Built this tower a few years back along with a short cabinet. The wood is Birch ply and is face framed/trimmed with poplar hardwood. Finish is General Finishes Gel stain, and was top coated (Sprayed) with water based lacquer.
Not to sure what going on with the side, but as you can see in the attached photo there is a pattern that has me puzzled. Not sure i did this while applying stain, nor while spraying the lacquer, but i’m open to possible causes.
BTW: I can assure you it didn’t look like this when it left my shop.