I'll admit, it was a bit of a science experiment. The table was fine, really it was. It was sturdy and in good shape, but I just can't seem to leave well enough alone.
I'd been seeing alot of raw and weathered wood out in Inspiration Land, and I saw this blonde tabletop (not really a fan of blonde wood anyway) as having good potential for a weathered look too.
I started by removing the clear finish with Formby's Refinisher, and lots of sandpaper. I thought I was down to fresh bare wood so I proceeded with a few different recipes for aging and bleaching wood. Peroxide, baking soda, vinegar...just to name a few.
Try try again. I backed up a few steps and tried a few more things to get the top to look consistently weathered.
Besides some more vigorous sanding, the answer was again found in Inspiration Land...white vinegar and steel wool in a jar. Seriously. No expensive gadgets or caustic solutions.
Simply fill a jar 1/2 full of white vinegar, then add some steel wool. Now some say to let it sit overnight before using, but I found that the longer it sits in the jar, the darker your wood will be after application. So for just a gray weathered look, I let the solution sit for 2-4 hours. Then I pulled on my gloves (because I didn't want to smell like vinegar) and actually used the steel wool to apply the vinegar to the wood. Then walk away and let it dry. Repeat the application until you get the look you want! It will permanently alter the color of the surface of the wood through oxidation, so be careful where you set your jar and gloves if they are wet.
And just a tip for those who try this application. The longer the solution sits in the jar, the darker it will become as the wood dries. Instead of gray, it will start turning the wood brown and if the solution sits around long enough...it will almost turn the wood black. So have fun with this, you may never have to buy stain again. :)
Here is the table as displayed for JunkFest.