I contemplated and pinterested and then just dove into the project. First step I always take is CLEAN it really well. These second hand items always have a thick layer of grime and just this easy step makes a big improvement (and I think is what scares most people away from purchasing things like this to begin with).
Next, too eager to wait for a trip to the store and too cheap to buy real paint, I gave it a shot painting a leg with cheap craft paint in aqua. It looked good, so I continued.
Another visit to pinterest for where to go from there and I decided to brush on a coat of walnut stain, which I then used paper towels to wipe off. This changed the color to a darker green and gave the table just the aged look I was hoping for. For this I used Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut (8 oz jar was plenty).
And finally, to finish it off I brushed on polyurethane. I used a small (8 oz) jar of Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in Clear Satin. I put on at least 3 coats (patience here), letting it dry well in between coats and letting the final coat dry about 48 hours before using the table.
Now after spending under $30 (paint, stain, poly, brushes & table) for the entire project, I was not about to blow the budget on chairs and let's face it, chairs are usually the priciest part of any dining set. I've been collecting the chairs slowly from Goodwill, making sure they are sturdy (look for 1/2 off days for an extra good bargain). I've spent $3, $2.50 and (splurge) $6 on the chairs. I would like to find a small bench for my remaining seat.
I think it looks great in the space.