650 - finishing sanding and buffing painted parts
All the automotive painting tutorials I found said that the painted pieces needed to be finished sanded and buffed. This is counter intuitive that you would sand your final clear coat but I did it anyways and the results are great. All my pieces, especially the tank, had an orange peel finish with little bumps in the clear. On a couple pieces I even had clear coat runs as when I applied the last coat too thick over a prior coat that was no longer tacky.
I sanded the roughest parts with 1000 grit sandpaper. All parts got sanded with 2000 grit sandpaper. Then I moved to a medium buffing compound on a wool wheel. Finally a fine buffing compound on a foam wheel.
Sanding the parts is a little nerve racking. You can tell by feel when a part is done being sanded. They don't look great after being sanded, the finish is very dull. It is not until the buffing compound is used that they start to shine again.
I am very happy with the results. The seat, tank, and side panels all have a deeper smoother shine after finish sanding and buffing. There are of course still some imperfections in the paint, but those are just reminders of my hard work, rather than those of a professional paint shop so I am happy to have them.