I have a cherry dresser that has some water damage. The finish has come off in places. I would like to refinish the top, is there a way to do this without having to redo the entire dresser? Any help would be appreciated.
yes, it can be done; I do "partial strip and refinish" all the time. Mask off the lower part and carefully strip the top.
Then comes the hard part -- matching the color. For this there is no substitute for experience. A little color theory and some sample boards will help, but unless you're extremely lucky, it's hard to get it just right because the wood, the stain, and the finish all contribute to the resulting appearance.
Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.popularwoodworking.com/techniquearticlefinishing?id=11171