These cabinets are maple... Maple does not take stain well at all. In 1985 I learned to do this finish from a man named Bill Ricci. I consider this finish my signature finish. Using General finishes of arm-a seal and gel stain.. I take the stain and urethane and mix it together.. First coat more of the stain and as each coat is put on it gets less and less of the stain until the last two coats are the Arm a Seal only. These cabinets have a total of seven coats. The finish is so warm .