I didn't worry too much about sanding because it was just cheap plastic vinyl and the paint I used (Martha Stewart's "Popcorn") was a primer and paint in one deal. I just used a $2.50 sample and painted the front, one side, and drawer fronts. Then on the left side, I used chalkboard spray paint that I got at Home Depot for under $5. Actually, I sprayed the chalkboard paint first, then painted it white (it took several coats, but I didn't have to buy any more).
The top was a little trickier, as the veneer was coming off in several spots, so I knew even if I did sand it great, you'd be able to see the change in texture. So, I got a yard of fabric from Walmart for $4.50 and mod podged it on the top and inside the drawers. On the top, I sealed it with a few coats of varnish, but left the inside of the drawers as is.
The handles I spray painted copper, then brushed black acrylic paint over and used a soft cloth to rub some off. If I rubbed too much off, I just dry painted over that area with the black.
Anyhow, there's some shoddy workmanship (no painter's tape to be found in the house), and I do want to eventually wax over it, but I think it turned out pretty great. And now, all her crayons, markers, papers, coloring books, scissors, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda are out of my sight :)
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