i love the old 1950's furnature., i didn't like the laminate that came on most of the furnature that i would find.
i use a plastic spray paint to bond to the laminate. Then i can use any house paint and i like to use opps paint from the hardware store. Then i take all my little retro finds and put them in the inserts of the table where i took out some plastic wierdness. i then get a two part resin called Envirotec Light and pour that over the top. It is also good to calk the underside of the inserts so the resin doesn't leak out when it is still wet.