This is the finish that I was working with. I forgot to take a picture of the actual dresser I'm working on but it was the exact same finish. I didn't have the heard to fully paint over this beautiful wood so I stripped it down.
Shiny Cherry to Boho Raw Wood Finish
I loved this set so much when I got it for our bedroom 10 years ago... but I am over the super shiny cherry finish. However, the set is very well made solid wood so I will not sell or get rid of it, but help it evolve with us. So I took on of the dressers down from this cherry finish to a trendy bare wood look.
I used Citri Strip Gel. I lay it on thick and cover with plastic wrap over night. The next day I scrape it all away with a plastic scraper. After that I sanded it down with 80 grit working up to 220 grit. This is what it looked like after stripping and sanding.
As you can see on the right side of the picture the wood had a cherry hue to it. I didn't want that. So I sprayed it down with bleach and let it dry. The left side of the picture is the bleached effect.
Now I do love the bleached wood... BUT it will deepen when I put a poly on. To avoid that and really get the true raw wood look that I want I gave the whole thing a white wash using watered down white water based paint brushing it on. Wipe away immediately.
You can see here how watered down the paint is. When you wipe it back you can't even tell that there is paint on there. This basically blocks the poly from soaking into the wood and deepening the color.
And here we are! Cherry finish to raw and light.