Getting a professional wood finish when using a water based paint.

A professional way to achieve a very nice smooth glossy finish to your paintwork without using oil-based paint, is to go and purchase a reasonably priced waterbased gloss or Hi-gloss paint, and also purchase a waterbased clear gloss varnish, stir both well and the mix the two at a ratio of 50% / 50% ie; tablespoon of one mixed with a tablespoon of other if you get the idea,  also try using long lighter strokes when painting, results will give a truly professional finish.