I am going to be installing prefinished maple on the stairs. I would like to paint the risers white. I have priced some 3/4" poplar and some nice pine (no knots) and they are more than I would like to pay. I found some 3/4" birch 2 ft x 4 ft for about $17 bucks. That should yield about 3 risers per sheet. Anybody else ever use plywood for risers?
It will work, but I personally don't like it or use it because it damages too easily. The veneer is only 1/42 of an inch thick, and risers take a lot of abuse over the years. I would go for the #1 pine, which should be a few $ cheaper than poplar, and be done with it.