I recently picked up refinishing furniture. I love it. I took one class and refinished this desk. I loved doing it and love the outcome. It is hard and time consuming, but I felt so accomplished. I have bought 3 books about refinishing furniture and it is now a must that I have a shop at our home where ever and whenever we settle down. Here are the before, during, and after shots. The before shots aren't great because I forgot to take some good ones but it gives you an idea. The desk is behind the futon.
I am working on my second piece now - a sewing machine table.