I've refinished lots of pieces of wood furniture over the years, but it wasn't until recently that I heard about bleaching wood. The dining set I have belonged to my folks. When they originally got the table & buffet, they had been dyed black with what I was told was India Ink. I was also told that since different woods were used to make furniture 'back in the day', the pieces were dyed so they could be sold as a matching set. Mom painted the set in the 70's with the 'antiquing' technique that was new at the time.
After we were given the set, we decided to have the paint & stain stripped off. With the finish removed, we could see the different types & colors of the wood. The tabletop was red oak; I'm not sure what the legs and skirting were made of, and the buffet was white oak with red oak on the side panels. We chose to use an oak stain on the buffet and a dark walnut stain on the table. This meant that the two were no longer matching but at that time, that didn't bother me.