The object in applying varnish is to "lay down" a coat rather than to brush it on, and you will be more successful if you think in those terms. Always work on a horizontal surface when possible. This means you will have to varnish a dresser top first; wait until it dries to turn the piece and do one side; then turn again to do the other side. This is slow work but necessary because fluid varnish, after applied, levels itself on the surface. It obviously can't do this on a vertical surface and it will run if you apply more than a very thin coat.
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