DIY FAUX VENT HOOD

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It’s done, it’s done, it’s done! This project really should have only taken two, maybe three days but our household got hit with RSV hard so it took about a week. E had RSV, pneumonia, and a double ear infection (poor kid). He so lovingly shared all his germs with me and I’m going on week three of fighting this thing. Anyway, we are on the upswing and I finally have enough energy to get a few things done!

Over a year ago, I built our kitchen cabinets up to the ceiling and added these cute cubbies to one wall. While I love the side ones that I’ve put baskets in, the middle one has had me stumped. I can’t seem to style it in a way that I like without it feeling cluttered to me. I had the idea of building a faux vent hood over the microwave and so off to Pinterest I went! I found this from Holly over at Our Faux Farmhouse and while I didn’t want that exact style, it confirmed to me that I could make it and it wouldn’t look weird.

Our kitchen has a ton of cabinets (like, we have 30 cabinets – not even including all the drawers) so I wasn’t worried about losing the awkward cabinet over the microwave that I can’t reach anyway. The outlet for our microwave is in that cabinet, so my original plan was to cut out the bottom of the cabinet so that you could still access that. That plan had to be modified because our microwave screws into the base of that cabinet, so we wouldn’t be able to remove the microwave to access the plug without getting to those screws first.

The solution was to add hinges to the front wooden piece and it worked really well! I was worried about it not hanging fully closed, but it’s not an issue!

It turned out so well and it ties in with our island perfectly. This super easy, super cheap addition makes me love my kitchen even more than I did before, which I didn’t know was possible!

tutorial

Materials :

First, remove your cabinet doors and any crown molding. Next, cut your 1×2 to make two 30″ pieces and a third, longer piece. You’re going to use this as a support for the sides of your vent hood (if your cabinets don’t go to the ceiling, then cut supports to fit the distance between the microwave and the top of the cabinet and adjust accordingly). To attach them, measure the thickness of your OSB (it should be around 5/16″ ) and set the 1×2 in from the microwave that same distance. Drill pilot holes, make sure it’s level, and use a wood clamp to hold it to the cabinet while you attach it with 2 inch screws.

Now you need to cut your OSB. Measure the distance from the top of your microwave to the ceiling (minus 1″) and the distance that your microwave sticks out (minus 3/4″). You’re going to cut out a long triangle with a rectangle on the bottom. Mark the height of your hood first, then measure 5 1/2″ up from the bottom of that and make another mark. Mark the depth measurement at the 5 1/2″ spot as well as at the bottom of your height measurement. Draw a line between the corner of the OSB and that mark (5 1/2″ up, x” deep) to create your triangle. Draw a straight line between the two depth marks and from the bottom depth mark to the edge of the OSB to create your rectangle. Now, cut along these lines using the circular saw. This doesn’t need to be perfect because it will be covered with shiplap, but try to keep it as straight as possible (this cut is outlined in blue below). Repeat this process for the second side.

On each piece, cut out a small notch (indicated by the orange box in the drawing above) that is 1″ tall and 2″ deep.

Using a wood clamp and 2 inch screws, attach your sides to the supports.

Measure the length of the hypotenuse of the triangle you just cut and the distance from outside edge to outside edge of your side pieces. Cut a piece of OSB that matches these dimensions. Lay it on top of your side pieces (making sure the bottom is level) and attach it to the side pieces with the nail gun.

Yay! The frame is done. Prime your OSB so that you don’t have to fight with a paint brush to paint between the shiplap gaps.

Now attach the shiplap. I used spare pieces of shiplap from a previous project where I had taken a 1/8″ thick piece of plywood and ripped it down to 5.75″ wide strips. Starting with the sides, trace the angle you need (mine ended up being 9 degrees) and use a saw to cut the pieces to fit. Use an 1/8″ spacer to leave that classic gap between your shiplap.

To attach the shiplap, I spread construction adhesive on the back and then used my brad nailer to attach it to the frame. Since this is above the stove and will be exposed to a good amount of steam overtime, the glue is important to keep it from warping and popping off. Start from the bottom (about 1/8″ above where the top of your wooden base will sit) and work your way up.

Now it’s time for the wooden base. Measure the distance from the outside of the OSB on the left to the outside of the OSB on the right. This will be the measurement for the inside edge of your front piece. Set your saw to cut at a 45 degree angle and cut your 1×6. Now cut a piece of 1×2 to this same width, but this time don’t miter the corners. Screw the 1×2 onto your 1×6 from the inside. This will cover any gap at the base left by the hinges.

Drill pilot holes and screw your hinges onto the inside of the 1×6 (not on the edge you attached the 1×2, the other edge). You’re probably going to need and extra set of hands for this one, so recruit your husband! One person needs to hold the 1×6 while the other screws the hinges into the OSB frame. Make sure that the inside of your mitered corners are perfectly lined up with the frame or you’ll have issues getting the side pieces lined up.

Once that is hung, measure the distance from the cabinet to the outside of the 1×6. this is the outside length of your side piece. Make sure to measure each side independently in case they are slightly different. Cut your pieces with a mitered corner to line up with the front piece. The other side should be flat to butt up against the cabinet. Test your fit before attaching them and once you are satisfied, glue one side on and clamp it overnight. Repeat with the other side.

Onto the finishing touches! Fill any holes with wood filler, caulk the edges of the shiplap (but leave the edges of the wood uncaulked), and reattach any molding you took down. Prime and paint the shiplap then stain and seal the wood and you’re finished!

I used Rustoleum Gel Stain since it was a vertical surface and I’m converted – it was so easy to work with!

I also added a piece of 1×2 to the top so that it blended in with the crown molding a little better.

Now try not to stare at your new faux hood vent all day because it will be that good!

With love,
Mercedes ♥

5 thoughts on “DIY FAUX VENT HOOD

  1. Hi there!

    I love the look of this faux hood you created over your microwave. I’m assuming that you have a recirculating venting system on the microwave (with no external ducting) based on the pictures on your blog. If so, does your microwave exhaust out from the top front part? It looks like the hood goes past this part too. Wondering if you had any issues with moisture building up inside the faux hood.

    Thanks for all the help!

    Like

    1. Hi! You’re right, no external ducting. And no issues so far! If I put my hand over the edge of the front piece when the vent is on, I can still feel air circulating, so I think the air flow works 🙂

      Like

  2. are you able to access the plugs ? just worried if microwave breaks or has to be changed out, do you have to tear it down?

    Like

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