We bought the dining room set with our house, since the drapes and valances matched the chairs. As we lived with the table, we realized how ugly it was.
The top was particle board with Red Oak veneer. So far, no problem. But the red oak had been pickled, then top coated with a light tan toner, then speckled with the toothbrush and brown paint - grade school technique. But the finish had worn off parts of the top, so the part that didn't have that lovely finish had black stains and watermarks in the veneer. Too deep to sand out. (and when I did sand off the old finish, that table either had a VERY hard life, or somebody distressed it in addition to the other ugly finish.
The chairs weren't bad - tan with minor speckles (must have been a better toothbrush). So I wanted something that speckles a bit, but without use of a toothbrush. I found a veneer called Pecky Pecan that filled the bill - light color with millions of tiny knots.
And to add to the horror of this table, there were two wide legs - over half the width of the table - close enough to the end that a tall person could not sit at the end of the table (and I am a tall person).
I veneered the top (and the leaves), cut the middle out of the over-wide leg, making 4 legs, moved towards the corners, and finished it with a toner of Dark Vintage Maple (mixed as a light tan), covered with several coats of water based conversion varnish. After the veneering was done, finishing and reassembling the table took a little over a day. I can see lots of flaws, but Jenny is thrilled.