There's a new finish from Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint that is a very nice brush on finish called Tough Coat. It's a non-yellowing water based poly that goes on smoothly and leaves a matte like finish.
For a durable finish that can also be used on outdoor projects you may want to try Tung Oil. Tung Oil can be applied with a brush or soft cloth and needs to cure for several days.
Everyone has their favorite finish and it depends on where the piece will be used. Is it going to be in the kitchen where it will need to be durable enough to withstand spills? Or will it be in a low traffic area where it's not necessarily going to be used but more of an ornament. I suggest trying each finish on a sample block to see how it looks and feels. Good luck with your next project! You have many choices out there as far as paints and finishes. I'm always glad to help you make decisions on your painting dilemmas.
I'm finishing some of my projects today and I will post some pictures later of this chest of drawers. Happy Hump Day!!!!