These are one of my favorite styles of furniture to find. Typically 1940's and made of mahogany which means bleed through is going to happen. To avoid that I like to use Kilz oil based spray primer.....quick and easy! After I prime I always give a light sanding with 400 grit paper.
This also came with a nightstand which was in some really sorry shape. Put it this way, the woman selling the dresser gave it to me for free. Yup, that bad!
I sanded back the tops and stained them with Minwax Jacobean followed by Minwax Wipe On Poly in satin. I really love the look of a stained top with painted body on this style of furniture. I used Martha Stewart's Zinc on these and it has become one of my favorite paint colors.
The pulls were scrubbed lightly to leave the aged patina to peek through.