What is a Poplar Wood
Poplar is the softest of the hardwoods, making it relatively inexpensive. Poplar is popular in construction and woodworking for its utility and versatility, but is seldom chosen for its natural appearance. Poplar can be stained and prepared to resemble more expensive woods such as Mahogany and Cherry, making it a great wood for those who have expensive taste but still find themselves restricted by their budget.
One of the most affordable hardwoods available, Poplar often costs even less in the Eastern US where it grows naturally.
Poplar's is so soft compared to other hardwoods that industrial cutting blades and machinery can discolor the wood and leave irregularities in the color and appearance. For this reason, Poplar can be difficult to stain, causing many to simply paint it instead. In addition to irregular color patterns from the factory, Poplar's softness causes it to absorb stain at irregular rates which can cause blotching. Those who attempt to stain Poplar must undergo a rigorous sanding process and apply several layers of pre-stain to prepare the Poplar for staining. Poplar is commonly used to make upholstered furniture frames, plywood, shipping pallets, and more.