I found this table in Mr. Wonderful's basement after we got married. I love the lines in the legs and the squares on the top. We used it upstairs for awhile. It worked great for playing games, but it is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too big for our 10x10 living room. It was also in pretty rough shape. It had a thick amber shellac on it that was chipping in a lot of places. So I decided to refinish it. If I had my way, it would have probably been painted. But Mr. Wonderful didn't want to cover up the wood, so I planned to refinish it, forgetting that I was 8 months pregnant and shouldn't be using poisonous chemicals. Preggo brain, right? So that didn't happen. It has been sitting in our garage half-done for 16 months.
Until now! I used chemicals, sandpaper, a sander, a profile sander, a Dremel, a drywall scraper thing and even a flat head screwdriver to sand, scrape, chip and wish that thick amber shellac away. It was not a scientific process. It was not always pretty and I'm not even sure I got it all. But here's what it looked like when I decided to just hope for the best. I actually kind of like it like this. It reminds me of old leather:
I read in a post somewhere that vegetable oil gets oil based paints off your hands. It did a pretty good job, and I was thrilled to not have to put mineral spirit on my hands!