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Which Formby's product did you use? I've never used any of their products so can't reply specifically to that, but I always sand wood that will be refinished because unless you did the original finish you don't know what you have to take off. Did you sand? This would be my first guess. I've not worked with cherry specifically, but other hard to stain woods are often treated with a pre-treatment, and depending on who originally made it (factory or individual) this could determine what might have gone onto it. Due to the variation in grain different sections could have been finished differently. It could have a shellac on it which wouldn't be removed by a product designed to remove polyurethane.
 
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