What Is Low Gloss Paint?

Low gloss paint - also known as "flat" or "matte" paint - has always been popular with vehicle enthusiasts. From classic "rat rods" to new electric cars, low gloss paint is appreciated for it's uniqueness and it's association with high performance.

The Best Way To Achieve A Low Gloss Paint Effect

There are several ways to give paint a flat finish:

  • Flattening a single stage finish with a flatting additive
  • Buying a pre-flattened single stage finish
  • Using a low gloss 2-part clear coat

The "best" method depends on your situation.

Generally speaking, the most durable and versatile approach is to use a low gloss 2-part urethane clear over conventional base coat. But these 2 stage base clear systems cost more to apply than pre-flattened single stage finishes, and for that reason single stage finishes are more popular.

Finally, while enamels can be used to create a low gloss effect, they're not recommended when durability is desired.

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Hot Rod Black

2 Stage Low Gloss Paint

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Using a 2 stage low gloss paint has several advantages:

  1. Thousands of color possibilities, including pearl and metallic shades
  2. Improved resistance to fading and cracking when compared to single stage paint
  3. Scratches are easier to repair
  4. Chipping is much less likely
The only disadvantage to using a 2 stage low gloss finish is cost - you'll spend twice as much applying a 2 stage paint as you will a single stage. Still, considering the benefits, 2 stage paint is often the better value.To purchase a low gloss paint kit, simply choose your base color and then add-on a low gloss clear.

Single Stage Low Gloss Paint

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While single stage low gloss paints can't match the durability or wide color selection of two stage paints, they're big winners when it comes to cost.

And, because of the great value that single stage low gloss colors offer, we have hundreds of colors to choose from.

Finally, to maximize the durability of our single-stage applications, we offer pre-flattened single stage in a durable 2k or "two part" urethane technology. This offers very good resistance to fading, chalking, and cracking, with a more consistent mix than you can get adding flattener to your own color.

Don't Forget About Gloss Sheens!

Many people don't know it, but there is a lot of variation in gloss levels when talking about low gloss finishes. We consider there to be 4 categories of low gloss sheens available:
  • Flat
  • Matte
  • Satin
  • Semi-gloss
Each sheen offers its own unique look, and each is available in our 2 stage low gloss kits.