It’s been a while since I’ve been able to update you on the Kitchen & Laundry Room remodel. We have a few more items on our punch list to make it “look” complete. I don’t want to spoil it before the big reveal! One thing that I did finally get done is the Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover. It is a showstopper in the kitchen. Today, I’m going to show you how I built my DIY Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover. If I can do it, you can too!
I knew from the very beginning stages of the design that I wanted a Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover. Remember when Joanna Gaines started doing rustic stained wood chimney-shaped Farmhouse Vent Hood Covers on Fixer Upper? I’ve wanted one since then.
Our new kitchen has so much white and stainless steel, that it desperately needs something to warm it up. I also knew that I wanted to tile to the ceiling. Having a stained wood farmhouse vent cover would be the perfect accent.
When it came time to figure out how to DIY the farmhouse vent cover, I hit a wall. There are tons of gorgeous farmhouse vent covers on Pinterest but not many instructions on how to actually build one from scratch. I found some kits that you could buy online that were over $500, even over $1,000. That is way out of my budget. I spent less than $200 on this DIY Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover, and that was all wood & stain.
I used the following tools for this project:
- compound miter saw
- table saw or circular saw – for one cut. See if a friend can help you with this.
- nail gun, air compressor with accessories (or use this battery-powered nail gun alone)
- angle finder
- tape measure
- stud finder
- tack cloth
This DIY Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover can be built for an installed vent insert or over an already installed vent hood. The basics are the same: a frame with attached cover boards, and trim hiding the seams. Every vent is different, and each one has different installation instructions, angles and shapes. You’ll need to figure out the particulars as far as size, angles, and dimensions based on your vent hood.
Planning Our Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover
The first step in building our DIY Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover was figuring out where our vent hood insert would go. I wanted it about 36″ above the stove, which is a little higher than our insert’s directions recommended. Living for so long with a microwave over the stove that didn’t allow us to cook with a stockpot, I was overcompensating with more headroom.
We used a cardboard template of the back of our insert to trace the shape on the wall. From there, we sketched some different shape options for our Farmhouse Hood Vent Cover directly onto the wall. I knew I wanted it to be about 1/3 chimney and 2/3 base. The width and height we chose was due to the angles on our vent hood insert and the eyeball test.
Drawing your shape on the wall, then standing back to look at it really helps visualize your plan.
36″ cuts in the middle of a row of tile on the backsplash. So, we measured the width of the insert plus 3″ (the width of 2 2x4s). Then we made our tile cuts accordingly. We only installed the backsplash up to that row of tiles. Making sure it was level in all directions, we mounted our vent hood insert to the wall. We used a 2×4 frame and a ton of 3″ cabinet screws into multiple studs. This insert isn’t going anywhere.
Framing the Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover
Once we finalized the shape, it was time to build the farmhouse vent hood cover frame. This frame isn’t structural for the insert itself. It is just a way to attach our cover boards. The frame is basically 3 2×4 boxes connected by more 2x4s. The boxes are the insert frame at the bottom, and then two smaller, identical boxes. The identical boxes were placed at the base of the chimney and at the ceiling. The boxes need to be connected to each other at every corner. We had add to add scrap to the front corners to make them the same height of our horizontal lines on the wall. We used 3″ wood screws to connect all of these 2x4s to the frame boxes.
Then, we connected the bottom of the vent hood cover frame to the chimney with 2x4s. These don’t have to be perfect because they aren’t structural. Doug wanted them to be close, so he used compound angles to cut the front pieces. Compound angles (where you have a side to side angle and a front to front angle) are really confusing.
For these two studs, our angles weren’t exactly perfect. So we used L brackets on the back of the studs to connect them to the frames. Using an angle finder helps a lot. We have a manual one that came with our crown molding jig. I like this angle finder because it has a precise digital output.
With our frame built, it was time to finish the tile backsplash and then cover up the frame. It’s definitely easier to tile without the vent hood frame covered up. The angled frame shows you where your tile needs to end. Then you can cover up the tile cuts perfectly with your vent hood cover without much mess.
Selecting the Wood for My Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover
For the cover, I ended up using #2 Select whitewood boards from Lowe’s. I tried to pick boards that were straight, clear, not too red, and without many knots. It’s really hard to find straight boards with few knots, but I did the best I could. You want them to look like they were milled from the same tree, not a different species. That way the stain takes more uniformly.
For our farmhouse vent hood cover, I used the following sizes of lumber:
- 1×8 board for the bottom – 8′ board
- 1×6 boards for the shiplap – needed about 8 8′ boards
- 1×4 boards for the crown and most of the under side surrounding the vent – 2 8′ boards
- 1×2 for the transition boards laid horizontally – 2 8′ boards
- Corner molding for the trim – 3 8′ pieces
Before cutting and installing a single board, I made sure to sand everything down. I used my mouse sander with 120 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper. I figured it was better to sand this in longer pieces on the driveway than doing it in the kitchen on a ladder after the construction was complete.
Sanding helps open up the pores to accept the stain. It also gets some of the shine and redness off the surface of the wood. When sanding with a sander, make sure you don’t press too hard. If you do, you’ll get spirals in your wood that will show up in your stained finish. I learned that the hard way with another project. You also want to make sure that you spend a little more time sanding the knots. That way, the stain will take more evenly.
Once I finished sanding the wood, I cleaned it all off with a damp paper towel. I then went over everything again with a tack cloth. The tack cloth gets every last bit of dust off your wood.
Building the Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover Base
To build my DIY farmhouse vent hood cover, I started with the base and built my way up. I had to measure my insert frame and then add 1.5″ to get the full length of the front board. I only added .75″ to the length for each of the side boards because the wall ends are flat cuts. The extra length for the miter cut covers up the board next to it. When I cut the pieces from the 1×8, I cut them with my miter saw with the bevel set at a 45 degree angle so that the corners were mitered. I was originally going to just have mitered corners all the way up. However, my wood was curved a bit, so the miters were never going to be tight. That’s when I decided I was going to use the corner molding to cover up the ugly corners.
Once I leveled the front piece of 1×8, I installed it to the frame using my brad nailer. I then installed the side pieces by making sure they were level and in line with the front piece. With the 1×8 in place, I installed the 1×2 on top of the frame. This piece lays on its side so that the short side is what you see from the front.
I pushed the 1×2 all the way back against the frame, ensuring that it was sticking out the same on all sides. Then, I cut the 45 degree angles on the long side so that they would have a tight miter joint. 1x2s are a bit easier to find straight. Since these would have no trim to cover the corner, it was very important that the miters be tight. You must find the straightest boards you can find. I installed these 1x2s into the top of the 1×8 board with my brad nailer.
You also want to make sure you drive your nails in space that will be covered by your trim. If you’re using corner trim, you want to keep your nails within the first 3/4″ of the edge. You may need to angle your nail gun if you’ve mitered your corners. This will help to get a good grip on the frame. Another solution is to use 1 1/4″ corner trim instead, but it costs a little extra. That would give you more room for your nail holes.
Building the Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover Angled Body
Now it was time to start building up the body on the angled frame. This meant that I needed to cut the bottoms of the first boards at an angle so there wasn’t a gap at the front. I cut the lengths that I needed. Then, I ran them down my table saw with the blade set to the angle that I needed. You could also use a circular saw, but your cut won’t be as straight.
Use an angle finder again to figure out what your angles are on the front and the sides of the cover. Ours were two different angles. You can figure out where to set your miter saw by subtracting your angle from 90. For example, our angles were around 77 and 70. So I set it to 13 and 20 depending on what angle I was working on.
The angles are the hardest part. It helps to draw a model on paper and write down the angles & measurements for the cuts. We also had a lot of trial and error with scrap wood cuts to get it just right.
I did each level one at a time, because the board length changes as the hood gets smaller. One mistake I made was doing butt joints going up the angles. Because my trim is only 1 1/16″, it barely covers a butt joint. A butt joint is just one board against another in the corner. If I could do it again, I would miter every corner. That way, you don’t have to worry about your joints not being covered by the trim. You can also hide all of the nail holes with the trim.
I didn’t use any spacers between the boards. I just stacked them on top of each other going up the hood. This ended up with the shiplap line not being the same on the side as on the front. I don’t think its that noticeable unless you’re really looking for it. When I got to the top of the angled part, the two side pieces needed to be slightly thicker than the front piece. It’s off by about 1/4″. I guess its because of the bottom angle on the first board being different on the sides than the front.
Building the Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover angled body is the hardest and most time-consuming part of the project.
Building the Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover Chimney
Once I finally got the angle part of the Farmhouse Vent Hood cover done, it was time to install the next horizontal 1×2. I laid these the same way as before with tight mitered corners. Then, I finished covering the chimney with 1×6 shiplap. To finish the Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover, I used a 1×4″ with mitered corners as the crown for the top. My 1×4 was a bit curved, so the miter isn’t very tight. This is not as noticeable after staining. Call it rustic.
The last part before the trim is to finish out the underside of the Farmhouse Vent Cover. This covers the framing around your insert and makes the finished width the same as the 1×2 above the 1×8 base board. You basically want those to both stick out the same amount. I used a 1×2″ piece along the wall, since that was only sticking out by 1 2×4. For the rest, I ripped a 1×4″ down a bit to make it the correct finished width without covering any of the vent insert. I just nailed those into the frame from the bottom.
The last piece is installing the trim to cover up your seams and nail holes. The only complicated cut for this part is the compound miter on the front two pieces. That will give you a migraine. You want to make sure you don’t nail too close to the end of this trim. This molding is fragile and can split easily. I tried to keep my nails about 3″ from the ends to prevent splitting.
As you can tell from the pictures, I put the angled trim pieces on first before I finished the shiplap. The reason is, I ran out of wood to finish the chimney, but had the trim. I also I wanted to see what the trim was going to look like finished.
Congratulations! The build is complete & the hardest part is done!
Staining the Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover
To finish my DIY Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover, I started with Minwax Conditioner and let that sit for 15 minutes. After that, I put on a quick layer of Minwax Stain in Classic Grey. This tone is very translucent, if you do it very thinly with a brush, but it removes some of the red undertones a bit.
I followed the grey up with one coat of Minwax Provincial. I stained the farmhouse vent hood cover in sections, starting with the top right of the chimney and working my way around. When I finished staining the top front of the chimney, I wiped off the top right part with my rag. Following that, I stained the top left. When that portion was done, I wiped off the top front.
I used this method so on and so forth, splitting the farmhouse vent hood cover into 9 sections. This way, the stain wouldn’t sit on any one section for longer than 10 minutes or so. I didn’t want the hood cover to be too dark or uneven. I also didn’t want the stain to dry on the hood before I could wipe the excess.
Before staining, I put painters tape along the Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover, but that was futile. 😉 The stain ended up under the tape and in the grout. Just make sure you have some magic erasers to clean it up really fast. I like these cheaper versions on Amazon. They work exactly the same & you get a ton for the price!
The Finished DIY Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover
This is what my DIY Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover looks like now! I still have to put three coats of ultra flat polycrylic on it, but I couldn’t wait to get some Christmas decor on it. The poly step is going to have to wait until after Christmas. I found this Hearth & Hand by Magnolia Home Christmas Garland on sale at Target, and I hung it up withe clear command hooks. You have to have something Magnolia with a Fixer Upper-inspired DIY Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover, right?
I never filled my nail holes because wood filler, even “stainable” wood filler, doesn’t stain well. It usually stains darker and is really noticeable. I could use color matched wood putty to fill the holes before applying the last coats of poly. After staining and looking at it for a few days, the nail holes don’t really bother me at all. I can’t see them, and the ones I can see, they just look rustic. I may not fill the nail holes at all. We’ll see.
So, do you think you can build your own DIY Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover! The hardest part is cutting all of the angles. If you can handle that, you can do this, and then all of your friends & family will be super impressed! Plus, less than $200 in materials is WAY cheaper than those kits or one custom made & you get some nail gun fun in too.
Make sure you check out the entire Kitchen & Laundry Room Remodel!
- Plans & Budget
- 3 Week Kitchen & Laundry Room Progress
- 9 Week Kitchen & Laundry Room Progress
- 13 Week Kitchen & Laundry Room Progress
- Sink Cabinet Farmhouse Peel & Stick Tile Installation
- DIY Custom Walk-In Pantry Construction & Reveal
Maybe we can get the crown molding installed over the next couple of weeks so I can show you the final Kitchen & Laundry Room? We’ll try!
Here’s a pin for later!
So what do you think of my DIY Farmhouse Vent Hood Cover? Think you could build one? Let me know your favorite part in the comments!
Check out all of the Stacy’s Savings Total Home Makeover posts!