We have a few stools that we got for free.
They are all oak and were stained in a color I didn't like.
Here's the before pictures:
I then stained the stool seat with Early American stain by Minwax. I let that dry then did about 5 coats of wipe on polyurethane in satin. I primed and then painted the legs in a satin black.
It's a nice comfy little spot to sit and drink a cup of tea, go through a cook book or browse recipes online!