I'm sorry I have no "before" pictures for this post. Just imagine, if you will, a piece of crappy furniture from Big Lots made of wood veneer costing $20... are you picturing it? Ok, well, here's my bookcase. I've named him "Timmy."
Timmy did not like being painted. In fact, he refused to have the primer stick to him. That's how awesome the wood veneer was - it wouldn't even accept primer. The horror! Eventually though, I willed Timmy into submission. He's now the same Gabardine color as the kitchen island. The back pattern is vinyl wall decals from Home Depot I've had for about a year but have never used. Timmy looks much more dapper now.
Update: Here's a photo I found online of Timmy "before". And this photo is being kind.