I'm thinking for a table you probably want to use something besides JUST oil anyway... otherwise you won't be getting much protection from things tables are commonly used for .... like water glasses, etc.
There was a time where I would suggest poly, but I've joined the ranks of poly haters... in any case, a wipe on poly is better than straight, and it will give you better protection.
The sheen of a piece takes on the characteristics of the top coat, so you can have something glossy on first, and then matte on top... and the piece will be matte.
if it were me, I'd get regular non poly varnish, thin it down to 50% with mineral spirits and wipe it on a couple coats. This will still give you the non top coat look I imagine you are looking for, add better protection, and help bring down the sheen.
it is hard to find inexpensive non poly varnish - I finally found it at Shermin Williams under their label
While rubbing out the finish works for typical topcoat finishes, I'm not so sure it would be effective on a oil finish. Either way, I agree, make sure it is fully cured before doing anything else - at least double the time that the can suggests. Sniff it, if you smell anything, it hasn't cured yet
When using a matte top coat finish, make sure to stir a lot... before and during application. there is a material in the finish to cause the flattness (called a flatener) and you need to make sure it stays suspended while applying
Last edited by Wood4Fun; 07-04-2009 at 09:51 AM.