If you have an old piece of furniture that was painted over throughout the years then this can be bought back to life and made to look absolutely stunning. I have done this with various pieces of furniture and infact I have many pieces throught my house. The procedure you need to take is as follows: First find a piece of furniture, perhaps at a car boot sale of sometimes people just throw these things away. The remove any handles or removable pieces from the furniture. Equip yourself with a breathing mask and gloves and either use paint remover or I find that burning the surface to heat the paint and scrapping it off is also good. Either methods with leave quite a bit of residue so it is important to remove as much paint as possible.
For stubborn parts pour oil of any kind on the painted area and leave for a couple of days. The paint should infact rise to the surface and you can scrape it off with a scrapper. Once you have removed as much paint as possible, still using safety precautions mask and gloves proceed to sanding down the furniture with an electric sander using a rough sandpaper. If you come across any holes fill them with polyfiller that has been mixed with a little paint colouring which you can find from DIY stores in many different colours. After sometime reduce down to a finer sandpaper until the piece of furniture is smooth to touch. You may need to use your hand on difficult to reach areas but this can also be done with a sanding sponge found at many DIY centres. Clean up any of the accessories that you removed using the original screws if possible. Now you need to cover the piece from top to bottom with something like cuprinol woodworm killer so that you don't end up with any worms eating at the wood.
Lastly, use some wax to give the product a good finish and buff it up as much as possible. Now you should be proud of your work.
If you want to leave it to the experts, I recommend a service like Fanatic Furniture (see link below) - they can bring your furniture back to life with their professional touch. Article kindly provided by fanaticfurniture.com