The first step is to sand the wood. This is just to allow a place for the paint and primer to hold on to. This can also take out any blemishes like watermarks, or other imperfections that make your furniture look unsightly. Sanding is still a good idea if your furniture already has a rough feel to it. It will just make a nice, even place for the paint to lie. Also, you don’t need to sand it too much, just enough to roughen it up and be careful not to over sand one area and under sand another. You want it to be even throughout without any hills and valleys in it.
After you have sanded it is time to apply the primer and prepare for the paint. First, apply primer in an even coat over the whole piece of furniture. Let it dry and then wipe it off with a tack cloth. This will make it so that there is no lint or fluff pieces on it.
While painting, use a nice roller to apply the paint in a few coats. Be sure that if you use a latex or oil based primer you use the same based paint. This will result in a better adhesion of the paint. Between each coat sand any imperfections and wipe with a tack cloth before you put on the next coat of paint. Make sure to paint evenly and with the same pressure so you don’t get any bubbles or running paint.
After you are done letting the paint dry you can either use your piece of furniture or apply a clear protective coat over the top. This will just protect your paint and the furniture better. If you do decide to put on a clear protective layer use a new roller and apply with light pressure so it applies in an even coat.