questions about varnishing a naked table top
I've been asking about adding a layer of varnish to my table and learned a lot about varnish vs lacquer and decided that someone had varnished this table. So I figured I'd have to strip it and start over but just for fun I thought I'd try sanding off the globs and see how bad it was.
Anyway it came off so easy I just couldn't stop and have pretty much removed the finish on the top of the table. I have a few questions if y'all would continue to indulge my newbieness.
1. This stuff is/was definitely varnish. I didn't remove it from the sides of the tabletop--I gently sanded them (and sanded off the old varnish drips). Should I be able to topcoat that with varnish or do I need to get it totally bare?
2. There is a decorative groove in the table where the solid edge meets the veneered top. This is a bad thing in an everyday table. Would it be a terrible mistake to get extra varnish in there to make it less deep? It's going to get really gross if I don't fill it with something.
3. How do I know what color the wood will be once varnished? Should it be similar to the color wet, like with mineral spirits or when licked? I know when you stain it, you get a pretty good idea but I think there may be enough stain left here that I don't have to stain it but I'm not sure.
4. I want to do a rubbed on varnish because I get sloppy when I use a brush. Do I need one formulated for wiping on or can I just thin regular stuff? Any recommendations?
5. Does varnish eat through latex gloves?