Here is the only before photo I have, and it doesn't look too bad but it was just a faded stained oak.
First up, I applied Jasco Premium Epoxy and Paint Remover. This stuff is pretty toxic, so wear gloves and don't let it get on your skin (if you do, just wipe it off, you'll have already felt it burning)
Super easy to apply. Just brush on and wait 15 minutes or so
During the 15 minute activation period
Warning, do not have another project going while you're working on this. I did, and my multi-tasking self nearly ruined this poor bench. I damaged it pretty bad and it took some good TLC to recover it.
Then you take a plastic scraper and scrape off the thick paste that has pulled up most of the finish. It looks nasty (check out the cardboard on the floor)
Next up, Mineral Spirits to remove the chemicals. This works really well. Wearing gloves, I just soaked a soft rag and wiped the whole thing down. Then I gave it a light hand sanding to smooth out some slivery spots since the kids sit on this at the table
Let it dry and then give it a heavy coat of Howards Feed N Wax. This stuff has beexwax and orange oil in it and it smells delicious. I was amazed at how nourished the wood was afterwards. It says to leave it on for 15 minutes and then wipe off the excess, but because of the damage I'd done to it, I left it on overnight and by morning, it had no excess oil left.
I think she's looking pretty good. And now it's all ready for the natural wear and tear of normal family use!