Lots of guys are always asking about wet-sanding & buffing the clearcoat over top of paint. A buddy sent me such a question yesterday and I just happened to be down in my paint-shop buffing these custom-made triumph tanks... so I shot a pic of what I was doing.
In the foreground two flexible sanding pads... these happen to have 2500-grit and 3000-grit. When I wet-sand, I have just straight water in the Magic Orange Bucket, dip the paper/pad into the bucket every 10 seconds or so, and just sand until the surface is flat and shows no orange-peel (the clearcoat on these tanks flowed out beautifully so I was able to start with 2500-grit... typically the process begins with 2000-grit, 1500-grit or even 1000-grit). I wet-sand and wipe down dry continually to check progress.
Once I'm through 3000-grit, I go to the buffer. This is my high-end Porter-Cable detailing buffer that I've used the past 2-3 years... before that I used a series of of little cheapie detailing buffers rom the auto-parts store and they do a fine job. I like using a wool buffing bonnet... but I am going to test-drive a foam pad here pretty soon on something of my own and see how it cuts. I love the Meguiar's 105 Ultra-Cut Compound... does an incredible job.
Just thought that I'd share this pic of the real "glamour" side of being a rock-star custom painter (lol)... yeah, this is some of the most boring and tedious stuff. I have a stereo and a TV behind me (so I am not overly distracted while working) to keep me amused for the endless wet-sanding and buffing process.