Wish I'd thought to take a before photo- it had a beige speckled finish, but it was free and had great lines.
At first, I tried to lightly sand, then spray primer and paint. For some reason, it did NOT work out. The paint kept bubbling and peeling. Finally, I gave it a mother sanding job and just brushed paint on. Two coats and we were good to go.
I spray-painted the hardware with the oil-brushed bronze metallic spray paint, and Mod-Podged fabric on the front panels (2 coats followed by a spray acrylic sealant). It's definitely not perfect, but I'm pleased as punch. I would like to eventually put some glass hardware on, but wanted to keep cost down.
The cost, by the way, was my favorite part of this project:
nghtstand=free (generous neighbor)
paint=free (left in our basement by former owners)
fabric=scraps I had in my collection (but was originally super-discounted, deco fabric for 3.50$/yd)
Spray paint and sandpaper= $10