Things I learned:
1. Latex paint does not hide stains well
2. Latex paint is great for fast projects
3. Painting outside when it is 100 degrees (at night) is not a good idea
4. Polyeurethane on hands is very sticky and doesn't wash off very easily
5. Bathrooms are good places to paint dresser drawers when it is 100 degrees outside
6. Floetrol is a latex paint thinner
7. LOTS of Floetrol is required to eliminate paint brush strokes when it is 100 degrees outside
8. Electric sanders hate me
9. I hate electric sanders
10. I hate sanding
Thanks to everyone for your tips and encouragement on my dresser project. I have newfound respect for all those bloggers out there (ahem Amanda) who say "I just painted it and voila! A beautiful new ___" because there is no "voila" in this project! After sanding down all the drawers per Amanda's advice (this was after my mom's electric sander decided to die before I even touched it to the wood...) I rushed to the nearest hardware store and got some Floetrol thanks to Melissa and Tracy's advice to thin the paint so the brush strokes would sort of ooze themselves out. The directions on the bottle were for gallon and up sizes of paint cans, and I had only a pint, so I sort of guessed on the amount. I am pretty sure I didn't add enough because while the paint did spread out more, it wasn't doing it enough. So, I added more and just used the roller. I prefer tiny bubbles over lines. Sorry peeps. Anyway, I let the layers dry (I think I painted three layers) and lightly sanded between each. I never got a nice smooth layer, probably because after sanding layers by hand, my arm muscles were shot and it became less effective. I considered starting fresh and renting a sprayer, but people, I was painting in my bathroom and sanding everything by hand. It just wasn't worth it :)
I put on a coat of poly, unnecessary for most projects but I figured, "what the hey!!", and was an idiot and tried washing my stuff using my hands. I am still sticky. Any thoughts, or do I have to wait for my skin to regenerate? Also, putting the poly on in the bathroom resulted in a very stinky room and bedroom, which forced my husband to sleep on the floor in the family room. I'm a good wife like that. I moved the drawers outside to dry to help with the odor.
Moral of the story, from what I learned:
1. SAND!!! Prep sand, sand between layers, and sand some more. Get rid of any old finish any way you can.
2. Use paint thinner! If you use a sprayer you will probably need thinner anyway. Floetrol= latex paint, Penetrol= oil-based paint.
3. Use a sprayer! Seriously, folks. If ya want perfect, ya gotta spend the dough. Or know the right people :) (Thanks Jill, Melissa, and Staci!)
4. Allow for drying time. I gave each paint coat an hour, and 24 hours before the poly coat.
I hope you all get a good laugh out of this whole undertaking of mine. I decided that me and repainting furniture is not a good combination. While it was much cheaper than finding a nice dresser to use as a tv stand, it probably could have looked better. Someday!! At least my clunky 15" tv will make the dresser look awesome. :)