour matching involves a combination of the basecoat and clearcoat. Matt clearcoat film build can also cause a colour shift when applied over OE clearcoat.
  • It’s highly recommended that spray-out cards are used to check the accuracy of the gloss level, colour and number of coats required prior to repairing the vehicle.
  • It’s recommended that the repair be carried out ‘edge-to-edge’.
  • It’s not possible to de-nib or polish matt clearcoat so it vital that the repair process is kept extremely clean. Any foreign material must be removed before the final clearcoat application.
  • The clearcoat must be flashed-off to a completely matt appearance between coats and before baking – usually around 30 minutes between coats.

The bottom line is that refinish technicians need to take all these factors into account, thoroughly research the finish they’re dealing with and establish the most suitable process to reproduce a consistent matt finish with an accurate colour match and matt gloss level.


This Lamborghini comes standard with PPG Matt Clearcoat