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Tech Info: 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Low-Gloss Matte Paint Finish


Staff member
Nov 3, 2011
New Hampshire
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CTS-V Low-Gloss Matte Paint Finish

Source: GM TechLink
Date: February 2013

A limited production run of 2013 CTS-V Coupes will feature a new Silver Frost low-gloss matte paint finish (RPO GHD). This is the first GM regular production vehicle to offer a matte paint finish.

The matte finish adds a metallic appearance to the vehicle. Unlike typical gloss paints that employ a clearcoat that reflects light and leave a bright sheen, the matte finish uses a distinct clearcoat applied over the silver basecoat that diffuses and absorbs light to create a unique flat finish.

The matte finish requires special care requirements during Pre-Deliver Inspection (PDI) as well as by customers in order to maintain its unique appearance. Dealerships that receive a CTS-V with the matte finish are required to have a sales and service point of contact to ensure the proper paint care requirements are followed.

A Silver Frost delivery packet will be shipped to the dealership that includes instructions for the PDI process, a letter from Cadillac to be presented at delivery, paint care instructions, and a customer care acknowledgement form. In addition, a label with paint care instructions will be installed on the driver’s window. The paint bcare guidelines must be reviewed with customers at the time of deliver.

Care and Handling

CTS-V models with this special low-gloss paint finish are protected with a temporary peelable film. To remove the film, peel it off while rinsing the vehicle with cold water. The best exterior surface removal temperature for the film is 70°F (20°C).

To maintain appearance of the matte finish, do not rub the paint surface, only wipe lightly. Rubbing the finish will create bright spots and an uneven appearance. Refer to the PI in the Service Information and the updated PDI form before washing or servicing vehicles with the matte finish.

Liquid car wash soap and water as well as mild, non-abrasive bug/tar removers are the only cleaning materials that should be used to clean the Silver Frost low-gloss matte paint.

For these vehicles, DO NOT:

  • Apply add-on paint coatings or sealant protective coatings
  • Wax or polish the low-gloss finish
  • Finesse polish or rub the paint surface with any type of cleaner, glaze, wax or rubbing compound
  • Use additional “clearcoat sealants” in automatic car washes

Normal hand-washing or power-washing does not impact the low-gloss finish of the paint. When washing, wipe in a light forward and backward motion; avoid circular motions, which can alter the finish. Do not wipe the surface with a dry towel. Use a clean, damp chamois or microfiber towel to dry the vehicle and avoid water spots.

Remind owners that touch-free car washes are the only safe automatic car washes to use. Commercial car washes with any types of brushes are not recommended. Also, do not use a liquid wax in any car wash system.

Immediately remove foreign materials such as tar, tree sap, bugs and salt, from the paint surface.

To remove the adhesive from shipping labels without forceful rubbing, use a mild solvent-based adhesive remover.

Scratches, rub marks and other damage to the painted surface can be touched up similar to other types of paint, but any paint surface imperfection that would normally be repaired by polishing on high-gloss paint must not be attempted on the matte finish.

If the matte finish is altered, the affected panels will have to be repainted to return it to the intended low-gloss appearance.

Thanks to Jean Hart and Gary Kirrkamm

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