Series: An 80's Kitchen DIY Reno-{Part 15-Building the Vent Hood}

Monday, August 3, 2020

We've reached the last project I completed for the Kitchen Reno Series.   This one I did a couple of months ago since we've been in quarantine.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I had lots of inspiration for the build.  But at some point you just have to get to work. 

Going back to the beginning, we had a microwave over the cooktop initially.  

I moved it to a new cabinet and added a vent hood last year, but plans to build a wood vent hood got put on hold. 

To begin, I removed the cabinet doors and built a frame. 

It was trial and error figuring out the angles for the cuts that would lean up against the frame, but they didn't have to be exact.  Just close enough to be flush. It was a 15-17 degree angle on the top and about 22.5 degrees on the bottom.

I knew I wanted a stained wood shiplap look for the hood, so originally I purchased 3/4" poplar as the facing.  But after getting it up, I realized it would be too thick to add any additional trim along the bottom.  

So I took it down and found this 3/8" thick by 4" wide hobby wood in pine at Lowes.  It comes in 2, 3, and 4 foot lengths, and the thickness was perfect.  It also comes in a few other thicknesses.  I found that not every store had the same variations of lengths and thickness of this wood.  It also comes in Poplar and Oak and  Home Depot carries a similar wood.

Cutting the face panels was easy, but the sides were angled.  So I held up a piece to the side of the frame and marked the angle that way before cutting.  I also decided in advance that the raw edge would be on the face of the hood, and I would cover that with trim later.

I added 1/4" maple plywood for the bottom section of the hood, and 3/8"x 2" pieces of  the same wood as above to trim it out.  I used corner molding for the two corners.  The mitered trim angles on the bottom were right at head level and were super sharp.  So I later rounded them out with my sander.

Along the top of the hood, I added a thin 3/8" x 3" to box out the top section so that I could later add crown molding.

I wanted the hood to stand proud of the cabinets and look as if it was completely separate from the cabinets. So I had to take down the crown over all the cabinets from the fridge to the oven tower. I later reattached after finishing the vent hood.

Once the trim was complete, I felt like it needed a little something extra since the trim was so simple.

It finally hit me...corbels! I found these wood corbels at Wayfair.  As you can see below, there's hardware on the back of it to slide onto a screw head.  Well it slides down, which would have left a 1/2" gap between the hood and corbel.  I petitioned Instagram, and a friend made a suggestion that helped me come up with a solution.  I turned them around to slide 'backwards' onto the vent hood instead of 'down' on the cabinet face frame once installed.  But it was perfect, because they're just decorative and aren't structurally holding anything up.

They are a little longer on the down section than they are on the top section, so I had to trim them a bit. But they sanded down nicely along with those pointy corners.

I stained the hood with a mix of Minwax Provincial + Weathered Wood and finished it with a Matte Polyurethane, taping off to protect the paint. 

 And here she is!

THIS is why I moved the microwave below the counter!  Adding a simple recirculating vent and creating this custom wood hood really elevated the look of the kitchen.   If you're thinking about doing something similar and have any questions, let me know!

(Psst...check out my latest DIY project: A home office as part of the Fall 2020 One Room Challenge!)

Wood Vent Hood Materials (linked below):

KITCHEN SOURCES (linked below):
Cooktop-Frigidaire Gallery
Vent Hood-Broan (love it because the controls are on the bottom!)

{An 80's Kitchen DIY Reno Series}

-Part 15-Building the Vent Hood


  1. Beautiful! Building the wood vent over the existing one was very clever. Your kitchen looks amazing!

  2. Would you mind posting the link to the recirculating vent hood? I’m thinking of doing this as well and don’t have ducting to the outside.

    1. Hi Kristina, sorry about that! I've got the link fixed and updated. I didn't realize they weren't working, so thank-you!

  3. Are the cabinets above the vent still usable? It looks like the wood piece might lift up, but I couldn't really tell. I have cabinets above mine and I would want to keep that space for storage.

    1. No, I didn't leave access to it. But, you're right, it could be done by securing the boards to a couple of strips of wood on the underside, and then using a piano hinge (near the top) to secure that to the framing or piece of wood up top.

  4. I love it, the detailed instructions and the rest of your gorgeous kitchen!

  5. Dumb question lol but what did you use to cut the wood?

    1. Hey, no dumb questions here! I do have an electric miter saw that I used to make the mitered cuts. The good news is much of the wood is pretty thin, (outside of the 1x2 framing), so you could probably get away with using a manual miter box saw if you didn't have a miter saw. Plus most of the cut edges are covered with trim. But let me know if you have any other questions, and thanks for stopping by!

  6. Beautiful project. Great photos too of trims, progress.