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I bought a plywood from lowes for 49 for a table top. It has a smooth finish and has an almost white color. I sanded it with 150. Applied minwax pre stain and then dark walnut stain. All oil based.

Then I noticed few cross grain scratches after staining. I sanded the scratches over the stain until they disappear. Then I tried to re-stain the spot. But, now it does not accept stain. I tried to soak the spot with stain still did not work.

Later I removed the stain from the whole surface with thinner and then sanded it with 150. This time I applied Varathane water based dark walnut stain. This worked bit better on the spot. I even tried washing with soap and water to remove grease if there is any. But still it does not accept stain well. Any idea what is going on or what I can do?

This is how the spot looks after wiping the stain.

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    It looks like you might have sanded through the outer ply and are now attempting to stain the exposed inner ply. The problem is that that inner ply has probably been saturated in whatever glue was used to bond the plies together. It can't absorb stain because it has already absorbed glue. You might want to try a gel stain to cover then entire surface with an even coat. Gel stains lie on top of the wood and don't rely on soaking in to spread their coloring, so it might work even over the sanded stripe. Aug 30 '20 at 7:04
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    You can't sand much further because this is ply, and you run a serious risk of sanding right through the (surprisingly thin) surface veneer layer in other areas in addition to the one spot this has already occurred. So really your best bet at this point is to switch to a product like "gel stain" which doesn't colour the wood directly but instead sits on top ("gel stain" is not stain, it's coloured varnish thickened artificially to a light gel consistency).
    – Graphus
    Aug 30 '20 at 7:22
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    If you want to try to use what you have already, how's the other side of the ply?
    – Graphus
    Aug 30 '20 at 7:25
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    Waterbased stains will always dry, they're not like oil-based stains which can sometimes remain tacky. The problem is they won't penetrate the problem area well (particularly that one very night spot, that's very close to the glue line, possibly right at it). 99.9% chance It's going to just rub right off, sorry.
    – Graphus
    Aug 31 '20 at 12:03
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    For the future I want to make a general recommendation: look at General Finishes stuff instead of Minwax. Minwax is the cheapest in most markets for a reason. It's not just competitive pricing on the company's part, it's simply that (broadly generalising) it's just not great stuff! General Finishes on the other hand deeply care about producing products that work reliably, and they have a good knowledge base to draw from if you need to ask a technical question. (Minwax by comparison often don't know their products well, according to e.g. Bob Flexner.)
    – Graphus
    Aug 31 '20 at 12:05

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