It could have been caused by any number of reasons but I ended up with some "orange peel" in the final coat of clear so I wanted to smooth it out.
The trick was that I didn't want to be too aggressive with the sanding/buffing and go through my clear coat - I just wanted to smooth it out a little. A show quality mirror finish would be great but this is still a rattlecan paintjob so it doesn't need to be perfect.
I picked up the following from the local auto parts store:
- Foam buffing pad (for use in a drill)
- 1500 grit sandpaper
- 2000 grit sandpaper
- Meguiar's Fine-Cut Cleaner
- Meguiar's Machine Glaze
There might be a better method or collection of tools/materials but, again, this is my first try and I don't exactly know what I'm doing.
I wet sanded with 1500 and then 2000. I used a little dish soap in the water to lubricate the sandpaper - a tip that I read online. The sandpaper did a nice job knocking down the orange peel to a minimum. Then I used the Fine-Cut Cleaner followed by the machine glaze, which brought the gloss back. It was definitely tricky to buff the fender and tank without them being mounted or secured to something but it all worked out OK. I'll wax the fender and tank later (I read that I should wait a month or so) and that should smooth it out even more.
Check back tomorrow for pics of the buffed tank and fender in the sun.