(my cat is so nosy!)
I found the lovely (yet warped/scratched/scruffy) nightstand, pictured above, on a thrifting adventure with my partner in crafting, Leigh.
While it looked like a hot mess - I thought it had potential (solid wood, woohoo!) - so I ponied up $9.99 + tax and took it home.
For my maiden painting voyage I used: Zinsser spray primer (oil-based - needed a primer since it was so damaged), Rust-oleum spray paint in heirloom white (1.5 cans), Minwax water-based poly-acrylic, a mask, a medium grain sanding sponge, and a drop cloth. I relied heavily on the tutorial here and the FAQ's here - both via Centsational Girl.
"Work in Progress"
If I had a time machine I would do the following differently: I'd use a brush on primer, which goes on thicker, on the top of the night-stand for durability and to hide blemishes, and I would do a better job sanding my primer drips (it took me a while to perfect my spray paint technique).
I'm going to sew a little runner for the top of the nightstand using the material I bought to re-upholster the chair in a post below.
A couple notes: I didn't sand all the original finish off, I only sanded enough to rough up the surface of the nightstand and remove any lacquer/debris. The mask is definitely a MUST when you're sanding and painting (wood particles/fumes). If I ever paint anything bigger than a nightstand I'm definitely using traditional paint. The fumes are KILLER (and bad for the environment, I feel a little guilty, but re-using furniture instead of buying new furniture must get me some carbon credits, right?). Finally, re-painting furniture doesn't take a huge time commitment. My total "active" time on this project was probably an hour.