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I run with chisels.
913 Posts
Are you sure that the now unhidden part is lighter, or is it possible that the part that was never hidden is just darker? If the original finish was just clear-coated, then it's probably the latter.
You can try masking off the entire ceiling except for the light lines, wait a few years for them to darken naturally - that's probably not an acceptable solution though.
You can try cleaning the entire ceiling with a mild-detergent and lots of rags - there's a good chance (especially in a kitchen) that a lot of that patina is dirt. Cleaning it will lighten it some, but not all.

If you're going to try and restain or color it, you need to feather it out to a rougher outline. Staining just a line with flat edges is never going to give you the desired look. You just can't get a 100% perfect match with a stain to reflect the light the same way as naturally darkened wood - from every angle. You may be able to get away with sanding everything in that area - between the beams, and having a pro stain it close or put a slightly tinted clearcoat over it. With that dark beam between areas you can be slightly off and the eyes won't catch it. You don't have to get exact perfection. Get it close and then get fresh eyes on it. You'll notice the flaws forever because you know they're there and it's bugging you. Get it close and a newcomer won't notice until you point it out.
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