I've been working on this beast for weeks!!!
For the top of the table, I sanded the wood down with my orbital sander using 80 and 120 grit sandpaper. It worked, and got all the honey colour out, but unfortuantely, the orbital sander left little swirl marks in the wood. So, I resanded the table (for 3 hours) using just 220 grit paper. This worked again, but when I put my stain on, I got mega streaks. I think the wood was actually too smooth, and was just not happy about being stained. So, back to square one. But this time, I treated myself to a brand new sander. A Dewalt 1/4 sheet sander that was just right. I sanded the beast down one more time with 150 grit, and then 220 grit, and gave her a thin coat of Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner ... this prevented all the nasty streaks I had previous. Then, 2 coats of stain in Minwax Jacobean and finished her off with 3 coats of Minwax Polyurethane in a Satin finish. The end result was gorgeous.
To tackle the bottom, I did 3 coats of Annie Sloan Old White, gave it a light distress, and a thick coat of wax. The kids and I also made a trip to The Painted Bench in Oakville to pick out a special knob for the little secret drawer. I was thinking of getting a pretty mercury glass, or painted ceramic knob, but Grace spotted the birdie, and I couldn't resist!!!
This was the last piece I had to finish to complete a entire dining room. I'm looking forward to seeing all the pieces together. Will post pics of everything soon!