Restoring the finish on an oak bathroom vanity
I have a 20-year-old oak bathroom vanity. Originally it had a rather blondish light finish, and still does on the sides. However, over the years, water and cleaning has removed much of the finish from the front drawer and door surfaces, leaving a lot of bare wood that is much lighter (almost white) than the original finish.
I would like to restore the finish to its original look but have no clue as to how to go about it.
My first thought (dangerous, I know, for a neophyte) was to remove the drawers and doors (and their hardware) and start sanding with a paper just coarse enough to take everything down to the bare wood. Even if that is the correct first step, after that I have no idea what to do next. I did do a little googling (also dangerous) and then thought the next step might be applying a sanding sealer, lightly sanding again with a very fine paper, then applying a very light oak stain (starting VERY light, so I could move on to a darker stain if necessary to match the rest of the cabinetry).
Am I even on the right track? Also, when it comes to applying stain (or whatever), should I use a bristle brush, a foam brush, a rag, or what? And what kind of stain (or whatever) do I need to use? Polyurethane? Something else?
Any step-by-step advice would be greatly appreciated.