You can add a little charm to any old piece of furniture. This was another gift I would have most likely thrown out...very reminiscent of the 70's in it's original state. I broke every rule one is supposed to follow when distressing furniture. I did not sand it completely down, nor strip it, nor re-stain it. I was in a hurry and just wanted it finished before we had company over one weekend. Sometimes the best results are when we are under a deadline. 

1. I lightly sanded the cabinet down so I could be hopeful the paint I applied would stick to the cabinet. 
2. I chose a creamy white latex semi gloss paint. I painted two coats of paint. Note: I even painted the handles in place as well as the hinges. I wanted the feel of an old cabinet found in someone's shed :)
4. As soon as the paint was dry I took sandpapers and randomly removed paint in places until it looked really old and distressed. 

5. We then put on a clear coat to protect the cabinet and make it washable. 

Notice I painted right over hinge and hardware to achieve the look I wanted