Wash the wood surface with a trisodium phosphate cleanser and a damp rag. According to Hector Seda's book, "Home Repair That Pays Off," trisodium phosphate cleansers cut through cabinetry dirt and grime for better paint adhesion. Wait for the oak cabinets to dry.
Remove the cabinet hardware. Usually, all you need is a basic Phillips or flat-head screwdriver.
Apply painter's tape to any nearby items and wall surfaces. Painter's tape will protect against accidental brush strokes.
Brush tinted polyurethane onto the cabinets using a foam paintbrush. Polyurethane is a clear coat of paint used to seal wood and provide a glossy finish, but many varieties of tinted polyurethane also provide translucent color. This tinted color mimics stain without actually penetrating the wood. Foam brushes work best, because bristled paintbrushes leave visible brushstrokes in clear polyurethane paints. Paint in parallel lines with 50-percent overlap for even coverage. The job will be time consuming, but resist the urge to speed things up with a foam roller, as foam brushes provide the best faux stain painted finished.
Apply a second coat after two hours if the first coat does not create a dark enough aesthetic. The more layers of paint your add, the darker the faux stain will be.
Remove the painter's tape and reattach the hardware after 24 hours.