Well, I braved the wind... on the picnic table.
Decided to go ahead and test out the different application techniques and whether thinned or straight from the can would be better.
The results were actually very surprising.
1/4" Nap Roller:
3/8" Nap Roller:
I was originally wanting to do two coats for a more accurate example but, after seeing the results of the first, I think I have seen enough.
I was really surprised that thinning the bed coating actually seemed to make the application worse with everything except for with the brush. All three rollers got air pockets under the coating that I am almost positive would compromise the strength and longevity of the coating. The brush application actually looks pretty nice though and, after setting for a little bit, almost seems to have had a self-leveling attribute. I'll try to get back out and snap another photo later since those were taken immediately after applying.