Q. One of our painted products has a matte finish per a customer request, but we have received numerous complaints that the paint scuffs too easily. How can I scientifically explain why matte finishes scuff more easily than gloss finishes? J.C.
A. Since matte finishes contain more pigment than gloss finishes, there are more pigment particles on or closer to their surfaces. Therefore, when a matte finish is scuffed, it is actually burnished (polished by removing surface or near-surface pigment particles). This results in a change of reflectivity in the scuffed area. Gloss finishes also can be scuffed, but the results generally show as scratch marks.
You should look into the possibility that the vehicle in your paint does not provide the scuff resistance of other paints. You may be able to solve that problem by changing to a more mar-resistant or scuff-resistant material. The better paint may be more expensive, but will be worth the cost if it stops customer complaints.