After many struggles, gobs of goo, and a broken bottom shelf, it started to look like the end was in sight.
I replaced the broken wood, and filled the cracks with wood filler, before giving it a darker final coat of "primer" (in this case, leftover "Newburyport Blue" flat wall paint, mixed with white primer.
The table and I went indoors for the glossy green coat--Benjamin Moore's Advance Water-based paint in "Celtic Green." Then I added a knob from Anthropologie that is pretty sweet--made from a geode! It looks soooo much prettier in person, too--the outside has swirls of blue and the same green that's in the table, and the center is cloudy, purply-grey quartz.
It was dark out by the time the table was dry (and unstinky) enough to put upstairs next to the bed, so lighting was a struggle. I topped it with the piece of glass my friend had gotten cut to fit the table many years ago. It's nice to know that I won't have to worry about the tabletop getting scratched by my books, phone, etc. every night.