Ok selecting and applying finish can be a lot like the black arts. Lets face it the manufactures aren't always much help.
Well that doesn't have to be. Like a lot of you guys I've been pretty much hit and miss. Due to ease of use I've been spraying a lot of Pre cat lacquer. It works great on small thing, fairly well on cabinet work. Isn't worth a hoot for small furniture though. It scratches way to easy
Well I got a new book on finishing for Christmas. It's called
Understanding Wood Finishing By Bob Flexner. (ISBN 9780762106219) Now usually I can't stand to read these type of books. Usually because they beat around the bush to much and I get information overload.
He gets right to the point, One of the things I like about it is it is divided into sections, Basically Preparation, types of finishes. and application. Even though he does a thorough job, theres not a whole lot of wasted words.
A couple of interesting tidbits I've learned so far.
All of these companies really don't "manufacture" their finish.
They actually buy all the ingredients from a couple of chemical companies then mix their own concoction.
Look at like a loaf of bread. Your basic loaf of bread has
Flour, yeast, Water, sugar, salt. But depending on what brand your ingredients are will change the taste of the bread.
ever used Tung oil finish? it may have been more wiping varnish than tung oil
I can't begin to relate 1/10 of this information to you.
I highly recommend you get a copy and read it. I haven't finished it yet but it has really opened up my eyes.