At long last, I have finished the dining set for my friend, Laura. I originally got this set on craigslist (one table with leaves and 5 chairs) for $50. Score! The first task was the table. I was thinking it would be nice to keep the table top in a wood finish, but it was too beat up with scratches and white, heat stains. I did test taking those stains out by covering them with a towel and using a steam iron on top. It kind of works! Then I filled the holes with wood putty, let it dry and sanded.
P.S. I've found two antique chairs that I am going to re-do in the same style so that she can have 6 chairs for larger dinner parties.