Hey gang just want to share my experience with some wood finishing techniques for beginners.
I found the best to finish wood is by hand brushing (badger/ox tail brush) the finish on then waiting couple weeks for finish to cure and finalizing with a buffing compound. The finish I always like to cut it or thin in a little.
Practice couple times!
Take a little water and some 2000 grit or automotive sandpaper and just lightly sand the imperfections. This tip also works for painted wood. But all finished have to be cured before trying this maneuver. Then just either use a orbital buffer with light compund and or hand. You should have a glass finish.
If you have a new peace of wood and need to stain it I recommend using a cotton cloth like old t shirt balling it up then dipping it into the stain. Then applying the stain evenly. (always practice with spare peace 1st)
An older peace for refinishing really depends on how deep the finish is either scratched or just oxidized.
Resand to original wood if its pretty bad.
Always use a good sanding sealer because it will not only raise the grain but seal in the wood from various staining,
Hope this helps