1. Choose a piece of furniture that is solid and has good "bones".
Something that could look wonderful if it wasn't for that ghastly
2. Clean the surfaces with a damp cloth and maybe some TSP for tough dirt.
3. Choose 2 colours, one that will be most visible as a top coat
and a contrasting one that will look great peeking through the top coat
here and there. Or, you can let the original colour of the furniture be
the one that peeks through.
4. Choose a brush to apply the paint. It should fit the scale of
your piece. In other words, a large one (2 inch is good) for a large
piece or a small one (3/4 inch) for a smaller piece. The smaller size is
really good for spindles or table legs.
5. Brush on 1 coat of the first colour and 1 or 2 coats of the
second, drying in between coats. The first colour doesn't need to
totally cover the piece, but the second colour does.
6. Use a damp cloth to rub off the dry top coat exposing the
first coat here and there. The longer you leave it to dry, the more
elbow grease you'll need to remove it! I did find that if the original
finish is glossy, that you should let it dry over night or too much of
the paint will come off (it needs some curing time to really "stick" to a
high gloss finish).