I applied about a dozen coats of lacquer in the past week. That brought back a lot of good memories of my experience with the classical guitar I built in the early 1980's. Without the luxury of a proper dedicated workshop, I had to be much more resourceful this time. A few old particle boards made for an impromptu spray booth, just enough to contain the overspray from getting all over the rest of my shed.
I prepared the back and sides of this old guitar by light hand sanding with some 150 grit, followed by a vigorous rubbing with some steel wool. As a final step, I cleaned everything up with a paste of baking soda and water, applied with a toothbrush. After allowing the paste to completely dry, I wiped off the residue with a clean, dry rag.