Up until now my favorite finish has been General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. It goes on very easy, I just wipe it on using a cheese cloth pad I make, which holds a sufficient amount to permit me to wipe with the grain, leaving a wet surface behind, and I do not touch it again. To retouch it can leave streak. Leaving the wet surface allows it to flow level, and allows any bubbles to eliminate themselves. I’ve never had the bubbles remain until dried, flows out nice and smooth.
I lightly, and I stress lightly, wipe with 4 O steel wool when dry, about 10 hours, then repeat. Three coats and the surface is very nice. I also use semi-gloss, but did use high gloss once only to have a glass or plastic finish.
I used Minwax Antique Finish once, red can, and very much liked that too. Don’t know why I haven’t tried it again, but plan to on the next project.
All in all, with me the easier the finish, the better the finish. I hate to finish my projects, because of the odor, and the teadiousness of getting into all the corners and cubby holes – like period desks. Don’t want to spray, don’t have or want to purchase a spray gun, then build a spray booth. My work space is limited, one car garage.
So, if you have an easy good looking method and material, let me know what they are.