I've been laboring away these many days to finish my epic and on-going living room and kitchen remodeling/redecorating project, and I'm happy to report that progress is being made--and I have at last finished updating my thrift store table, last seen here.
I had to stare at it again and think some more--sand? Strip? Paint? Stain? Too much work. Perfect solution: gel stain! Although apparently it's not made for the purpose, my brother tells me that gel stain, being fairly opaque, can be used over other finishes--and when brushed on, it can give the impression of wood grain.
The stain covered the ugly old finish, and brushed easily onto all the turnings. I have to say I love the new rich color!