I consider paint stripping and sanding to be the "hard part." It requires a lot of elbow grease, sweat and in my case anti-inflammatory meds for using my back and not my legs to move the credenza!
That being said, the rewards are great and the pine I uncovered on the bedside tables and the pattern of the wood on the drawers of the credenza were beautiful. The results set the stage for the "fun part."
For a more modern look, I decided to combine dark stain and light paint. I chose the most impressive wood for staining and painted the rest. For the bedside tables, I stained the top surfaces and the interesting foot pedestals. I painted the body and drawers what I thought was a nice shade of aqua. Turned out it was bright and jarring in the bedroom. On take two, I painted with a soft and subtle shade of blue that was perfect.
For the credenza, I stained the drawers and doors, and painted the frame white.
The results were pretty fantastic and well worth the effort. I will continue to find organizational treasures and transform them into beautiful and functional storage pieces.