Months ago we bought a $10 table via Craigslist to hold up a lamp in the guest bedroom. It was in sad shape:
So I decided to give it a quick paint job to make it look more fun. Sort of Jonathan Adler-esque, except for the curvy base that doesn't make much sense with the geometric design I put on it. But when a girl wants diamonds, she wants diamonds.
I'd heard about adding Floetrol to latex paint to level out the brush marks and asked my local Ace Hardware guy about it. He said it was an option, but instead recommended door and cabinet paint for my little job. It already has an additive similar to Floetrol in it to smooth out brushstrokes. It's latex, making cleanup easy, but it doesn't have the stickiness that latex sometimes does. (Which from experience, I've learned can be a pain. I painted latex on some wooden boxes to use as monitor stands, and our monitors stick to them, pulling off the paint when you lift them up.) The Ace fellow said oil paint is generally best for furniture, but since this table won't get much wear, latex is fine.
I had my choice of Ace brand cabinet paint or the higher-end brand they carry. I went with Ace since the table is cheap and I didn't want to invest much in it. Which is also why I didn't bother to buy primer.
The Ace guy opened the quart of white I bought, dumped out a little into a new can, and tinted that portion orange so I didn't have to purchase another entire tinted can for the tabletop design.
After painting three coats of white, the table looked decent. I loved the way the paint behaved. Brushstrokes really did disappear, and the coating is smooth and hard. Despite sanding, though, the table top's veneer was still damaged so the wood was a little bumpy. But it was a cheap table, so I didn't mind.
After the white was applied, I made a template for the shapes and taped around them. I started with Frog tape and realized it was too wide, so I switched to skinny tape. I applied a coat of orange paint and started pulling off the tape, which also pulled off flecks of white along with it. Awesome. Yeah, priming might have made the white paint adhere better; we'll never know. Heating the tape with a blowdryer seemed to help it come off better with minimal peeling.
The orange paint had squished under the tape in many places, so I touched up all the flaws with more white paint and they don't show.
I think it adds a little something to the guest room and looks better than a scuffed up brown table, for sure.