Making a House a Home

Over the past couple years we've redone the basics (walls, trim, cabinets, floor) of our main living space, but haven't really committed to any decorative items. I suddenly have the urge to cozy this place up a little with greenery and candles, photos and framed prints. Our front entrance was particularly lackluster, so we decided to add this shelving rack and matching shoe storage bench. With a few baskets, a little "plant", and some personal items, it's starting look a little more lived in. The only eye-sore left is that oak railing, which desperately needs a coat of white paint. Has anyone painted oak before? I'm thinking a light sand, prime, and paint... Pinterest should have all the answers, right?