Hi, Karen. You are correct that you have chosen a pretty daunting project. Something like this takes a lot of experience. It even takes a lot of experience to be able to ask the right questions. I have a lot of problems even trying to tell you where to start without seeing the piece. Remember, too, that refinishing a valuable antique piece can remove half or more of it's value. There are just too many judgement calls to make to try to tell you what and how to do anything with your table. I really suggest that you call the professionals on this one. Without knowing for sure the value of the piece, no one can tell you without seeing it if refinishing is really appropriate. Did you get a great deal on a valuable antique? If you bought it from a dealer, probably not. But the price is just too good for a real antique mahogany table with inlay. Let us know what you find out.