Jeff Jewitt share a method he developed of wiping on a fast-dry varnish with a paper towel. This method provides protective qualities similar to a standard nitrocellulose lacquer, it’s easy to apply, and it dries fast. He explains how to do it in this article, detailing how much he dilutes the varnish, how he prepares the piece to be finished, what materials he uses, what types of paper towels work best, what dispensers are most effective, and how to lay the finish on the wood. You use a light touch and burnish it with some steel wool.

CORRECTION: The last sentence of the PDF is cut off. It should end with this sentence: "This results in a very pleasant satin sheen."

From Fine Woodworking #143