When looking for pieces to refinish, do yourself a favor and choose REAL WOOD pieces only. Don't get cute and get stuck with some particle board you won't be able to do anything with except paint. Nothing wrong with painting, of course, but the great thing about real wood is that if you screw up...you can start over. No problem. If you don't like it...you can start over. No problem.
This piece had something I hate. A non-working "drawer." Like...there was a drawer pull on it and a fake line to simulate a drawer but it was just a side. I was looking for a nightstand to put between the kids' guest bedroom. It has twin beds and not enough room for two end tables so I needed to be pretty specific with size. Also...I didn't want it to be too tall. Initially, I was going to use a bookcase but struggled with lamp placement. Since it's a guest room, something with a drawer isn't necessary and I've since put a low basket with a liner under it to hold books.
Still working on the room for now, of course. I'm planning to do a light colored wall behind the beds and decorate it with stars. Why? I like stars. Duh. LOL! Funny because my nephew is currently visiting and he has his own ideas of design and implemented them accordingly. *sigh* He's quite proud of his handiwork. What say you? Think he has a future in interior decor?
The piece was scratched up like crazy so I removed the hardware on the faux dresser and covered the holes and the lines with wood filler that can be painted. Then...I sanded the top really well to get as many of the scratches off the top as possible.
I wanted a "front" so I used contact cement to add a pair of latex appliques to it. I didn't decide this until I'd already put a coat of paint on it. Next time, I'll know to make the decision BEFORE I've started. Will make it a lot easier. I added a bit of gold Rub N' Buff to the appliques so that they would stand out a bit. I did the same to the bottom ring on the legs.
I put three coats of General Finishes High Performance top coat on the top to make it virtually indestructible and a dark wax along the base and legs for more of a shiny patina.
I paid $5 for this table so yeah...even if one of the nephews Hulk smashes another one on top of it...I'm good. LOL!