Jasco Gel works extremely well. It is available at Home Depot. Make sure to get the gel. It's much easier and faster. It's also truly nasty stuff. It will make a huge mess, and when it gets on your skin it will begin to burn within seconds. I don't even want to think of the consequences of getting it into your eyes.
The only paint job you are going to get for less than $50 comes out of a spray can. It's not going to look very good, and it's going to be very fragile. I did it several times in my intemperate youth. That was enough for me. If you really feel like pursuing it, you might head down to the local Pep Boys (or whatever they call the auto shops in Georgia) and get some high quality paints meant for touching up your car. Apply several thin layers of primer, wet sanding with 1500 grit in between each, then several layers of color, again wet sanding between each coat, then several layers of clear, with more wet sanding. Then wet sand with 2000 grit, and polish with Meguiar's Swirl Remover on an orbital polisher. Done properly this will look pretty darn good, but it's a huge amount of work and is still very fragile.
All in all, you're probably better off spending that $50 on the "other" kind of stripper -- though Home Depot might not be the best place to look.