I tried something I had never done before: relaminating my kitchen
countertop with formica right over the old stuff.
The edge trim was oak that had a chamfered edge. This proved to be
challenging but not a dealbreaker(the female of the species has
officially approved of the results).
It turned out really good. The job was done without taking off the old
countertop(lazy I know but it was site built (and looked like I would
have to destroy it to get it up).
Now if I can find a cleaner to clean off the small spots of contact
cement that accidentally got on the counter surface we'll be in
business. Our local big box store did not have the factory approved
cleaner so I am temporarily at a stop.
The backsplash has yet to be done since we are going to replace the tile
on it. We have the tile but lack the time until next weekend.
The existng trim on the countertop was 1x2 oak that had the top edge,
along with the laminate edge, chamfered with a router. I just used my
router to run over the new laminate and it worked fine except for the
dead ends into a wall. There I gingerly used a belt sander. It would
be easy to screw up the belt sander part if you are not careful.
The nice part is, the kitchen looks amazingly better for not much money
and no tear out or trashing of the old countertop.
The Formica company web site has all the basic instructions.
Power tools are _not_ needed for this. A moderately fine-toothed flat file
does wonders. I've chamfered many _feet_ of counter edges that way, With a
little care, it comes out looking 'just like a pro did it'.
Yes, you can still screw things up, using the manual method. But you -do-
have to work harder at it, and it is slow enough that you are likely to
discover the problem, while it is still 'trivially' recoverable.
Laquer thinner is more apt to sneak in between the laminate and its
substrate. Don't use more than a damp (with thinners) rag to rub the
adhesive away..ie.. don't pour it on.
PS. There are commercial contact cement cleaners on the market, but I
have never seen them in small containers.
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