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Aloha
As i stated in my introduction post, I know NOTHING about finishing and the topic is overwhelming so I don't even know how to search this.

I made a table top and sprayed it with tinted waterborne polyurethane, two coats. I've added one coat of clear poly. the result is that it looks like a painted top :/

What do i have to do to get some depth into the finish? I'm gonna need some more applications of semi-gloss WB poly...will that bring the depth itself or is there a step or product that I'm unaware of?

Mhalo
-Av
 

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Spray finishes tend to sit on top. Many years of airbrush painting & makeup taught me that. To get some sort of "glow" in the wood, the finish has to penetrate, saturate, the surface wood.

Finishing western red cedar wood carvings, I slop it on and let it soak, paper towel to sop up the run-off. Of course, having very bold grain and figure makes for a better visual quality. Scrap testing is worth doing. I have no suggestions for rehabbing the surface.
 

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where's my table saw?
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some of the "deepest" finishes I've seen....

Have been either machine polished or hand rubbed. Usually in between coats, a light sanding is all I do. I have machine polished or hand rubbed a finish on automotive and motorcycle paint jobs, but not wood. I like a satin finish on wood otherwise it looks like plastic rather than wood....jmo.

If the finish is applied "wet" or generously applied, it makes for a more uniform and flowing surface, or deeper. If applied "dry" or sparsely applied, it tends to be dull and lifeless, in my experience.
 

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It looks painted because you have pigment suspended in the finish. The only fix is to strip the finish off and stain the wood with a oil stain and use only a clear finish over the top.
 

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Yeah, I get that, Steve. This is a corporate client and I used the finish that they provided. It's a complicated arrangement that's too much trouble to describe so I'm just going with it...ultimately this will be a temp replacement for future repairs.
 

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Yeah, I get that, Steve. This is a corporate client and I used the finish that they provided. It's a complicated arrangement that's too much trouble to describe so I'm just going with it...ultimately this will be a temp replacement for future repairs.
Ok, well if you are supplied with the finish perhaps you could cheat a little. If you know what the end result is suppose to be you could stain the wood a little light with a oil stain and then only use one thin coat of the clients muddy finish. Then apply clear over it.
 
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