AFAIK, coating at one time and coating in multiple passes in a machine causes no change in interlayer reflections or refractions. The effect is not related to surface tension. It is more like placing two sheets of flat glass in contact and you can tell this has been done as you can see it.
In lenses, a similar effect is when the lens components are assembled but require coating on each element to remove these effects. The acutance dye in film serves a similar purpose.