Some people use a stain with clearcoat and many use various finishes of black. Some even use bedliner textured black. I'm starting a plywood pair of boxes next week and it will probably go black with a clear finish but I'm not going for piano glossy black lacquer. I have considered using a fomica type laminate because it is so durable and relatively easy to apply. My room thus far is all utilitarian and I want the speakers to disappear so black is my choice.