you could use chalk paint on it but that tends to scratch easily
Do you want to paint it or refinish it with stain? I would use a stripper like Citristrip, to remove the old stain. Sand it to get a smooth surface. Use the stain of your choice following the directions to get the shade you want. I would use polyurethane as top coats, it is really durable and easy to clean and will keep the table looking nice for years. My father refinished his mom's claw foot table back in the seventies or eighties and put on probably three coats and it still looks brand new! The water based poly doesn't yellow. I hope this helps you, Delilah!