Monday, August 8, 2016

My DIY Kitchen: How I Built a Rangehood Over an Existing Cabinet

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.

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 1x2'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 1x2'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 1x2 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 1x4's and nailed them on each from the top of the cabinet and they would rest on the front of the 1x2 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 1x4'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 1x4'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 then went ahead and added the faux crown molding, you can read all about that here.

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 give it a finished look.



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  1. Looks great Carli! I love it! So are you guys a microwave free home now?

    1. Hey Erin! Thanks so much! We actually bought a smaller microwave which fits perfectly in the pantry cabinet :)

  2. Wow! Excellent! It's so professional looking..

  3. Wow Carli, what a transformation. You did a good job! I like how kyle got in and did his part in helping!

    1. Thank you Liah. If you're ever looking for Mr. Kyle, you will surely find him under me 😄

  4. Wow! Good job Carli. You are so crafty and your blog is so inspiring. I love the new look.

  5. Thank you Tanida!!!! So glad you stopped by!

  6. This is the best tutorial I've seen yet on how to make a stove exhaust cover! I'm pinning....

    1. Yay!!!! Thank you so much! so glad you found it informative! Let me know if you have any questions! and thanks so much for the pin! 💓

  7. I absolutely love how this turned out. We have a range hood with the buttons on the front- so I have been debating how to transform the cabinets above & still keep those accessible. I'm so inspired to make it happen now. Thank you!

    1. Hi Gina!! I'm so glad you were able to find this helpful! I hipe you're able to make it work, I just love the change it's made to my kitchen!

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  8. I just love your ideas, your so creative and i am 61 and seen many creative ideas. Love this and the fake crown molding, and plate holder on end. It's so refreshing to see people work out these idea and they look beautiful ... vs buying new stuff. HGTV (all these young people who tear out the pink/black 50's tile (thats in good shape); someday it will be popular again.

  9. Replies
    1. it is vented through the exterior of the house, where the microwave was previously vented :)


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