**UPDATE - So... it turns out there's a good reason to not do this. Definitely check out the first comment before you try this on your own furniture!**
My new end table is finally all settled in. Which basically means I moved it to another part of the house and I like it. :) But before I moved it I was still trying to decide if I liked the old finish or not (thanks for the great advice you guys!). So I decided to try restoring just the back side. That way I could see if I liked it better, but could hide it if I didn't.
I tested a trick I found on Facebook and combined 3 parts vegetable oil with 1 part vinegar and rubbed it into the wood with a paper towel. I was definitely skeptical... but it actually worked! See the difference?
I also tried it on the leg, which was in even worse shape.
Can I get a wowza?!
So I restored the back side and stepped back to take a look at it. And you guys were totally right. The original finish is so much more charming. So I left the rest of it alone and moved it to its new home...
In our master suite!
It's really perfect there just as it is.
And B still stashes stuff in the drawer every chance he gets. :)
So if you want an easy and natural way to restore wood, you can try the oil & vinegar trick. But if you don't want to restore it, that's totally fine too. :)