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I recently bought a "scratch and dent" dining room set from a furniture store that was going out of business. Part of my plan was to refinish the tabletop, which was the most damaged part of the set.

First, I *lightly* hand sanded the table top with 400 Grit paper and then applied carnauba wax. This worked relatively well, but I wasn't thrilled with the gloss. My local Woodcraft store recommended Behlen's Master Gel, which they described as being virtually idiot-proof.

So tonight, I removed as much of the wax as I could with denatured alcohol, re-sanded the veneer, and applied the first coat of the gel.

Here's my question: is it ok that the first coat looks "streaky?" I am hoping that it will buff out when I polish it tomorrow morning (the Woodcraft store recommended 3 coats).

My fear is that I didn't do a good job of sanding and that the streakiness of the gel coating is just a reflection of the prep work underneath. That would be a problem since I think I'm already pushing the veneer to its limit.

NOTE: I'm a novice woodworker and probably have already bitten off more than I can chew.
 

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It's a little late now but I doubt if you got the carnauba wax off with alcohol. It would have been better to use a wax and grease remover such as Dupont Prepsol Solvent or at least napatha.

I haven't used the gel finish but it sounds like you don't have a uniform coat on. You may need to put a second coat on to achieve a uniform sheen. Sometimes you can rub out and buff a finish to a high gloss finish however if you rub through the gel finish it will show a spot. I would make sure you have enough of the finish on before attempting to rub it out. I normally wet sand the final finish with 1500 to 2000 grit wet and dry sandpaper and buff it with rubbing compound and a 7" auto polisher with a lambswool bonnet.
 
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