Bare wood stain

I have an outdoor sign made of cherry that was given several coats of epifane marine finish years ago.  The finish has started to peel in a few spots, mainly on the end grain and it has had some water damage because of it (see attached photo).  The wood is not rotting, it is just discolored (blackened).  I used a scraper in a small area and was able to easily scrape the wood back to its natural color.

90% of the sign has acceptable wear with its age.  I REALLY don't want to refinish the whole thing.  My question is how you would handle the situation.  I want to get the bare cherry color back and refinish the area and mainly keep the area from getting worse.  Would you handle this like a water stain situation?  Sand back the finish slightly and refinish.  Because of the spot on the sign, I'm not really able to cut back the wood to a new length.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Thanks

"In order to achieve greatness we must risk everything"--Steve Jobs
  Re: Bare wood stain by angelosart (Hello, I have an ...)
I had the same thing happen with a bench I made that was finished with Epifanes.  I sanded the damaged areas back to bare wood and then brushed on Epifanes just to those areas until I had the finish built up to about the same level as the rest.  I let that cure a couple of days, then hand sanded the entire bench and applied 2 coats more coats to the whole thing.  

If you read the directions for Epifanes it says to add at least one maintenance coat every year.  Better to prevent problems before they happen.  

  Re: Bare wood stain by angelosart (Hello, I have an ...)
    I seem to have made a mistake of applying wood hardener to the affected areas.  When I went to put a coat of epifane varnish over the area, it turned a light red brick color.  See attached photo.  WTF.  Looks like I stained it.  Is the epifane reacting to the wood hardener.  I tried scraping and sanding the end grain and even when I apply a solvent to wipe away the sawdust, I get this color.

What to do now?

Anyone who can figure this one out is a wizard.

"In order to achieve greatness we must risk everything"--Steve Jobs

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