I’m making a combination cat’s litter box and hall tree as my current project. (My cat is getting old and at times in waiting at the bottom of the stairs for daddy to get home, doesn’t always make the trip. Amongst other reasons for a remote litter box location - poor thing.) Anyway, it’s going to be a hall tree with the seat of it that folds up so as to be a litter box when not having visitors, than some day once cleaned a boot storage area under the flip up seat/front panel. Oak was out of the budget and for the main back panel pine laminated lumber sheets looked like crap. I went with white aspen pine instead. First time I have worked with it but I like the tight grain in being much like fir but uniformity of it but hardness to it much like a poplar. Cuts, routers and chisels really well. My question is in not having worked with it before, how well does it take to stain/finish and over the long run how will it react to drying out? This realizing I have already diagonally and horizontally reinforced the panel for strength and warp, will it become brittle, dry out and crack etc? Will my scrap lumber in being used even next year be at all useful still? Does it readily absorb stain and given its more white color - does that go away to something more natural easily or do I need to do multiple layers - if it takes to them or dark stain?