Painting over any finish without prepping and priming the surface is a bad idea. Previous coats applied to the chair may react with your new paint and cause bubbling, peeling, or your paint not to stick.
Instead, you'll need to prepare the surface prior to any painting.
Take a medium grit sandpaper and have at 'er, this will give your paint a surface to stick to and remove some of the previous finish. Move your way up to a fine grit to remove any groves and smooth out imperfections. Wipe furniture with a damp cloth to remove debris.
Paint a dry surface first with a primer, one coat should do This will increase paint bondage and increase the uniformity of the top colour.
Paint your desired colour on top of the primer once dry. Apply as many coats as to achieve desired depth of colour finish.
Your first step is to strip the paint from the furniture, this can be done with solvents (use caution as they are toxic, caustic, flammable, and kill kittens on contact), after the previous coating has been removed follow the same steps as the Amateur Method above.
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Wow this is great stuff! Ok I admit I am an amateur so the I guess I'd better get to sanding... Your awesome thank you for your help. I will post pictures when the project it complete.
i agree with what mikeasaurus said about prepping. i want to add, though, that when you prime, use a primer that is the same type as your finish paint (latex with latex, oil with oil), as they might not cooperate with each other.
as for the type of paint to use, i highly recommend oil paint for furniture. it takes a lot longer to dry, but it dries much harder and will be much more durable. latex paint will be more likely to peel, chip, and wear off quickly. be sure to use it in a well ventilated area, however, as the fumes can make you dizzy. oil paint is also prone to dripping, so be sure to not go too heavy with the paint, and go on "drip patrol" shortly after applying the first coat (just brush them out if you find any).
my mother-in-law is a professional decorative painter, and she always uses oil paint with furniture. my wife and i painted the cabinets in our kitchen without consulting her first... the combination of our skimping on prep work and using latex paint resulted in numerous chips and peels, which is very unfortunate because it's otherwise quite beautiful.
I thank you for your answer : ) I will go to Lowes to purchase an oil based paint Miniwax should do the trick