Flat black paint vs Matte black: Which one is the best?

Do you want to use black paint on your car or other vehicles? Maybe you want to use Flat black paint or Matte black. Then you need to think about both black paints. There are many black paints available in the market. But all black paint is not the same. Before buying black paint between the two, you should read this article. Here we explain every single difference between Flat black paint vs Matte black. It will help you to make a decision.

When you buy black paint, first you need to know “What are Flat black paint and Matte black?” and what is the difference between flat black and matte black?


What is Flat black paint?

Flat black typically refers to a little gloss or shiny finish. It has a very flat appearance, with no shine or reflection. Flat black paint is often used on hot rods and muscle cars to give them a classic, vintage look. It may have a slight texture to it as well.

What is Matte black?

Matte black paint has a slightly higher sheen level of paint. Typically it ranges from 5-15% gloss. Matte black paint is often used on surfaces that require a more durable and washable finish, such as cars, and motorcycles. After using this paint on cars or vehicles, it gives them a sophisticated, elegant look.

Flat black paint Vs Matte black

You may think both flat black paint and matte black paint are the same. Although both appear quite similar. But there are some key differences between the two paint finishes. It can impact your painting project’s overall appearance.

The main difference is the level of gloss or sheen. Flat black paint has no gloss or sheen at all, while matte black paint has a slightly higher level of gloss. Gloss can affect the paint’s looks in different lighting conditions.

Differences Between Flat black and Matte black


Flat Black Paint

Matte Black


Smooth and shiny finish

Smooth and non-reflective finish


Reflects light and creates glare

Absorbs light and reduces glare


Susceptible to scratches and scuffs

More resistant to scratches and scuffs


Less expensive than matte black

More expensive than flat black paint


Roller, brush, or spray gun

Roller, brush, or spray gun


Typically has a smoother texture

Typically has a slightly rougher texture


May require more coats to achieve desired coverage

May require fewer coats to achieve desired coverage

Stain resistance

May be prone to staining, especially with grease or oil

More resistant to staining than flat black paint


Difficult to touch-up without leaving noticeable marks

Easily touched-up without leaving noticeable marks

UV resistance

May fade over time when exposed to UV rays

More resistant to fading when exposed to UV rays

Scrub resistance

May not be as resistant to scrubbing as matte black paint

More resistant to scrubbing than flat black paint


Higher sheen than matte black

Lower sheen than flat black paint

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Flat black paint?

Flat black paint and matte black are both popular choices for automotive and other design applications. Both black has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Flat Black Paint:

  • Easy to apply and touch up
  • Hides imperfections in the surface
  • Provides a smooth and uniform finish
  • Reflects less light than glossy finishes.
  • May be less expensive than matte black.

Disadvantages of Flat Black Paint:

  • Tends to show scratches and scuffs more than matte black
  • May require frequent cleaning and maintenance to keep it looking good
  • Difficult to get an even finish without the right tools and technique
  • May not provide the same level of depth and richness as matte black.

What Are The Advantages and Disadvantages of Matte Black paint?

Advantages of Matte Black:

  • Has a luxurious and sophisticated look
  • Resists scratches and scuffs better than flat black
  • Provides a rich, deep finish that can enhance the design of the object
  • Reflects less light than glossy finishes.
  • Create a unique and personalized look when used creatively

Disadvantages of Matte Black:

  • More difficult to apply and touch up than flat black
  • Requires more care and maintenance to keep it looking good
  • More expensive than a flat black
  • Can highlight imperfections in the surface if not applied properly.

Many people ask to know about satin black vs matte black. Maybe you are too. If want to know click on the following link.

Tips for Maintaining Flat Black or Matte Black Paint

  • Clean your vehicle regularly to prevent dirt and grime.
  • To clean don’t use harsh chemicals or abrasive materials.
  • Use a soft, microfiber towel to dry your vehicle after washing it.
  • Avoid parking your vehicle in direct sunlight.

How do Apply Flat Black or Matte Black Paint?

The application process is very similar to other types of paint. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Clean and prepare the surface before applying the paint.
  • Flat black paint and matte black paint require multiple coats to achieve a uniform finish.
  • The application process can take longer than with glossier paints.

Flat black paint vs matte black: Which One is Right for You?

The choice between two black paintings ultimately depends on your personal preference. You also need to think look what you want to achieve.

For a classic, vintage look, you could choose Flat black paint for a car or motorcycle. It is a great option.

For Flat Black: You can buy “Rust-Oleum 1976730 Painter’s Touch Latex Paint” from Amazon

If you prefer a more sophisticated, elegant look, matte black paint might be the better choice.

For Matte Black: You can buy “Rust-Oleum 276779 Automotive Peel Spray Coating” from Amazon.

Differences flat black vs matte black vs satin black

Comparison Flat Black Matte Black Satin Black
Glossiness 0-5% 5-15% 15-25%
Reflectivity Low  Very Low Low
Texture Smooth Less Smooth Smooth
Durability Low Low Medium
Scratch resistance Poor Poor Medium
Stain resistance Poor Poor Medium
Cleaning Easy Very Easy Easy
Appearance Flattest finish Very low shine Slight sheen

You may also want to read the difference between gloss black vs satin black.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is flat black the same as matte black?

Flat black and matte black are very similar, but they are not exactly the same. Both finishes don’t reflect light in the same way a shiny finish. However, “flat black” generally refers to a finish that has absolutely no gloss or shine. On the other hand “matte black” typically refers to a finish low-gloss appearance.

How long does flat black or matte black paint last?

The lifespan of flat black or matte black paint depends on the quality paint and it’s maintenance. With proper care, both paints can last for many years.


Hope now you understand the difference between flat black paint Vs matte black. It will help you to choose the best one. You need to choose the paint for personal preference. Although, both types of paint have advantages and disadvantages. And both paint gives your car or motorcycle a sleek and stylish appearance.

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