My friend did not want a high gloss finish, but a more natural looking finish that would still be durable. I decided on Arm-r-seal wipe=on oil-based finish as I have had good luck with it on other projects. I first applied a seal coat of shellac. Following a light sanding, I then applied two coats of Crystalac water-based grain filler to fill the very porous walnut, sanding between each coat. Finally, I applied several coats of satin Arm-r-seal, thinned slightly with mineral spirits to make it flow and level better. For the top only, I sanded with a 1000 grit Abralon pad on my ROS between each coat and apllied the next coat without wiping off the sanding residue as this helped fill any porosities left in the table top. I also switched to a semi-gloss Arm-r-seal as the satin did not seem to warm-up the finish as much as I wanted.
-- She asked me, "Who are you going to please with that?" I said, "Me."