A pile of lumber - stained, finished and ready to go...
Here I am mounting the tongue-and-groove boards on the back of the cabinet. I used poly glue and 3/4" long staples.
A note on installing stained wood wainscot: Stain the boards first. Over time, the wood often shrinks a bit as it fully dries. If you stained and finished them after you installed them, you may see the bare wood lines where the boards come together.
Here is the cabinet with the back finished.
This is a close-up of the boards - a nice rustic look.
These cabinets have a "hutch" design, where the lower cabinets are deeper (18") than the uppers (10"). Between the two is a thicker wood counter top. I have learned to attach this first to the uppers, then the lower cabinets. The reason is that you want it to fit very tightly with the upper, were you can see the joint.
I bought 1" thick (called 5/4") wood for tops. They are made of laminated strips, but still have a slight bow to them. Using my table saw, I ran a few curfs 1/2" deep on the underside give it more flex. I stopped these before they came out the finished end. Once screwed to the cabinets, it they will sit very flat.
Here are uppers with the wood counters attached:
I cut and assembled the base frames. These cabinets are going to hold extra blankets and pillows for watching TV, so they are 11" deep and 36" wide. I will make the drawer fronts match the uppers by putting dividers in the middle.
For any soft wood or span over 24", I glue and nail a support piece across the back of the horizontal members. These also get lapped onto the vertical pieces and nailed.
My DW came with a great idea... I typically throw the stain rags away once I ma done using them. I let them dry out before putting them in trash. She suggested I put the rag in the old stain can - it should keep just fine in there for the next use.