Hi, I am refinishing a formal dining table, new at this, took advice from Anna White and used Minwax stain followed with Helmsman Spar Urethane. I tried natural bristle and foam brushes, the natural bristle kept leaving bristles behind, the foam still left streaks. I sanded down in between coats with 220. And then sanded down the brush strokes and tried again with same results and flies sticking to the poly before it dried in my garage. I just stripped it back down last night for one last try. Not much of the stain came out, but that is fine, I just added one more coat of stain to even it out. I am waiting for the stain to dry before I attempt the poly one more time. After reading lots of threads, it is recommended to thin the helmsman to 50/50 or 10-20%, and others said they don't use spar because it is so thick and it is hard to get a smooth finish. I am totally ok with scrapping the Helmsman if there is a better and easier poly I could use to finish this off. I am also in FL, super hot and humid, so I brought the table inside to do this last poly coat and help with drying. I don't have a China brush and didn't see any at Lowes or Home Depot. I saw someone recommend using a cotton rag but all the stain rags (supposedly lint free) from the hardware store left lint specs in my stain but luckily rubbed off after. I just don't want those sticking in my poly coats. :/. Also as you can see from the pic, my grains are diagonal joining in the center and then they also have a border around that, so I'm going in all different directions with lots of overlapping. i did try a spray can poly which eliminated the brush strokes but left a spray can look without the nice glossy sheen i get from brushing on. So I sanded that off too. Any advice on my final poly coat and if I need a seal coat on top of my Minwax stain before I put a poly? As well as best way to apply the poly would be greatly appreciated!
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