Over the years I have used all sorts of finishes. Initially when the medium was always wood based material, I used traditional methods mostly, such as hand polishing, painting, staining and waxing etc.
I have for some years been using various real metal finishes which can look fabulous, particularly if the work is going to be in a bright environment and often viewed with the lights off. These are now my preferred option along with high build opaque lacquers.
The lighter the finish, the less the contrast with the light.