Rather than wasting the space, learn how to use the existing ducting and cabinet above your stove to create a custom DIY range hood cover with hidden storage.
In our painted kitchen makeover, this DIY range hood cover has gotten almost as much attention as my post for how we transformed and painted our dated oak cabinets! Why, you may wonder? Well, not only did it make the ugly space above our range so much prettier, but our new vent hood cover has a secret: you can lift the front for hidden storage!
DIY Range Hood Cover with Hidden Storage
Originally published March 19, 2014. Last updated February 17, 2022.
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I have to give all the credit for the extremely cool “range hood with storage” factor to my husband Mack. While we were in the planning stages of the kitchen, I presented him with a beautiful high-end inspiration photo of a vent cover with board-and-batten trim detail.
He not only had a clear vision for how he would build it, but he also saw the potential in keeping it functional by recycling the existing cabinet as a hidden storage area. This is especially helpful if you have a small kitchen with a lack of storage!
When we bought the house, the white range vent was exposed and prominent. It was permanently discolored and very greasy inside. I knew immediately I would want to swap it out during the kitchen makeover!
We had a few considerations when choosing a new range hood. Most importantly, we had to make sure it would fit the existing ductwork that vented outside, which attached in the back of the current ugly white vent fan.
Choosing a New Range Hood
Unless you already have a range hood with a nice angle and buttons on the bottom, chances are that you’ll need a new one for this project. This is the newer version of our range hood. I chose it because it was stainless steel and had the buttons on the bottom rather than the front, so it was perfect for our purpose! Plus, it was pretty inexpensive at under $200.
We followed the standard installation instructions, and luckily it fit perfectly and easily with the existing ductwork. I didn’t get a photo, but it was a simple matter of attaching it in the back at the existing connection, which vents to the outside. They made the range hood to install either out the back or through the top. In order to complete this project without ducts going through your storage area, you’ll need the back installation as well.
1. Install your new range hood. Make sure to vent it outside, preferably through the back of the range hood.
2. Modify the cabinet above your range. This may include taking out the center divider and patching any old holes and damage.
3. Measure and cut the plywood for the sides. You'll want to measure from the top of your cabinet to slightly below the range hood, from the front of your upper cabinet past the front of the range hood, and from the bottom to the top of your range hood. From there, create the angle to connect the top front measurement to the top of the cabinet measurement. Test fit your plywood piece for any needed adjustments and then install.
4. Measure and add horizontal braces to connect the sides at the top of the range hood and at the front. They will provide support for the bottom panel. Measure, cut and install the bottom panel. The panel covers up the top of the vent, but I recommend leaving enough of a gap so that it directs the air down from the fan to help it circulate.
6. Add trim for architectural detail. We strategically placed the screws to install the side panels so that they'd later be hidden by trim pieces. Cover structural plywood with 1x6 finish trim using mitered corners around the base of the range hood cover. Optional: lattice moulding detail or border trim as desired.
7. Build your door. To create the door, first measure your largest outside dimensions of the existing range hood cover opening. This will ensure you'll keep an even reveal after all trim cuts are made. Build your pine frame first. Create a rabbet joint around the inside of your frame using either a router or a table saw and miter the corners of your frame. Measure the dimensions of the rabbet joint and cut and inset your plywood panel. Optionally, add an extra trim batten with lattice moulding down the center on the front of the door.
8. Template your angle cut for the bottom of the door. Hold up a scrap piece of wood and scribe a mark to identify the angle for your table saw. Cut a scrap piece to test your length and angle to make sure it fits before you cut your door. Trim the bottom edge of your door with the angle you just found using your table saw. Test fit. To get it perfectly flush, sand the bottom of your door until it sits perfectly.
9. Use a hinge jig and bit to drill for and install euro hinges. Before drilling into your door, use your test piece from step eight to verify hinge locations. Once you're satisfied, drill for euro hinges and install your door. Install a friction lid support so that your door will stay open when you need to access the cabinet.
10. Fill in any nail holes and sand. I recommend painting with a paint sprayer for maximum coverage, especially on the door.
Here’s a view of the friction lid support in action! This is a great place to store less-used bowls. The friction lid support allows me to put things back and take them down without having to worry about the door.
I love the custom cabinetry inspired detail that this DIY range hood cover adds to our kitchen. Of course, I appreciate the bonus that it’s functional. I am extremely lucky that Mack has the skills to not only accomplish my ideas, but he also brings his own brand of logical creativity to our projects. What do you think of this project?