Please help me refinish my dining room table!
Background: I would like to refinish my dining room table. I have what I believe may be a walnut table made by Harden Furniture. According to the tag under the chairs, it was originally purchased in the early 1980s. I purchased it used about 10 years ago. It has been well loved, to say the least. I have had reasonable success with restore-a-finish on the china cabinet and chairs, but it is definitely not enough on the table top. I was able to remove the glue from stickers and school projects, along with most of the marker stains, but there is a lot of damage to the wood. I would like to use a chemical stripper to remove the existing finish, and then re-stain and seal it with something very durable, but I am not sure what.
My questions are as follows:
1. What should I use to strip the original finish
2. Once the finish is gone, I am assuming it is okay to sand out all of the nicks in the wood?
3. Do you think this is Walnut? How do I match the finish to the rest of the items? Should I take a chair into Sherwin Williams to have them match the stain?
4. What type of protective finish should I use after staining? I am thinking it may have originally been shellac (finish is very cloudy in some areas)
Thank you so much for your help!