This topic is not so much about the project, but the finishing itself (I wasn’t sure if I created here or in the “Finishing” section). Paul says that he used varnish, one coat, then sanded with 150 grit (isn’t too abrasive?), and then 2 or 3 coats, sanded with 240 grit and applied wax at the end.
What is your method for applying varnish on solid wood and birch plywood? Are there differences in the application, in the method? Do you also use a brush to remove the excess? Won’t it leave brush marks?
Do you use a sealer or just apply several layers of varnish, like Paul did? Why does he never uses a sealer? Is there any advantage to using it?
Sorry for all of these questions, I’m new at this and I’m searching for the best method to apply varnish leaving a soft a smooth touch, with any marks of brush or roller (and without looking too glossy).
This really depends on the wood you’re using and what result you’re looking for. If your looking for a smooth silky finish in woods like birch, beech or even pine you may just use linseed oil., if you want a mirror-finish you need to fill the pores, either with the varnish or a separate filler. Shellac is fast and rather durable, but 6-9 layers of varnish with intermediate waiting a couple of weeks for it to sink in and then sanding every third layer is a totally different finish. Here’s a short description of pros and cons https://www.popularwoodworking.com/finishing/30921/ . If you really want to dig in, there are several special books going in to all details