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I <3 the smell of sawdust
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I finished my walnut kitchen table, but even using a satin poly varnish, it's too reflective. And because the table sits in front of a glass door, and the finish isn't 100% perfect, you see all the imperfections. But really, I just don't like how reflective/glossy it is. With the light behind you, it looks great.

So what can I use to flatten the finish a bit and remove the slight marks from buffing the poly with 0000 steel wool? I love the way it feels, so I don't want to lose that. Or should a put on a coat of flat varnish?

The first picture is with the door behind me. As you can see from the other 2, it's pretty reflective.
 

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If you stirred the finish good and it still came out that shinny, I would either try a flat poly a different brand of satin poly and put another coat on. You could rub the finish out with steel wool after the finish has dried a couple of weeks but I've never liked the appearance. Instead of having a uniform sheen it looks more streaked. If you do use steel wool and you are working with a water based poly make sure you clean the dust from it off very good before topcoating
 

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Rick Mosher
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It is shiny because you filled all the pores of the wood and increased the reflectance. It would have been better to have put on less finish and allowed the pores of the wood to show, this is called an open pore finish.

Too late now though so to answer your question about rubbing out the top IMHO the BEST thing out there for a rubbed finish is an Abralon pad on a DA or inline sander. 1000 grit would be a low (15-20%) sheen 2000 around 50% and 4000 almost a gloss.

However I think you will find you still will have the same problem with backlight. The reflectance of the full filled finish will still be there.
 
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