I just finished my most recent project and how I do love it! I'm so excited. I didn't get any before pictures, but believe me this thing was not pretty.
It was a medium oak all over with stickers almost permanently embedded in the top.
I saved it from the trash heap and re-finished it. I sanded down the top and removed those stickers with a very little elbow grease thanks to Jake's orbital sander. I then re-finished the top with a beautiful Bombay Mahogany stain followed up with a Dark Walnut stain. It has delicate red undertones from the mahogany stain, and still is in the dark family of wood I love.
I painted the bottom and the legs a fabulous antique white and the contrast looks amazing.
For an investment of $0 for the table and around $20 for the paint and stain I have a beautiful end table and I can say, "Ya, I did that."