We brought them home (4 of them) and used an electric palm sander with fine grit sand paper to sand off the old varnish and finish. Each stool took about 5 minutes for the sanding process. The stool on the right in the photo is the ugly old stool with the worn finish. The stool on the left in the photo is one that was completely sanded down to it's original unfinished pine wood.
Once we were done sanding them, we sprayed each stool with a golden pine stain and used a clean cotton cloth to wipe the excess stain off. (We used a spray stain by Thompson's Water Seal). We left the stools dry out in the sun for 2 hours and then applied a spray clear coat varnish on top. We left them dry again for another 2 hours out in the hot sun and they were done!
Next week I want to get into my sewing room and make some cushion covers for the stools, so that they are more comfortable to sit on. I think I will use some beautiful sea shell beach fabric that I picked up at the fabric store last week to make the new stool cushions. I will update this post again once that part has been completed. Enjoy!