I primed the whole thing with a high quality primer, then did 2 coats of CIL furniture paint. We invested in good hardware and spent about 100$ on it. I hated the front trim on the bottom of the dresser so my husband pulled it off and simply replaced it with a cheap piece of baseboard in the proper height and cut to size. I didn't fill or repair any gouges, just the deep scratches. I don't mind gouges. I think they add character.
The finished product! I had a vision when we bought this house.. It was a hutch just like this with a lamp on either end and a round mirror in the middle. It's finally starting to come together.