Lots of questions have come up about how to properly paint wood furniture. I've recently acquired a table I want to paint so I set out to do a little research for myself. One of the best how-to's I came across was at BellaOnline.
Keys to doing it right: spray paint is a no-no, don't use latex paint, and take the time and effort required for the best results. When I complete my table, I'll let you know firsthand how it went.
(desk shown is from A Colorful Place.)