DIY the Heck Out of Your Existing Range Hood!

In: Kitchen Tutorials

How to build a DIY Range Hood Cover

You probably have figured out by now that I’m not going to pay $500 or more for a custom range hood.  I’m also not going to pay $150-$200 for a liner insert even if I built a range hood.

“But your range hood is… well… HIDEOUS!”  you say.

I know, but I don’t have that kind of money to throw away on frivolous things like range hoods.  Even if it is U-G-L-Y.

I happen to have a plan though…

Can you keep a secret?  Me too.  And I’m going to right behind this custom box I’m going to build.   The secret is that behind it is my icky old range hood.  Hee, hee, hee.  Devious.  I know…  Like Cruella DeVille devious…  her range hood was probably made of puppies.  Mine won’t be, I swear.

The best part is, I spent about $20 on this project and it took me about 30 minutes to assemble once the wood was cut.  And because I’m feeling super generous…  I’m going to share with you how I did it…  Come Along.

First, I measured my icky hood.  
Then, I sketched out a little plan for my hood.  I knew that I wanted it to have slats to tie into the side of my cabinets where I had to cover a hole, so the face would be pretty easy.

My box needed to be 30″wide, 7″ deep and 9″ tall to cover my current range hood.  Obviously, the bottom would be open, it didn’t need a back and it didn’t need a top- plus we need to reach through the top to get to the buttons.  (It’s really complicated, there are 2 buttons- the light and the fan.)

So, Essentially, I made a 3 sided box that looks like it belongs with my cabinets.

This is what you need to start with.  I’m assuming that these measurements really could be universal since my range hood is a regular, cheapy that you can get anywhere.  Plus my Mom, my Aunt, my cousin and my Grammy all have the same ones in their houses.  It’s a shame isn’t it?

My supply list:
1- 2’x4′ Lauan plywood
2- 3/4″x 4″ x 6′ Aspen boards- I ripped these in half lengthwise to make 4- 1/2″ x 1 3/4″ x 6′ boards.
1- 1″ x 2″- just a small piece cut in half lengthwise to make square pieces of board. (not pictured…  they were shy I guess.)

range hood cover lumber

Here is the cut list for the box:
4- 7″ pieces of aspen- trim for sides of box
6- 5 1/2″ pieces of aspen-trim for sides of box
3- 30″ pieces of aspen- 2 for front trim and 1 to attach to cabinets.
2- 9″ x 7″ lauan- sides of box
1- 30″ x 9″ lauan- front of box
2- 9″ 1″x1″ pieces of scrap for corners- not pictured.

First assemble your sides and front with the trim.  I glued and used 1/2″ brad nails to hold- just clip and file down if they go through.  You only need a few- they will just hold until the glue dries.  Make sure you cover the entire surface of your board with glue.  Dad uses a brush- I use my finger.

side of range hood cover
One of the sides.

Then using 3/4″ brad nails- I attached the 2 corner pieces to the front of the box.  Try not to nail your project to the table.  (I’ve done that before…I’ve also nailed things to the floor :)

range hood edge trim

Attach the sides to the corner pieces using brad nails as well- Alternate positions on each side so that the nails don’t hit each other.  Tip: put a corner piece of scrap lauan in the corners to square your sides to the front.

unfinished range hood cover

Now you have a 3 sided box with trim!  Congratulations!!!!

front unfinished range hood cover

Next, using a level, attach your cleat to the cabinet above your range. I put a full piece across so that I could easily add a shelf later if I want to. I used some wood glue and 2″ nails to attach.

existing range hood
Get your last look at the hideousness of that old range hood!!

Before I put it up on the cabinet, I added the slats.  To do this, I just divided the space with 5.  I wanted 5 slats so that it was symmetrical- (I’m weird like that).  I used a scrap piece of 5mm Lauan standing on edge as the spacer between each.

Cut List for slats:
5- 5″ x 5 1/2″ pieces of lauan- front of box
4- 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ pieces of lauan- sides of box

I had to shave a little off here and there to make a perfect fit, but once you have it number you slats and mark the side that #1 starts on.
Then cover the slat in wood glue and place inside the trim.  Use a scrap piece of lauan between each to make your uniform spaces.  

Using a screw- I simply screwed the sides of the box into the cleat that I previously attached to the cabinet above the range hood.

Here is what you’ll end up with…  Where did that hideous range hood go???

unpainted range hood cover
Not made out of puppies.

range hood cover

The most awesome thing is that you don’t have to use slats if that’s not your cup of tea.  Some moulding would look great as well! 

 I did realize, I’m a bit short to reach above to turn on the light, but my measurements made it so there is enough room for me to reach under between the existing hood and the cover.  My brain did that all on it’s own!

Total for project:

1 piece of lauan- $7.32
2- 1/2 x 4″ x 6′ aspen- $7.89 each- $15.78  (I had a whole 1/2 wide piece and some scrap left.)
Total:  $23.10

One more look…
range hood cover

Get rid of icky old range hood…. Check.

Many readers have asked how I reach the controls for the fan and the light.  Well, Tyler is tall enough to reach above the top, but for me I reach through the bottom.  The existing range hood isn’t square, the corners are sort of diagonal so that leaves perfect room for my hand to reach through.  

top view of range hood
This is a view from the top.  You can see where there is plenty of room to reach through to the buttons.  This was just a bonus.

When I built this initially, I thought I would just reach above and use a little step stool.  A small price to pay to have that ugly old range hood covered up.