staining finished one side plywood?

i got a piece of finished one side plywood and decided to make a desk out of it. i cut a top ,bottom sides and spacers for drawers all out of the same piece of plywood. sanded the top down smooth. all the sides take the stain fine but the top will not. it wont penetrate the wood on top for some reason. can anyone provide some in site on why this is happening. or what i need to do to get the stain to work? thanks.

nagybro (author) 1 year ago

That"s what i was afraid of. just weird that other sections of the wood took it. but not my top piece. looks like Im going to pick out some paint. Thanks for the comments.

The finish applied to the one side of the plywood has sealed that side and it won't take a stain. If you must stain it you'll have to use a stripping compound or a heavy grit sandpaper to remove the finish. Likely the finish was applied while it was being glued and may penetrate that whole layer. In which case your better off leaving it as is.

Plywood is made with glue, the entire sheet is heated to dry and set the glue.
Most stains are bater or alcohol based and won't really penetrate through the glue to reach the wood.
Especially if the side in question was the one that took the glue at the beginning.
Apart from paint I guess your only real option it an extra veneer layer on the top surface.
Not only can you stain it but it also gives a much more expensive look to the wood.