I recently completed building a cabinet drawer to convert a free standing vanity into a dresser. I'm aware that drawer interiors are often left unfinished, but it's quite humid where I live and I wanted to mitigate wood movement as much as possible.

The existing drawers have a fairly smooth, clear finish on them, but I'm not sure if it's polyurethane or something else. The reason I don't think it's poly is that it doesn't have the characteristic "grabbiness" (high coefficient of friction) that most polyurethane coated surfaces do. It's almost more of a sealer. Any ideas on what it is? I'd like to match it if at all possible.

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    If this is commercially built, it may be a catalysed varnish. – keshlam Dec 8 '14 at 20:33
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    Spray lacquer is still very popular amongst professional cabinet re-finishers and for commercial application, although max VOC requirements are making water based varnishes more popular. Use whatever is easiest for you, just match the sheen. Water based varnish is easy to apply and will not leave a "grabby" finish when applied correctly. – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 9 '14 at 2:23
  • @JimmyFix-it, That sounds like an answer. – Doresoom Dec 15 '14 at 19:33
  • As for my solution, I bought some dewaxed shellac. It got the finish I wanted, but it left a bit of a golden hue to the drawer that the others don't have. I think keshlam and @JimmyFix probably correctly identified the actual finish previously used as a varnish. – Doresoom Dec 15 '14 at 19:35

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