I sprayed this walnut table with water based Varathane... dries to touch in 30 minutes. https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@ ... hotostream
During spraying, the Varathane started to clot, started to dry, i.e., the spray gun began spitting out small globs of semi-dried finish onto the table's top. The Varathane was starting to dry that fast, because of the atomizing. I couldn't adjust my gun to prevent it. I probably could have brushed on the Varathane with better luck.
I ended up stripping the Varathane off and finishing the table with pre-cat lacquer, sprayed on. A few issues with the lacquer - the stripping didn't get all the Varathane off, so the acetone (lacquer solvent) cause the remnant Varathane to lift from the walnut pores. Had to sand more, then spray more lacquer.
Lesson learned? Be careful what you put on the table. If you have to strip it, later, and refinish, you may end up with remnant finish still on the table, causing issues with your subsequent finish.
Here's an option. Test this procedure on some scrap: Aereosol (rattle) cans of shellac (Lowes, Home Depot, paint store). Spray 1 coat, lightly sand (220 grit) the burrs off, then spray another coat. This might be smooth/sufficient enough. If not, lightly sand and spray a 3rd coat. Live with this finish for a while, see how you like it. If you don't like it, then sand lightly and apply whatever finish you prefer.
Shellac is compatible with almost any other kind of finish, so you can apply anything on top of it. No other finish is compatible with all other finishes, as shellac is. If subsequently (a week, a month, a year later) you don't like the shellac finish, then you can always top coat it with another, WITHOUT having to strip off the shellac, i.e., no remnant finish issues. Simply lightly sand the shellac and apply whatever finish over it. If you put some other finish on the table, it will most likely have to be stripped, completely off, before a subsequent finish can be applied. You wouldn't have to strip the shellac off, before applying another finish.
Shellac is a sealant, as well. " Sealcoat" is a shellac primer, or sorts. Sealcoat is a "2 cut" (solution) of shellac.
Test on some scrap wood a few coats of shellac.