Updated: Jun 14, 2020
As I spoke about in Step 2, I always try to stay away from pieces that need OBVIOUS repairs. With that said, I often find myself making a minimal repair or two on any give piece of furniture. This could be as simple as hammering in a backboard to a dresser, filling in some minor nicks with wood filler or Dixie Belle Mud, or even replacing broken handles. This is common and expected.
Whether the repair is easy or more in-depth, the point is that you need to fix any issue before painting. It is not worth your time, effort and money to begin painting a piece of furniture if you have not yet determined the repairs are fixable and worthy. For instance, I have bough a dresser (for $20) which is still sitting in my garage because I cannot for the life of me get the drawers to sit nicely. I have tried many variations of moving them around to no avail. It's frustrating, it's time consuming, and it's caused this particular item to just sit there until I decide what to do. What if I had started painting and didn't bother to make sure the drawers were flush? I would be SO upset with myself for putting in all the work for nothing.
So fill that gap, tighten that loose leg, make sure to check the stability of the top and if the drawers are sliding well. You won't regret it.