This is a sampling of furnishings I've painted.  I normally use acrylics and finish with a light coat of Krylon on the sides, and varnish the top for endurance.  For an old classic look, I will texture with spackling paste,  then sand to get that antique look before painting. I distress it mercilessly, scraping and sanding after painting and before the clear finish.  I tend to take liberties with old classic designs I find to make them suit the size of the piece.  I do appreciate art history, even though I'm not very reverant.  I'm also delighted when a client wants a new fresh look on some old piece they've had knocking around their basement.  My friend Bob Lorenzo often made custom pieces and let me go with whatever idea inspired me.  Some I kept, others he sold.  I hope this gives you an idea for some old piece you may have stored away.