The second part of my refinishing project was much easier than the first...although with paint you have to be patient waiting for each coat to dry. I'm one to like everything done in one sitting so it definitely helps me work on patience :)
I used black furniture paint from Four Chairs Furniture in Lindon. They give you a step-by-step instruction sheet on what to do to help you as well. They say to use a foam brush (the .50 ones from Roberts) instead of a bristle brush or roller to get nice, even strokes.
When I did my first test strip the paint was really runny and looked more like a stain. I solicited Lisa's help more than once through this project as she's painted a few items of furniture, and she reminded me I needed to shake the paint! After I'd done that it went on great!
The paint dried pretty quick which was nice. Four Chairs recommends a light sanding in between each layer of paint (with a 450-600 grit sand paper) to get rid of any rough spots. My piece of furniture was quite smooth so I didn't worry as much about this step...I was also pretty careful to keep the paint smooth without any runs or globs left behind. To completely cover the red it took three coats of paint...although I only did two in the parts that aren't quite as visible.
After the paint was completely dry, I applied two layers of top coat to seal the paint to prevent chipping. I used a water based top coat that you apply with the foam brush (also bought at Four Chairs). Unfortunatley I should have paid more attention to the temperature restrictions as my top coat turned out a little streaky. Again, this is where more patience would have paid off! So my finished piece isn't quite as smooth as it should be...but it's done :)
I hope this has given you motivation and not discouragement in finishing a piece of furniture! However, I'd recommend waiting until Spring so you don't have to slave away in your cold garage!