| | Wet and wild
Assuming its a urethane job with clear coat, you won't have to wait too long before wet sanding and polishing. Talk to the painter to get an idea of the materials they used to paint the car and the time you should allow before tackling the job.
If you start with nothing more than some orange peel to handle, I'd just give it a light sanding with 1500, followed by 3000. Some tips to remember...
Examine the paint job in strong light before starting the job. If you can see sags and runs, I'd stop right there and have a talk with the painter. If the sag or run is in any coat BUT the clear coat, you cannot sand it out - that panel will have to be repainted. Professionals usually don't leave such calling cards, but...
Soak your sandpaper overnight in the water before starting the job. You want it saturated and limp.
Get the car up on jackstands to bring the work up to you, rather than kill your back and get harsh angles that may make you mess up your paint job. Remember: If you blow through the clear coat, you get to paint it again!
Keep a bottle full of water to spray between swipes with the sanding block - a dab of dishwashing detergent in the water helps keep everything lubed.
Avoid the edges, moulding and style lines on the body. If you have a hard time doing this, put masking tape on the edges to avoid sanding through. If you don't know what you're doing, avoid power tools - the odds that you will get an edge and burn through the paint are almost 100%!
GO EASY! If you are not experienced, work soft, let the paper do the work, and take your time. Start on an area of the car that's easy for you to get to and see what's happening. Stop frequently and dry it off with a towel to check on the orange peel. When it's almost completely gone, STOP SANDING! Time to switch to buffing compound (Mothers and Meguiars make great buffing systems - you will need at least 3 grades of compound to do a good job. A DA buffer makes this go a lot easier, but its perfectly possible to do it all by hand).
Remember to avoid the edges with the buffing just as you did with the sanding. Light hand buffing of the edges using a sponge and a finishing polish is preferred to risking the whole project hurrying. The paint is ALWAYS thinnest on the upper edges - treat them with respect. If at any time in the process you start pulling up color on your pad (clear coat remains clear, of course), you've blown through the clear coat and are in trouble. Stop what you're doing and take the car to get that panel repainted, and contemplate your sins!
After buffing everything, apply a nice wax (I would stay within the same system of products for this, which is why I recommend Mothers or Mequiars, who have a huge line of compatible compounds to choose from.)
When it comes to sanding and buffing, LESS IS MORE! You can ALWAYS buff more later if you leav a bit of peal or a rough spot.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
"You can never be free until you let yourself go."