Be brave, be daring. Make that ugly duckling the focal point of your room. As I always say, "It is only paint, and can be repainted if you really don't like it."
This hutch, which belonged to another dealer, is maple (probably my least favorite color wood...yellow/orange.) I painted it for her using Sherwin Williams 6712 Luau Green, in satin. I distressed the edges with a sanding sponge, then applied a coat of clear Briwax.
The piece sold, but not before it was admired and coveted by the majority of shoppers.
The painted green hutch as displayed in the Shop
Another piece which found new life was this dresser. It became a "Turquoise Taos Treasure" with a coat of Sherwin Williams 6487 Cloudburst. I distressed it heavily to show the raw wood underneath and applied a coat of Tudor Brown Briwax. It sold right away in the shop. I guess that's a good thing because otherwise I was going to take it home and have to "redecorate" a room around it. I was already planning my "Cowgirl Room."
The Turquoise Taos Treasure
I like using a coat of Briwax on top of my distressed painted pieces. I really like the character and patina it adds, but another good top-coat is Minwax Polyurethane Spray in Semi-Gloss. The Semi-Gloss finish is easy to apply in a well-ventilated area (garage, with no cars in it.) Just follow the directions about temperature and don't over-spray.