So tell me . . . have you dreamed of updating your builder grade kitchen? Are you on a budget? If you answered yes, I invite you to read on, because I’m going to share with you how I removed my over the range microwave, installed a vent hood and built a rangehood cover over my existing cabinet in the matter of three days!!! I know this post is LONG overdue, and that’s mainly because it’s a LONG post, so bare with me, and if I left anything out or you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask :).
I’ve explained in the past how I tend to jump in to projects pretty fast, and this project was no different. I took a lot of pictures, but other than removing the microwave, I did this on my own, so most of the pictures are not “pretty.”
My husband and son helped me to get started by removing the old microwave. It began acting up and our original plan was to replace it when I got the idea to try to build a range hood. Here’s where I got some of my inspirations from : Here, and here. We were able to remove the microwave and purchase a smaller one that we store inside the pantry cabinets-it fits perfectly!
When it came to range hood styles, I couldn’t decide between the two styles, and I actually changed my mind as I was in the process of building it.
Once the microwave was down, I had hubby disconnect the outlet to reveal the wires for me to install the vent hood. We chose this Broan venthood which has the buttons on the bottom, so they were easily accessible.
Installing the venthood was really pretty simple, similar to installing a light fixture. The toughest part for me, honestly, was lining up the screws to put it in place. Once I routed my wires through a hole on the underside of the cabinet (where the previous microwave wires went through), I connected them and made sure everything worked and got building. Because my plan was to build the range hood over the existing cabinet, I cut a hole in the top of the cabinet (not shown) to have access to the wiring if necessary.
As you can see I had some wall repair to do from the wall anchors for the microwave as well as some cleaning to do, one of the main reasons I wanted to remove the microwave, it was constantly a greasy mess, which I think had to do with an improper venting issue.
While most people plan things out, I am more of a hands on person and built my frame as I went, rather than building a frame ahead of time and installing it.
I started measuring and cutting 1×2’s to the depth of the range hood, plus an inch (just based on personal preference). Which in hindsight, I realized that the venthood with top controls may have worked by leaving extra space to fit your fingers in, and could have saved me some money, but this is personal preference as well.
The 1×2’s were attached to the inside of the cabinets that flank the venthood with 1.5 inch brad nails and my campbell hausfeld nail gun.
I then measured, cut and nailed a 1×2 across the width of the venthood to build a semi frame. This is where hubby came in and decided that he liked the idea of a slanted range hood as opposed to a more boxy range hood which I had planned on building. I make the majority of the design/decor decisions in the house, so I decided to give him this one. So I added two mitered 1×4’s and nailed them on each from the top of the cabinet and they would rest on the front of the 1×2 frame (see above).
To measure the angle, I used a piece of card stock to make a template.
I simply held it up and bent it over the 1×4’s until it left a mark and then traced and cut out the shape on a piece of birch wood plywood.
I repeated this process for the other side, and nailed it to the frame.
Meanwhile . . . Kyle was working on organizing the lower cabinets . . . I actually don’t even bother trying to organize that cabinet anymore, that cabinet belongs to him and he has hours, well minutes of fun dumping everything out of the cabinet several times a day.
For the front piece, I measured the width of the venthood and the length of the 1×4’s (to the mitered short edge, although I believe I should have cut it a bit shorter here, I’ll explain why later.) In hindsight, I wish I would have had this piece cut at the store, to ensure straight edges.
As you can see, my blade for my saw was a bit dull which led to some splintering of the wood. So I sanded it the best I could.
I built a picture frame molding for the front of the rangehood. I was going to add more, but decided to hold off because I wanted a simpler look.
At this point, I really began to improvise. I added some shim pieces to the sides to act as molding, and caulked and filled seams and nail holes.
This piece of trim on the stove, was put in place under the vent hood to cover those open seams and overall made the range hood look much more finished after caulking. You can see this in the pic below (although it’s a little blurry).
I also “skim coated” the sides of the range hood with dry dex to smooth out the rugged edges from the rough saw blade.
Paint was next. I had a slight dilemma becasue I wasn’t sure what I should do above the beadboard backsplash wallpaper, which used to butt right up against the bottom of the microwave. I didn’t want to take it all down, not yet anyway, so I decided to just paint it all out in the white color of my cabinets.
I then added a piece of lattice trim to finish if the look. Once it was painted out, it looks like it was always supposed to look like this.
And there you have it an easy, functional rangehood cover!