i've got a couple of questions for the woodworking guys on here, i've got an old end table i would like to strip and re-finish so it'll match the rest of my old furnature, but the last time i did any woodworking was my freshman year of high-school, about 6+ years ago. my first question is, what is the best method to strip layers of old finish off? the end table i've got has the original finish covered by an ugly poo brown metallic paint. i want to strip all the finish off and start over. next question is, what is my best method for applying the stain followed by a couple of coats of polyurethane finish. if i recall the stain gets applied with a brush, but i can't remember what to use for the polyurethane?