So it was a varnished piece with significant damage in the form of water rings. I sanded the top down and re-stained it. Unfortunately it didn't help. I love wood and prefer to refinish quality wood furniture without painting if possible. It was not possible and the next best color to me was white!
The "Before" pictures are after I sanded the entire piece. It took about 6 coats of paint (and a coat of primer) and a span of about 5 days in our cold, damp weather.
I also re-used the original knobs, simply painting them silver. (They were bronze.) Very excited to have new, attractive storage in our kitchen. It is currently empty, but know it will definitely come in handy with this upcoming holiday season full of family get-togethers. Can't wait!