Start by removing the existing stain with a heavy duty multilayer stripper. Put on some old clothes, gloves and a mask. Pour a layer of stripper onto the wood surface (approx 3mm thick). Let it stand for 20-30 mins (but not so long that it dries).
After you finish sanding, clean the wood surface with a damp cloth (let it dry). To prepare for staining again you'll need a mask and gloves. The Minwax finishing cloths come with a cute little package of gloves taped to the back. Remove one stain cloth from the package. They are thicker than I expected (you'll think you're pulling out more than one at a time). Be sure to close the package so the remainder of the cloths don't dry out.
I folded the cloth in four and turned it over a few times while staining. Push the cloth back and forth along the grain of the wood. I used the Natural wood colour and I totally loved it. I did approx 3 coats (waiting an hour in between each coat).
After trying out these Minwax Premoistened Wood Finishing cloths I have to say they are totally worth the money. So much cleaner and easier to use and you're less likely to accidentally create globs on your wood.
I let it dry over night and then used a clear protective finish on the top. I love the way it turned out and it made all the stripping worth it (hmm that's sounds off).
Here's my kitchenette area before and after.