One of the most stupid things you can do is to try to cover your table top with patterned plastic. We bought a lacquered wooden table very cheaply as the previous owners had children and had decided to cover the table while the children were young. As the children grew older and the parents removed the cover, the table looked like this:
We lived with this table top for a year trying to decide what to do with it. Now the top is painted in shiny black. It took quite a lot of work as the top had to be sanded and painted twice - and a third time wouldn't hurt...We (=my husband) didn't paint the legs, they are still brown. The paint hasn't quite dried yet so you'll have to wait for the photos for a while.