Just looking at grabbing a cheap acoustic, not gonna mess with the finish off a pricey guitar or anything like that. It's a Takamine "Jasmine" S34C I'm looking to buy used.

Anyways, I want to first rip off the black pick guard which I've read pulls off relatively easy, then I want to give it a nice even satin finish.

I debated steel wool, and wet sanding paper... just wondered if there were better options? advice/warnings? tips on avoiding stuff like seeing the scratches and direction?

...or simply, fine steel wool, then wet sand with 1000 then 1500 3M wet sandpaper?

Then when done, anything special to do with it or wet sand, wipe clean and restring?

I would probably go wet sanding or use the fine grade scotch-brite pads. I really don't like using steel-wool on guitars myself
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate