This  page is dedicated to the professional kitchen restorator / refacer. Time tested , proven techniques that will insure a speedy completion of your project with that magazine quailty, finish look. Guaranteeing the happiest of happy letters with a 10 each and every time on the V.O.C.

(From the desk of Les LeBlanc)

Installer / Instructor

                                                                                                                                       A Standard and Brief Operational

Procedures Manual For The Kitchen Refacing Professional

This Brief Is For Purposes Of Establishing a Guideline Of Events That Normally
 Take Place In A Standard Refacing Install.

  Whether your project is 2 days or 10 days in duration.

 This Timeline Overall Has Served Me Best, Give It A Try.

Page 1
Kitchen Pickup and Delivery To Site

Kitchen pickup (first day)

   Their may be a company meeting, first thing Monday morning. At these meetings is where we hear of procedural changes or additional documents to be filled out. Pass in last weeks job, all doc's signed and pick up a new job. (Client packet review) Verify all documents, customer's info, order sheet of all parts and componets, blueprint of job to be done, extra stock needed ( mdf, popular etc.)  Preexisting conditions waiver doc., Approval of completion doc., contractors lean doc., method of payment, post install service doc.etc.

Loading kitchen into vehicle for (safe) transportation to job site.

    (Pickup truck)... Wet conditions fully tarp and secure. If load is large consider two trips. Review your map-quest. Estimate time of arrival to location, make quick call to client, introduce your self and give time estimate of your arrival. (First contact)

Arrival on site

   If possible park safely in front of location. Go to main entrance with client information packet and Home Depot badge fully exposed, ring door bell.

The meet and greet

   Be the professional the client expects to meet. Wipe your feet off before entering and slip on your orange plastic booties ( these should be in the hareware box).  Be courteous, polite and professional. Go directly to the kitchen, open your job packet and review with customer the overall job to be done. (Blueprint review)  Then as soon as possible show a door and hardware sample to verify that the product is correct. Ask permission for parking, location to do saw work if necessary, bathroom to use ect. Ask what would be the best time to start and finish for each day. Verify if there are pets or children to be aware of. Then fill out completely your preexisting conditions waiver with customer.

Inventory check

   Bring in one box at a time, open then measure each door and verify size on inventory sheet and check for damage. Store in safe, out of way location in house with protective material under and behind each door. Save all cardboard boxes for padding work. Account for every item on packing list.


Page 2

Preparing Job Site For Work

Padding and protection

   Remove all or cut out all staples in cardboard packing boxes. If counter tops are to remain, fully cover and pad with this cardboard, tape completely all edges. Fully cover and pad with cardboard, flooring in kitchen working area and flooring leading to area use to do cutting work, tape completely all edges of cardboard padding. ( See padding work ) Use a less adhesive strength tape for easy removal later. We tape completely all edges so that no items like screws get imbedded under the cardboard to grind into the floor. Be careful with older flooring so that it does not come up with the tape on removal.

   The benefits of this padding procedure are enumerable. The customer now knows you care, there will be no damage or wear and tear, counters now become worktables, and the floor is softer to stand on all week, easier on the knees. Just to name a few.

Removal of all old kitchen componets (demo)

   Remove old doors, draws and associated hardware, moldings, valances, toe kicks, counter tops, etc. Anything that is not of the new kitchen as discussed with your customer in review of the blueprint earlier. Carefully load your vehicle for disposal, back at the shop dumpster. If unable to remove that day, ask permission for a location on premises to temporarily store neatly and cover.

Verify blueprint measurements

   This is simple, quick and important. Measure door openings, left to right and top to bottom. Draw openings the same. Verify measurements to the blueprint. If you have a discrepancy, check to see if the corresponding door to fit the opening is correct or not. If not call your manager and explain the problem so that new product can be ordered ASAP, before 1pm the first day. So that if necessary you could qualify for a partial pay.

   This may be a good point to also build your draw boxes, and then find a safe place to store.

End of day procedure

   As per your earlier customer conversation on start and finish times, try to also finish on time. Consider time necessary to put away in a safe place all tools, and to do a good vacuum of work site. Call customer (if available) to kitchen and brief on the day's activity, explain everything is vacuumed and clean so that they may if necessary use their kitchen that evening. Then a quick brief on tomorrows activity.



Page 3
Site Construction and Preparation

New Cabinet installation

    In addition to the refacing process we some times have new cabs to be installed. Its best to install these sooner then later. Review your blueprint then install. Verify that the new cab fits correctly and is mounted securely. Any parting stops or fillers should be installed now. Popular is a hard wood and used for these purposes. When installing these, flush out to the face as best you can so as to prevent extra sanding later.

Counter Top Install Preparation

   If a new counter top were going in, the old would have been removed on demo day. Verify that the new counter going in will have no obstructions, all screws and nails etc. are cleared. Your blueprint may request remove c/t and level. Granite counter tops need as flat a surface as possible to properly support its weight. No hills, no valleys. Small chimms installed by the counter top people to fill very small gaps is ok.  Quickly check for level, a 6 ft level is best. ( TIP ) when removing old c/t cut to release at the top of the splash any cocking attached to the wall to prevent wall damage.

Facial Leveling and Filling

   At this point you may want to access the face frames stiles and line them up if needed. Unscrew, adjust and re-screw. Now check for holes, gouges, valleys, gaps and pet chewing. This is where (BONDO) comes in. Product brand BONDO is great for this purpose. Sold in 1-quart cans at Home Depot, comes with tube of hardener. Estimate amount needed to fill holes and damage, pour on to mixing surface add a little hardener, mix and fill. Too much hardener and she will harden to quickly. Apply just enough to fill, scrape off access. So you have less sanding to do.

Sanding and Dust removal

   Plastic or tarp off kitchen area. Some times a small fan over the sink in window facing outside will move the plastic tarping inward verifying that no dust will leave the room. If forced hot air or central air seal off inflow duct. At this point your ready to sand. A combo orbital sander and vacuum system works best. Grit of paper will range from 40 to 120. This all depends on the surface to be sanded. Heavy paint 40-60, light paint 60-80, Stained or polyurethane 80-100, laminate / veneer 80-120.


  Page 4

Sheet Goods Installation Bottom and sides

Bottom Panel Installation for Laminate

  (Method #1)Laminate installation of bottom panels for wall cabs in most cases will require a ¼" MDF panel to be firstly installed. Rough cuts of MDF paneling, not having to be scribed to the wall are acceptable here. After all bottom MDF is installed a ¼" router is used to route and flush out to face. Now you can repeat this process with you plastic or vinyl laminate with one difference, you must scribe this material to the wall. Dry fit and number and put aside. Lightly move sanding block over MDF bottom panels not to sand but to pickup any exposed brad nail heads. Once secure brush vac any residual dust. Now your ready for Glue. Glue bottom panels with a liberal amount of your water based glue. (Important note here) You will not hurt anything using too much glue, it just takes a little longer to dry. However if you did not use enough glue your panel will not stay up and you will have to go back to redo-it, a major no-no. Allow adequate time for the glue to dry. A small fan circulating the air in the area is fine. (Method #2) Scribe ¼" MDF bottom panels, number each, then laminate on work table, then install with wood glue and 5/8" brads. After use filler on brad holes.

The four main reasons for lose laminate are

   Inadequate sanding and vacuuming of surface.

  Inadequate application of glue.

  Inadequate time to dry glue.

  Inadequate hard-boarding.

Ready to install, install safety strips (small 3 or 4 inch by 14" strips installed to prevent premature bonding of material) then line up laminate panel to correct position then remove safety strips one at a time and stick. Fully hardboard panel. Continue until all bottoms are done. 
                                            ( See procedure Section # 1 and 2 )

Bottom Panel Installation for Wood

   Take finished panel, fit and scribe to bottom. Use a good quality wood glue to adhere to bottom of cab. Install with brad nailer. Route with ¼" router, w/ ¼" cutting bit w/ roller bearing.

Install Side Panels

   For laminate, cut out and dry fit each panel, number if necessary, glue cab and panel, install safety strips then install. For wood, cut out and dry fit, glue and install. Route material, sand-block clean. Install toe kick material. Verify if toe should be installed before or after side panel install.


  Page 5

Lamination and Veneering

Lamination of Plastic or Vinyl Laminate (SEE INSTALL)

   Now that all the bottoms, sides and toes are done, give a final inspection to your cabinet face. Take your sanding block and verify that all bottom and side panels are flush and clean to the front. Then take your brush vacuum and remove all dust and particles from the face. In most cases this is adequate prep for applying your glue. If however your laminating over a previously laminated cabinet you should additionally wipe face with either a tack clothe or clean rag with denatured alcohol to remove fine dust. Now the face is ready for glue. Glue the entire face. Set up a small fan to circulate air in the kitchen, let dry. If your material is white then you will be installing full sheets, not strips.  If the material being used has graining you will then be cutting stiles and rails. This is where you will be using your  (Virutex Laminate Slitter). Go around the kitchen and take rough width measurements of you stiles and rails, and add ¼" to the width. Then estimate a cutting list to be slit. Set aside all these strips and breakout you (Paper-Cutter). Measure and cut and number all your stiles, then glue all stiles. After fully dry, apply and hardboard. Now accurately measure and cut and number each rail, then glue all rails. Apply and hardboard. You now can route all outside cabinets. Either with a flush cut ¼" bit, no ball-bearing using grease such as "Crisco" or be careful with a ¼" roller bearing cutter. After this is done switch cutting bits to your ¼" 7degree bevel bit, adjust properly and route out all interior openings. Now you can trim or cut of any access laminate and then finish file. Clean up any residual Crisco, wipe down face. Now you can do your final hard boarding. Fill any seams with seam fill product.

Veneering with Adhesive Back wood Veneer (SEE INSTALL)

   Follow all the same prep work as mentioned above in lamination, and then glue entire face. As above estimate and Slitter stiles and rail strips. Break out the Paper cutter and either install first stiles then rails or do a conventional real cabinet look. Peel back the adhesive protector sheet and stick, and hardboard. Route out the same as above. Clean, file and do your final hardboard. Fill seams if necessary.



  Installation of Doors, Valances, Drawers

Door Installation

   At this point you can either install all door hinges or one at a time as you put them up. Find an open spot and lay down a blanket, or quilt to protect floor and door and hammer in your hinge. Hold down firmly the door panel so it won't shatter or crack. I like to start with the first upper wall cabinet on the left. In most cases you will have a ½" over lay all around. Feather in your ½" screw with your screw gun that way you won't split your stiles.  Your first door install establishes your line, follow it all the way around. Base cabinet start first door on the left and measure off the bottom of counter top and follow that same measure all the way around.


   These are cut on site to fit. If possible measure and cut 1/16" overall. Dry fit, flush to face, level. Pencil behind your ¾" width to see where she sits, then remove valance. Drill one or two mounting holes each side through the stile. Countersink holes inside cabinet, reinstall valance, pre-drill with smaller bit into valance then screw down. Then seam fill.

Drawer Box Install

   Break out all drawer box glide rail hardware, and separate. Take drawer boxes, set then up on end, and group by size. Measure a box on end left to right, and add 1 ¼" to that measurement. Do the same with all the rest. This will be for a cut list of 2" popular strips for rear supports of these drawers.

Example; Drawer box face measure at 14"+ 1 ¼" = 15 ¼" so the popular strip would be 15¼x 2 x 3/4. These are the strips that we mount out rail boots on. Now install all boots to popular strips one on the left and one on the right. Now install box glide rails to all boxes. Now we are ready to install drawer boxes. Measure your first box opening, subtract 1", this will be use box size, gather your box. Take the popular strip with the installed boots you cut for this box and install to the back wall of the cabinet. Use your torpedo level with magnet. mount to level and secure. Install box and a-line. Complete all box installs.




Installation of Drawer Fronts, Moldings, Hardware

Drawer Front Install

   Break out all Drawer fronts and set aside. With small drill bit drill all drawer boxes, one hole to the left and one to the right. Now countersink all drill holes from inside the box. Install 1" coarse thread dry-wall screws in all drilled holes, extend screw point 1/8" beyond drawer box face. Cut for yourself a guide strip of popular either ½"or 5/8" or ¾" by whatever length you need. Determine what space looks best between the door below and the counter top above ½"or 5/8" or ¾". Then use the appropriate guide strip and place it on the door below, now put your drawer face on top of the strip, align edges with door below and press into the screw points. Remove and pre drill on those points a small starter hole. Now install with screw gun, remove guide and check the look. Should be perfect. Install bumper on either side, done. Repeat same for all drawer fronts.

Tilt Tray Install

   Break open tilt tray kit. Separate all components. Install side hinges, slant back top of hinge so to help it close better. Take same guide strips, one that is longer then the two doors below, maybe 35" long and rest on doors. Align finish tilt front on guide strip, hold in place and open doors below, and use clamps to hold in place. Now slide in underneath the sink and reach up with a marker and mark the screw hole locations, slide back out, remove clamps, remove finish front panel and pre drill your marked hole spots. Remount panel, clamp, and install screws. Now try tilt panel. Install bumper on all four corners. Next open tilt and measure between hinge mounts. Cut plastic tray, glue as shown, and install.

Install moldings

   Install as per the blueprint agreement. Keeping brad holes as small as possible, you will need to fill holes later. Tight seams, when finished, fill any gaps with seam fill.

Install Hardware

   Verify with customer standard mount location. Use mounting template, mark all doors and drawers. (Important) Verify each door open side so as to not drill wrong side. Drill all holes, mount hardware.


 Page 8
Completion Of Job and Cleanup

Cleanup and Paperwork

   Now that all contract obligations are complete, cleanup. Store away all tools. Completely vacuum all cabinets. Pull up all padding material and dispose. Make sure that your cutting area is also clean, Load up tools. Give final check to cabinets with stain stick and crayon. Call customer down for final check. Show them how to use the stain stick and crayon. Hopefully during the week you made mention of how your working for that happy letter. ( See Happy Letters ) Now its time to sign all doc's. Make sure all doc's have the customers name and account number. First the preexisting condition waiver, by now the customer knows how much you cared for there property and that will be a quick sign. Next the Approval of completion document. ( Important ) Make sure this doc is clean, no entry on any line accept at the bottom contractor sign's and the customer sign's and dates. Next you now can sign the contractor lien doc, no customer signature necessary here. Customer gets all yellow copies; all white and pink go back in folder with any money's due. Most go through a Home Depot charge, but make sure to check. Then call in to customer service to report your completed job. (1-888-62-DEPOT extension #1) On the way out the door as the customer is applauding your work remind them of the Home Depot V.O.C. survey that's coming in about 2 weeks and how you hoped that you earned a 10 on the installer section. Your customer will remember the 10 they promise you.   GOOD JOB!