Here is a picture of a table that I just painted white. It was a really ugly wood that had water mark stains. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of it before. I really think it turned out well.
I went to the hardware store and found some primer that was not mixed as the customer wanted so it was on sale for about $2. They did not have any paint that I liked the color that was on sale. So, I went to Menard's and found a gallon of antique white in semi-gloss on clearance for only $5. I did some light sanding between coats. I like to use those cheap sponge paint brushes because I think I get smoother coats. I also clean the sponge brushes and reuse them several times.