Staining/Varnishing Pine

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Ok I have purchased a pine fire surround that I liked the look of, only problem is it's currently varnished in a yellow/orange hue, ideally I am looking for some advice on what products to use in order to give it a more mexican pine/light oak colour.

Also any advice on how to remove the existing varnish or is it just a case of sanding?
 
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You can always go darker but you cant go lighter. as its pine, i would sand it all down and give it a coat of medium oak stain. then revarnish with a satin varnish. I douldnt use a stain varnish mixed as these tend to leave things patchy.
 
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