Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Baxter, Tennessee
short answer, more finish. here is what I do. You apply the finish and let it dry. then you hit is with 4/0 steel wool or 600 grit paper and sand away all the finish except what is in the pores. then you apply more and do the same thing the next day. Eventually you will notice the shiny dots (which are the pores with finish in them) will get smaller and fewer. that means your close. Depending on the finish it will take anywhere from 4 to possibly 20 coats to get a glass smooth finish. Once you get a sanded finish that doesn't show any more spots apply one or two more coats. After the last coat use a white rubbing compound to smooth out any sanding marks. then use a final rubbing with swirl remover. Or you can buff it with the Beal system but it's very easy to burn through a finish with the Beal.
For Walnut I prefer to use Birchwood-Casey True oil. It's a gunstock finish you can buy at sporting good stores and even Walmart. It builds faster.
Here is a vessel I did for an article on how to photograph really glossy pieces.