Kitchen cabinets from scratch

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Q: Our new kitchen is going to require some custom cabinets, and my husband would like to build them himself to save money. I am concerned that the finishing touches will be compromised and shortly upon completion we will see them yellow, peel or warp. Any ideas on how we can seal or coat the cabinets? –Isabelle (Burlingame, Calif.) A: We believe that the fun of renovation is the process, from concept to execution. The best way to make your new kitchen truly yours is to add those special touches only you can provide. Kudos to you and your husband for tackling your kitchen cabinets. Finishes for custom cabinets run the gamut from clear coats such as polyurethane to paint, plastic laminates and baked-on enamels. All these options, except the baked-on finish, are within your capability. Warping occurs from the use of inferior wood with a high moisture content. To prevent this problem, always buy kiln-dried lumber and cabinet-grade plywood for building cabinets. This will ens...