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Old 01-30-2010
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Any way to lighten teak that has been stained dark?

Today I visited a '98 Catalina that I am considering purchasing. This vintage of boat is shipped from the factory with a lighter orangish-color interior teak finish that I really like. Unfortunately, one of the prior owners appears to have been very meticulous about refinishing the wood. Although the wood was nicely varnished, it looks like he also refinished with a darker stain.

There is not a whole lot of teak in this boat, so re-refinishing would not be as huge a project as with other boats. Would it be possible to strip off the varnish and somehow bleach the darker stain out, then go back in and redo with a lighter stain and varnish? Could such a bleaching product actually lighten the dark grain lines, which seem to absorb the stain so strongly? If so, could you recommend products for stripping and bleaching the wood?
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