As you can see, it has very ornate, elaborately carved details. You can't really tell in the photo, but the finish was really scratched up and ugly. I considered painting it some crazy color, like lime green or bright coral, but I decided I wanted it to look like driftwood instead. I liked the idea of the opulent carving in contrast with weathered wood.
So I stripped the stain and varnish off. It was a messy job, but someone had to do it.
Then I made a concoction of steel wool and distilled vinegar. Why did I do that? Well, the top of the table was just plain light wood. It looked brand new and was much lighter than the carved table legs. It looked weird, so I wanted to treat it in some way. And what's almost as cool as driftwood? That's right: weathered barnwood. I searched online and found instructions for how to give new wood the look of aged grey barnwood. I made this special potion and brushed it onto the top of the table. It turned the wood a nice faded grayish-brown, which is exactly what I'd hoped for.
Here is one of the stripped carved pieces next to the grey treated tabletop. I love the color of both and the fact that they're not a perfect match.
And here is the table all put back together again:
Here you can see a close-up of the most intricate part of the carving:
So, for the cost of some steel wool and a container of Citristrip (and a little elbow grease), I now have this amazing table that I love. It's a perfect place to display a shell, a jar of ribbon, and this awesome rose painting (which, by the way, is by this artist).