My alternative process is limited, but I think you may be expecting too much if you are after consistent results. All of my prints are slightly different, and I think that's part of the charm. Also, the paper you use is important. I'm now using Arches Platine, but others have gotten good results with other papers. I had to get samples of numerous papers before I found one that works well in my situation. Such things as the humidity in the room where you work makes a difference.
I don't know if you can get them in Italy, but Richeson 9010 brushes work far better for coating the silver nitrate than anything else I've tried. I make salt prints and salt the paper using an ordinary Hake brush - but the silver nitrate I coat with the Richeson. It gives a much more even coat than any other brush I've tried - and better than a coating rod.