So I went ahead and sanded the rest of the table down to the bare wood - I typically prefer to do this rather than using stripping chemicals or solvents (even though there are some natural-based products out there).
Once this was done, I stained the blond bare wood with an eco-friendly dark ebony as the base coat. This was allowed to let dry overnight.
The next step simply involved hand painting over the stained surface in a gloss-finish white. Again, this was allowed to dry overnight.
Finally, I pulled out the ol' standby line up of medium to fine sanding blocks and went to work on haphazardly pulling off some of the white paint to let the black stain foundation show through, creating a more natural layered and weathered paint look. I'm not a big fan of distressed looks for the sake of distressing furniture, but I knew this piece would really benefit more with a look that gave it more age and character, rather than going for a sleeker, contemporary or polished look.
My next-to-final conundrum will be deciding on whether or not to apply a light yellowish glaze before the final coats of matte poly seal the deal.
And there you have it.
My final conundrum is this: do you think I should christen him "The Admiral" or "Mick Jagger"? Both for obvious reasons so I'm really kind of torn.
I'll be giving him a command performance within the next several days, after his glamorous photoshoot, when he'll be going up for sale. Stay tuned.