It looks like the finish on the table is certainly a lacquer of some
sort. You test seems to bear this out.
I lifted this from something I posted a while back, with a couple of
the spelling areas corrected and the info tailored for your table
project. Hope it helps.
Take the table outside in the shade or put it in your garage with a fan
to circulate the fumes. Make sure the table (can you take the top
off?) is completely out of the sunlight so it stays cool.
If it is the top only, put it on some saw horses put over a cheap tarp
(I buy mone at Big Lots - 6'X8'
is something like $2). Clean off the surface with a brush.
If you are not refinishing the sides, then tape to the finish edge with
good quality masking tape, NOT the blue stuff. Apply Bix K3 (the
orange can) or better as directed.
This is an old timer's tip, and it will take the sting out of the
stripping. When you see the finish starting to bubble (which in your
case should be immediately), and you are ready to hit it with the
plastic putty knife to scrape, don't do it.
Put on a couple of handfuls of sawdust in the area you are working
first and literally scrub the door with a stiff nylon brush. Keep the
sawdust in the brush, and buy a couple of different brushes at the
dollar store to make sure you have the one you want.
The sawdust is the tip here, and it is worth its weight in gold. The
sawdust will do three things; it acts as a pore and nook and cranny
cleaner, a mild abrasive, and it will pick up the spent stripper with a
lot of the old finish attached. Work your table in thirds, and the
table will be pretty
close to or actually dry at the first third by the time you get to the
You won't believe what that sawdust will do to the loosened paint and
how much it speeds and cleans up this nasty process.
Brush off any loose sawdust. With only a coat or two of finish to
remove (in your case just one), you shouldn't need to do this more than
once if you are patient enough to let the Bix work (always hard for me,
no matter how many times I do
it). Sand as needed to make you happy and wipe the door down with
lacquer thinner if you are going back with lacquer, or paint thinner if
you choose the urethane route.
If this is a utility dining room table and not some keepsake or prized
piece, I would put on polyurethane for the water and scuff resistance.
Put three coats of of finish on it, following the manufacturer's
recommendations for recoating and drying times.
Good luck! Post us another pic and let us see how and what you did!