I'm not quite clear on what area you want to treat, but you can apply peel and stick veneer, available in many species- Oak, birch, etc. This is what many re- face outfits use. You then stain and seal if that is your preference- poly would be the best and easiest finish for kitchen cabinets.
"Safety... Always" Hank Metz Producer, "Biscuit Joinery Techniques" video