Latex or oil-based paints are good types of paint to use on wood furniture. Satin or semigloss finishes in either type of paint work best for furniture.
To ensure that the paint adheres to the furniture, it's best to sand the furniture first. Sanding is important to remove an existing smooth finish that may repel the paint, or to smooth out rough wood so the paint goes on evenly.
With either type of paint, it is important to prime the furniture first for the best results. Refinishers can use latex primer with latex or oil-based paint, but only use oil-based primer with oil-based paint. Oil-based paints stick to the wood better, but have a very strong odor.