FIRST... I primed the night stand. I prefer not to sand it down (it's too much work :-) ), you get the same result by using primer. I also prefer to use Valspar spray paint (from Lowe's) rather than brushing it on. From my experience you get a MUCH better finish and again... it is easier, a little more expensive but not enough to matter and AGAIN... easier!!
I forgot to take a picture of the before... but picture an old 70's nightstand... ugly brown (semi-wood stain). YUCK! I primed with the above primer and let completely dry. Sometimes it requires a second coat of primer depending on the previous condition and color or the furniture.
After the primer dried. I painted (with Krylon spray paint, the color was Celery - I FELL IN LOVE with that color) the night stand. When using the spray paint to actually paint you have to be careful to follow the directions on the can so you do not get 'puddles' and too much overspray. Spray in long lines all the way across the furniture for the best results. NEXT... after the paint color dried, I used a faux glaze (again, valspar from Lowe's) and 'slathered it on', making sure to get into all the creases and crevices.
Only paint the glaze on in small sections becasue you are going to wipe it off fairly quickly before it has time to dry. I used an old burp rag. :-)
My finished nightstand!!! A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!