If the surface is already painted or varnished, remove dirt or wax buildup with a household cleaner and rinse. Sand rough areas and wipe away dust with a tack cloth. Apply two coats coats of polyurethane.
I have two solid wood dressers to refinish for the girls rooms. I am going to paint both white and use coloured chalkboard paint on the fronts of the drawers, in purple pink and green to go with their room colours.