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I am still fairly new to woodworking and finishing my first end tables. I used red oak because I got a it for a good deal. My question is how many coats of minwax fast drying poly do you guys usually apply to the top for good protection? I applied the poly uncut with a foam brush, the finish is nice and smooth but I can see a few small pin holes in the areas with a lot of grain. I have about 5 coats on now, can too many coats cause problems? Thanks Jim
I have gone to the wipe on poly's for just that reason and have had some really good results. Usually have to do more then 3 coats, five seems to work great, but really not that hard to do, wiping on the poly goes really fast and no chance for bubbles, streaks or drips. I use old tee shirt square to put it on. Comes in oil and water based.

oil base

water based
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