Kitchen

How To Build A Custom Wood Range Hood Cover – Part 1

Remember how yesterday I was all, “I’m going to tape and drape my kitchen and start painting TODAY!” Well, that didn’t happen, because I went into my kitchen with the best intentions of getting started, and realized that I can’t start painting until I build my custom wood range hood cover.

So instead of taping, draping, and painting, I spent my day building. 🙂 I didn’t get it finished, and in fact, it won’t be finished for about three weeks. But more on that in just a bit.

My inspiration for the design I used came from a reader (thank, Jody!) who sent me pictures of her new range hood cover in her newly remodeled kitchen. I loved the design so much that I decided to copy it as best I could.

range hood cover inspiration

Her range hood is clearly much wider than my 30-inch range hood, but I figured I could adapt the design to fit my narrower space. I also liked the doors on the top. I don’t need or want storage above my stove (I’m only 5 feet tall and never, ever use that storage), but many of you encouraged me to use a door on that upper part rather than permanently enclosing it (which had been my original plan) so that I can still have access to wires and such that are up there. That sounded reasonable to me, but since mine is so much narrower, I’ll just have one large door rather than two or three doors.

So here’s how mine originally looked — stainless steel vent hood with two tiny little cabinets above it.

kitchen after - refrigerator wall

So I started off by removing the tiny cabinet doors. The rest of the doors had already been removed since I’m in the process of painting my kitchen.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 1 - remove existing doors from cabinets

And then I removed all of the trim and crown moulding that would be in the way.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 2 - remove any existing trim and crown moulding

One of the challenges of building a range hood cover on cabinets configured like mine (a 30-inch range hood flanked by cabinets on both sides) is that the range hood cover can’t encroach on the side cabinet space much at all or there won’t be enough room for the cabinet doors on each side to open and close.

The second challenge I had is that my range hood isn’t vented to the outside. So the design needed to allow for plenty of room for air flow and circulation.

So I measured from the ceiling to the top of my range hood, and used that measurement to cut two support pieces – one for each side. I cut these out of 1 x 8 lumber, and used my table saw to rip them down to the correct width. My range hood sticks out 6 inches from the front of the cabinets, so I ripped these support pieces so that they would stick out 6.5 inches from the cabinets, allowing 1/2 inch between the front of the range hood and the range hood cover. I attached these support pieces using my Kreg Jig, and I made sure that they lined up directly over the vent hood and didn’t encroach on the side cabinets at all.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 3 - add side support pieces above the range hood

For each piece, I drilled five pocket holes — three on one side, two on the other. But you can see that I didn’t figure for the space at the top, so I ended up only using four pocket holes (two on each side) for each support piece. Four screws were plenty strong to hold each support piece.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 4 - add side support pieces above the range hood using Kreg Jig - side view

And as you can see, it’s a very good thing that I’m making this design open so that the top can be accessed for regular cleaning, because I completely forgot to clean off the concrete dust after my countertops were refinished. Please kindly disregard my dust. 😀

 

After adding the top support pieces, I then cut two pieces of 1 x 6 lumber and attached those below the range hood as supports. I cut these so that they would also extend 6.5 inches past the front of the cabinets, and I just nailed those into the side cabinets.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 7 - add side support pieces below range hood nailed into side cabinets

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 8 - add side support pieces below range hood nailed into side cabinets

Next I measured the width from the outside of the left supports to the outside of the right supports. My measurement was exactly 30 inches. Then I measured from the bottom of the lower supports to approximately 1.5 inches up on the top supports (1.5 inches being the width of the rails and stiles on my existing cabinets). That gave me a measurement of 13.5 inches.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 8a - add side support pieces below range hood nailed into side cabinets

So I cut a piece of 3/4-inch plywood to 30″ wide by 13.5″ high. Then I cut a pattern for the curved decorative bottom edge out of cardboard, and used that to transfer the curved design onto my plywood. I used my jigsaw to cut out the design.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 9 - cut decorative piece for the bottom front

Then I nailed this piece into the front edges of the bottom and top side supports.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 10 - attach front decorative piece to the side support pieces

So essentially that large plywood piece is not only the decorative piece on the bottom front of the range hood cover, but it also acts as the bottom rail on the opening that the cabinet door will eventually cover.

Then I cut and attached the top rail, which was 30 inches wide by 4.5 inches high. And I attached the two stiles, which were 1.5″ wide and 17″ high. I nailed these pieces right to the front edge of the side supports.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 11 - attach top rail and side stiles to the side supports

To figure the height that the top rail needed to be, I determined how far down my crown moulding would come (three inches), and added 1.5 inches (the width of the rails and stiles on my existing cabinets).

So at this point, the sides of my range hood cover looked like this…

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 12 - sides are still open so they need to be covered

So to cover those, while taking up as little space as possible so that my cabinet doors on each side would still open and close, I used pieces of 1/4-inch MDF, which I cut to size using my table saw and miter saw. I attached the side pieces using very short finishing nails, and made sure that I didn’t nail into the side of the range hood.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 13 - cover the sides with quarter inch MDF

I used MDF for these pieces because it sands easily, and unlike plywood, the edges look finished.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 14 - cover the sides with quarter inch MDF

With the basic structure of my range hood cover finished, I cut and replaced the small trim on the cabinets. I still need to replace the crown moulding, which I dread. Crown moulding is my nemesis, and this time I have more angles to work around.

how to build a custom wood range hood cover - 15 - the basic form without the door or shelf

I also still need to build the little decorative shelf, which I’ll get done today.

Now as far as the door goes, I have two options. The first option would be to make something myself to echo the design over the fireplace mantel, which is just in the next room and very visible from the kitchen.

dark-gray-fireplace-color-is-benjamin-moore-kendall-charcoal-with-the-white-removed-from-the-formula-to-make-it-darker

The second option would be to actually have a cabinet door made to match all of my other kitchen cabinet doors. I order my cabinet doors from this place, and their flat panel doors match my existing doors almost exactly.

I’m kind of leaning towards the cabinet door just because it’ll blend in with what I already have. Replicating the overmantel design from my living room would be cheaper, but it would also add one more different design into my small kitchen, which might be too much.

So I still need to give that some more thought. Unfortunately, if I do the cabinet door, this project won’t be finished for about three weeks. That’s how long it takes to get the custom doors once the order is placed. But at least once the little shelf is built, and I do all of my wood filling, sanding, and caulking, I can go ahead and paint my cabinets. A door can always be painted and installed later.

So we’ll see. A cabinet door or a design to match the overmantel in the living room? Hmmm…it’s a mystery. 😀

UPDATE:

Click here to see Part 2 of this project, where I made some design changes to the range hood cover…

DIY wood range hood cover - some adjustments for safety plus more progress

And click here to see the finished range hood cover

diy range hood cover - finished



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50 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jann Newton
    April 4, 2017 at 9:55 am

    Thank you for this! I’ve been trying to figure out how to build something like this for over our stove and range hood. I love this idea, but unfortunately my hood has the controls to turnit on and off on the front, so I need to be able to access them. Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Carla from Kansas
      April 4, 2017 at 9:59 am

      Maybe something hinged?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      April 4, 2017 at 10:00 am

      If the controls are on the front, just build the cover so that it’s far enough away from the front of the range hood so that you can slip your fingers in there and reach the controls. Would that not work?

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Jennie
        April 4, 2017 at 10:13 am

        Young House Love built a custom range hood cover where you slip your fingers up to reach the controls. You might check out that blog.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Jann Newton
        April 4, 2017 at 10:18 am

        Possibly, Maybe I can build a mock up with foam board to see if it will bug me to have to reach up for the controls. There are two controls, one for the light and one for the fan. Hmmm… you’ve got me thinking! Thanks!

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Marianne in Mo.
          April 4, 2017 at 11:40 am

          I’ve seen them before, where the hood just projects out a few inches further to access the controls.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carla from Kansas
    April 4, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I vote for the cabinet door. Keep it consistent. Looks great already.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa E
    April 4, 2017 at 10:00 am

    You make it look so easy! I love our decorative hood but they are way too expensive. Kudos to you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alma
    April 4, 2017 at 10:05 am

    It’s going to look great. I was about to ask you about the crown molding and you said it’s your nemesis. Mine too. Did I miss the link for the cabinet door place?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    T
    April 4, 2017 at 10:07 am

    I vote to match your fireplace over mantel, with hidden door. And then it gives you a space to hang something special.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ann
    April 4, 2017 at 10:08 am

    What happens should you need to replace the hood? Do you have to tear all this off in order to get the old one out and new one in? It’s probably simple and I just can’t visualize it.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      April 4, 2017 at 10:15 am

      It’s not simple. 🙂 I’d probably have to remove it all, replace the range hood, and rebuild. But that’s pretty much how all of them are.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michele
    April 4, 2017 at 10:08 am

    If I may ask, how much distance is between the top of the cooktop and the bottom of the new wood hood? Where I am, there’s code for minimum distance above a range before you get to combustible materials. Not sure how much it is, but make sure you’re clear! It looks a bit low to my eyeball, but i’m also tall and would smack my head repeatedly, especially since it comes out an additional 6 inches. So maybe i’m just projecting my future headaches 😉

    If it were me (and admittedly, it’s not, LOL), i’d want either 2 doors up there, or a paneled look. Do they even make doors big enough to cover that massive opening? Would you hinge it on the top?

    Regardless of my nitpicks, it’s going to look great!!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      April 4, 2017 at 10:52 am

      Hmmm…I didn’t even think about that. I might need to make some adjustments. It’s currently 28 inches from stovetop to vent hood cover in the middle, and 25 on the sides. Looks like it needs to be 30 inches.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Debbie
        April 4, 2017 at 7:08 pm

        I was thinking the same thing. You wouldn’t want a kitchen fire. Been there. Not fun. Maybe just move the front up & then cut sides to match. Since it’s just for access to the wires it doesn’t have to match the shelf height as long as you can get your hands in there.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Theresa P
      April 4, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      My MIL is 5’10” (8 inches taller than me) and HATES my range hood. I don’t have a decorative cover over it. I just have the stainless Thermador and then regular upper cabinets like the “before” above. I think that if I had a decorative cover over it she would hate it even more! I think these decorative covers work best for shorties (like me!) or in very grand kitchens with high ceilings. In 1950s homes with 8′ ceilings, it seems like these decorative covers would stick out too far for taller chefs.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Betsy
    April 4, 2017 at 10:09 am

    I vote cabinet door, same as your other kitchen doors, no contest!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sophia
    April 4, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Nice. I am still trying to figure out what I want for ours, it a the double wide chimney behind or stove, and will have to be vented out the ceiling,then attic, once we actually replace the stove. I also vote for cabinet doors to match.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sherre
    April 4, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Enclosing a hood that isn’t vented to the outside seems really counterintuitive to me. Do people do that often? I’d think that with all the steam, smoke, and grease that gets sucked up into this thing, it would cause problems to have all of that vented into an enclosed space made out of wood.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      April 4, 2017 at 10:51 am

      I’m not concerned because nothing is airtight, there’s plenty of room for circulation, and one of the main reasons for adding a door is so that I can clean in there regularly. If it does become a problem, I can always have it vent to the outside (another reason for using a door and leaving that area accessible). My range hood is convertible and can work either way.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Marianne in Mo.
        April 4, 2017 at 11:50 am

        You could also install a narrow piece of that radiator cover mesh just below (or above) the shelf you are making, and paint it to match the cabinets. (That seems to my eye where your range hood vents are now.) It comes in many different looks.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laura
    April 4, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I’m loving your idea of replicating the design of the top of your fireplace!!! What a clever idea! I think it would help break up that long line of uniform upper cabinetry and give you a chance to really flex your creative muscles! I think it would give the kitchen something extra-special! 🙂 Either way, I’m on the edge of me seat waiting to see the result!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laurie
    April 4, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Cool. I’d make the door match your other cabinet doors. BTW, will you ever be able to remove the hood if it needs replacing in the distant future?

    I am in the middle of customizing my stock cabinet and thought about building a hood cover, but I use the cabinets above my stove. I use them all even if I have to use a stool to reach them because I need all the storage space I can get (no pantry in my house and no room for one unless I remove the needed hall coat closet.

    So, I’m leaving the hood as is. Luckily we freshened up the paint on it and the spray paint my hubby used is almost a perfect match for the BM White Dove color I painted the cabinets. (love when that happens).

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Nancy
      April 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      Laurie,
      What brand and color spray paint did you use? My cabinets are White Dove, too.

      Thanks!
      Nancy

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol F
    April 4, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Cabinet door is my vote!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Donna
    April 4, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I have the same concerns as SHERRI regarding the exhaust not venting outside but, rather, into your structure.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Laurie
      April 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      Not sure what the building the codes are in Texas, but in MA, if you have a gas stove, it has to vent outside. Venting inside (ie recirculating) is okay with an electric stoves.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan D in SC
    April 4, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Definitely a cabinet door. The range hood detail is enough wow. Matching the overmantle in my (humble) opinion would tend to look as an afterthought. I cannot WAIT to see it all finished! It is a lot of work, but well worth the end results!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue
    April 4, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I think a cabinet door would be best with what you already have – consistency. It will also be easy to open and clean or do whatever else needs to be done periodically. It sure looks nice so far.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon C
    April 4, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Brilliant design……..all the step by step pics you’ve posted make it look so easy (apart from all the measuring)…haha! I’d vote to have the door the same as your cabinets, then add fancy decorative trim details on the shelf. It is going to look fantastic when finished……kudos to you Kristi. Well done!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    janpartist
    April 4, 2017 at 11:08 am

    You have a good eye. From looking at her plan I would have screwed everything up. So, now I’m offering you my suggestion-haha. I suggest you have a door made-BUT use concealed hinges and hinge it from the top instead of the sides-so that it appears to be a solid panel surface. Then I would use it as you would a solid panel and hang wreaths or whatever from it. Then if you ever need access you can take down your painting or wreath or whatever, clear the shelf in front of it and lift up to access behind it. In other words I wouldn’t want it to look like a door but it is-just with a top hinge. (you would need to have a way to prop open the door but how often are you going to need in there?)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs Mike
    April 4, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Can you go to ReStore and see if you can find a cabinet door that will work? That might be a faster alternative!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Justin
    April 4, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I think I would split the difference. Make a panel yourself to match your cabinet doors. It shouldn’t be that hard…they’re fairly basic doors. As long as it’s not a door you’re going to use every day, you don’t need to worry about fancy joinery or routing. Pocket screws should be fine. I think I’d also screw it on instead of making an operable door, but do it in such a way that the screws are removable if you need to get in there. The reason I suggest this is because there’ll be less chance of steam and “gunk” getting into the cabinet and creating a film all over everything. You could even maybe caulk the bottom to prevent it, as the caulk would release when you need to pop the panel off for maintenance.

    I think I’d also take this opportunity to fix the venting issue. There really isn’t much point to a non-venting vent. You’re just sucking-up the steamy grease-laden air and pushing it around in the room (or in this case, under the hood cover). I realize that’s an inside wall, so maybe you can just go up into the attic and have your “guys” (who will inevitably be around during the garage construction) put a roof vent in for you?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Marianne in Mo.
      April 4, 2017 at 11:56 am

      I agree as far as the venting to outside. Our old house had an inside vent, and it wasn’t very effective. Also, a lot of areas now require them to be vented to outside. We now have outside vent, and it sends all that gunk straight out! Cleaning my kitchen is so much easier now!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Justin
        April 4, 2017 at 1:42 pm

        I have one of the microwave/vents that is technically vented correctly, but it was mounted too low for the range (previous owners swapped out a standard hood for the microwave without installing a shorter cabinet above it), so the steam goes AROUND the vent rather than up into it. The result is that all the greasy steam goes up onto the upper cabinet, soffet, and ceiling instead of up the vent. When I get around to cleaning up there, I have to scrub it with degreaser. It’s really gross and a pain in the butt. Something I’ll fix eventually…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa Johnson
    April 4, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Uh Oh! Kristi, you have a recirculating vent hood, and you are closing in the cover!!!!!!! You need to let the air back into the room with some sort of opening. This CAN’T be behind a solid panel or cover. Also please check your electric code. In Virginia we would have to have a cover plate over the outlet, and a junction box to protect the connection where the hood is connected electrically. I’m not sure what your Texas code is, but safety first! Worried about it- please check it out before you proceed sweet lady!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Amanda @ Love & Renovations
    April 4, 2017 at 11:58 am

    It’s going to look SO good! Can’t wait to see how it is when it’s all finished. I think a cabinet door that matches the others is your best option.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Phyllis
    April 4, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    A cabinet door is my pick. I am so glad you posted this. I have exactly the same situation going on and could not figure out HOW to solve the closing door issue. This is what I love about your blog, you teach us how to DIY and make it look so easy.
    Thanks!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Becky M
    April 4, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I Googled and found this regarding wood vent hood covers: 2006 IRC section 1901.1 requires 30 inches from stove to combustibles unless the stove manufacturer requires more.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Robin
    April 4, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    My vote is a cabinet door. Use European (hidden) hinges at top so the door, when used opens upward. And it will still look like a panel not a door.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathleen Rupp
    April 4, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    I’m excited to see what you do Here! Always amazed!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue
    April 5, 2017 at 6:07 am

    I am so impressed with everything you are doing!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Connie
    April 6, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Kristi, won’t a single cabinet door that is so wide look a little strange in comparison to your existing cabinet door sizes? Before you go to the expense of having one made, you might try a mock-up of a single door vs two doors to make certain you like the look and scale of such a large single. I really liked the suggestion from another reader about doing a “hidden door” then using similar trim to that on your fireplace.

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