This particular side table was only $20 @ditto. It took less than 1 1/2 hours to transform using my orbital sander and the tan wash method (you can watch the DIY end table highlight for the whole process).
Here are the DIY steps:
Sand with 60 to 80 grit sandpaper with an orbital sander
Use a sanding attachment tool to sand in between all the corners
Use 80 grit sandpaper and manually sand in hard to reach spots
Apply a tan wash with a brush (1/3 tan paint with 2/3 water). Wipe off with paper towel.
Apply the dark vintage wax with an old rag and wipe off with a paper towel or rag.
This $20 thrifted end table was transformed in less than 2 hours. It looks high end and expensive. I love the soft look and how the dark wax brought out the wood tone.