4. Small foam rollers are perfect for painting large smooth surfaces. The paint goes on much faster and leaves a very smooth finish. Be sure to get the ones specifically made for smooth surfaces – they often say they are for doors and trim.
5. Use the right primer. I have become a huge fan of using oil based primer when painting furniture. (Yes, you can paint latex paint over oil primer. However, you cannot paint anything oil-based over latex) My favorite primer is Zinsser cover stain oil-based primer. It will stick to almost any surface and is fantastic at sealing in the old finish.
I used to use latex primer because clean up is easier. But I often had the old reddish wood finish seep through and discolor the paint. This has not happened once since I started using oil based primer. One word of caution though – this primer goes on with a lot of texture so you may need to lightly sand your piece again before painting.