Chalkboard Paint for Furniture

Submitted to Community Café

I am in the processing of rebuilding an old dresser for my new media cabinet.  I finished sanding down the top and side surfaces (to the wood) so I can stain it, but there are some trim pieces that would require a lot of tedious sanding and I can't work with the chemicals in the stripping products. 

So, now I'm considering paint - but as stated elsewhere that is not really my thing.  I keep reading that chalk paint does a really good job of covering without all of the sanding.  I know it's not inexpensive, so I wanted to get some information before I invest in it (and because I don't want to have to restrip everything if it doesn't go well). I also found a few recipies for home made chalk paint; but is it as good?

I almost dread finishing the build because I'm really up in the air about the finish.  This is going to take center stage in my living room, so I really want it to look nice after all the work I will have put into it.