Question: I am building a vanity and using 1/4-in. cherry-faced plywood for the door panels. Trying to finish the panels without splotchiness, I first used a clear shellac and then a stain. But the shellac apparently worked too well, because the stain doesn't seem to penetrate. I've tried both liquid and gel stains. I got good results using the same technique for the solid-wood door frames. What gives with the panels, and how can I stain them correctly?
-- J. Knapp , Clinton , CT
Answer: The veneers used in today's plywood are extremely...