That was before Chris spent a fortune on chemical paint strippers, scrapers, scouring pads, and sandpaper (both for our power sander and our landlord's, since our landlord has a super-powerful one, and we have a little one that's good for details). He then proceeded to remove all four layers of gloopy oil paint: gross forest green, pale green, yellow, and pink. Yes, the table's original colour was pink!
He brought it right down to bare wood, using a combination of chemicals, power sanders, and sanding by hand. There was oil-paint-laden sawdust everywhere, including my lungs. (There were a few mornings where I sounded like I'd been smoking for the past 30 years.)
Then went to Home Depot and discovered that, because Chris removed all the paint, we were going to have to prime it. Here's an excerpt of the conversation I had with the Home Depot paint guy, which Chris was away looking at paint chips:
HDG: "Seriously, did he really bring it down to bare wood?"
QoWP: "Bare wood. And you wouldn't believe how many layers of oil paint it used to have."
HDG: "How long would that take?"
QoWP: "Three days."
HDG: "Who would even want to do that?"
QoWP: "My husband's very thorough."
"Bitter Chocolate," otherwise known as "in some lights, it looks black, but if you shine a bright light on it you realise that it's brown." We also went all fancy and bought a new drawer pull.
In the end, it would have cost the same to go and buy a new table, but we love it.
(However, when Chris started talking about re-painting the end table that holds our TV -- a process that would involve sanding veneer and somehow adding shelves -- I went to the Sears website and bought a TV stand that has actual shelves and only cost us $30. I've had enough costly DIY for one weekend.)