We have and old table that is too large for the nook seating area in our new kitchen. We are thinking about cutting it down to size, taking the four legs off, and making it a pedestal table. It's a solid wood, and in pretty good shape--but the wrong color for the kitchen. It's also a softer wood--not pine, but softer than will hold up to a household with two young kids. My husband wants to add a formica top to it. I *really* don't want formica in our brand new, modern style kitchen. If I stain it, would several coats of poly (or something else?) provide some protection from the scratches/dents that are otherwise inevitable with little kids?