Ideas for Finishing Maple Cabinets?

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Q: We are in the process of renovating our kitchen. These cabinets had a painted mosiac on them and once we started sanding, we discovered that they are a very good quality, solid maple.

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We are in love with the grain and want to enhance it and keep it visible, but are stumped about how to finish it in a way that would make it look it not "yellowed and cheap" — the finish that varnish would give. Any ideas? Thank you so much. We hope to share the before and after pics in a bit.

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.