I just buy Minwax quick dry poly. I think they lowered the viscosity a couple years ago and it's fine right out of the can. I apply with a folded up cotton rag. Sand with 320 between coats. 3 coats makes a great build. I rub the final coat with 320, 600, then Mirka Abralon pads on a random orbit sander to the desired sheen. On closed pore wood like hard maple and cherry, 2 coats gives a nice finish that is "close to the wood". Doesn't look like plastic coating which I hate.