Why would anyone paint over beautiful wood furniture? There are several reasons. Often people buy used furniture to fill a specific need, and since it's cheap, they don't mind painting it to match the color scheme of the rest of the room. Maybe the finish has some damage that they don't know how to repair. But most egregious is the lingering effects of the "shabby chic" trend that played out about 20 years ago. Painting and then "distressing" wood furniture is easy; reversing it is not. But dedicated furniture lovers will do their best. Redditor toothqueencolleen found this cedar chest at Goodwill for $20. A peek inside showed that it was good quality cedar, so she set about restoring it to its former glory. Look how it turned out!
What a difference! This project was posted at the subreddit Reverse Pinterest, where you'll find many such projects. You'll also find plenty of advice on restoration. A piece of furniture found at a yard sale or thrift store may be hiding some beautiful inlay work underneath all that paint, as redditor Antiquarryian found when they stripped this table with lizards painted on it.
The result is lovely. This had to be very satisfying to accomplish.