that AK furniture looks good AR...
when i want to achieve a blonde look on a rifle/pistol stock,i sand the living crap out of the wood (by hand)mostly :/ using corse to fine papers...& finish it using just tru-oil.
there is something about a natural look on a gun stock that brings a
to my face.
the finer you can get the (stock/wood grain) the lighter the stains/finishes will take....happy sanding