Home Improvement A-Z Logan has been writing professionally since he was first published in "Test & Measurement World" in 1989. Unless you're putting extremely heavy things on your closet shelves, solid wood should be adequate for the task. but you opinions will be appreciated.The Wood Whisperer is proudly sponsored by brands that Marc trusts. All rights reserved. ¾-inch plywood is considered the industry standard, thanks to it being strong yet inexpensive—especially when compared with some solid woods. I’ve installed hundreds of feet of wooden utility shelving over the years in my own business storage area and for other people, and there are three things I’ve learned: 1. You can find poplar in many furniture projects, toys, and wood turnings because it is inexpensive, fairly easy to work, and takes nails, A few craftsmen have commented about how difficult it is to stain – I’ve had fantastic results staining it — before I apply stain I use “Charles Neil” stain blocker – great stuff, exceptional results.I use it all the time. If you build a bookcase with permanently fixed shelves, it's best to vary the shelf heights to accommodate different sized books and curios. Open grained wood as more prominent grain which has rougher texture. A shelf made of Koa is ideal for your bedroom, dining room, and other living spaces. I’ve got some shelving with great looking alternating light-dark green grain lines (all green, no white or black) that looks like it came out of a gallery. I love poplar even more since discovering that a different supplier in town sells it for 25% less than where I had been buying it, which was already cheap. what can I use to keep it natural beauty.A water-based finish is probably your best bet. It comes highly recommended for beginning woodworkers, and even those with more experience, to practice different woodworking skills. Some woodworkers attempt to use poplar to simulate finer hardwoods, such as maple. It shines for dovetail practice! Poplar has slightly better flexibility and will bend more than maple under the same load. That said, I do like it and use it a lot. The “tulip” part of these names comes from the tulip-like flower the tree produces in the spring. In most places, poplar is inexpensive, readily available and exceptionally easy to work with. Neither one shows much grain, and they absorb stains differently. Choose the same wood species to trim the edges, using glue, and nails if needed. Hard to beat the look. Try it! I am quite happy with the result. There’s more to good wood shelves than just the wood. The remainder of the house will have oak furniture including an american oak stair way. Maybe with more time it will transition to a darker brown color like some others have mentioned above. Spruce is a softwood that is one of the less expensive woods available on the market, and, although it is not as strong as some hardwoods, will probably support anything you want to place on it. Aside from being sturdy, red oak is also easy to work with. Poplar is a wood species commonly used in a variety of woodworking projects. Get DIY project ideas and easy-to-follow crafts to help you spruce up your space. First, we found the studs in the back wall and measured and marked the location of the shelves with pencil. My aim is to align it the colour with the american oak, which will be mat and natural finish. !I teach woodworking to kids and because poplar is so inexpensive I use a LOT of it ($2500 worth last year!) When painted it would look really nice. Poplar has slightly better flexibility and will bend more than maple under the same load.