DIY, Kitchen

How to Build a Plaster Range Hood

While designing the finishes of our new kitchen, we knew that we wanted to keep the overall look very clean and a mix of modern and traditional. We wanted the hood to have a seamless look, flowing from the wall and ceiling.

After some research, we decided that a plaster hood was the way to go. And after some more research, I learned that there was not a lot of info out there on how to go about building one.

At this point, I decided that this would be one of the projects I tackled in the new house. I documented the process so I could share it with you.

Ready to learn how to build a plaster hood? Let’s get started!

Step 1: Determine the Size of Your Hood

The first thing I did was to determine the size of my hood. The most obvious deciding factor is the size of your range. We went with a 48″ ZLINE gas range, which meant we would need a hood insert to accommodate that size of the range. We chose a 46″x21″ hood insert from ZLINE.

Another determining factor is the type of backsplash you will be doing. We knew we wanted a full height quartz backsplash and wanted it to be the same width as the finished hood, and wanted it to be a few inches wider than our range.

So the width of our hood framing ended up being 51 1/2″ and the depth was 23″. The height of the hood is determined by the height of your ceiling and the recommended distance from the bottom of the hood to the top of the range. Our ceiling height is 10′ and the recommended distance is between 30″ and 36″. This gave us a height of 49″.

Step 2: Frame the Range Hood

There are two approaches you can take when framing your hood. You can put it all together and then mount it to the wall and ceiling. Or you can frame it in place on the wall.

Since I was working alone and didn’t have anyone to help me lift it into place, I decided to frame it in place.

top
bottom

I started with the bottom and top frames. I used 1×6 pieces of pine for the bottom and 1×4 pine for the top.

I glued and nailed them in place with a finish nailer. I added screws later to the framing where needed for added strength.

Next, I added vertical pieces of 1×4 to the sides to connect the top and bottom. I nailed and glued these into place as shown in the illustration above.

I then added a horizontal piece to each side with the front ends cut at a 12-degree angle. I connected the two with a piece across the front as shown in the illustration above. The vertical placement and length of these pieces will determine the amount of swoop on the front side of the hood.

Since 1x pine doesn’t bend very well, I decided to use MDF for the front pieces that created the swoop. I spaced seven pieces of 1×4 evenly across the front of the hood and nailed and glued them in place.

Once I had completed the above steps, I felt like the framing was sturdy, but for good measure, I added a few more pieces to beef it up.

Step 3: Install the Vent Hood Insert

As mentioned above, we chose the 46″x21″ hood insert from ZLINE which was very easy to install. But any insert of your choice should work. You can refer to the installation instructions that come with your vent hood insert. I won’t go into detail here since each one is different.

Step 4: Drywall

Since I don’t do drywall or have a desire to ever do it, I had the drywall crew go ahead and wrap the hood framing and finish it. This way I would have a nice and smooth foundation for the Venetian plaster.

Step 5: Venetian Plaster

I did a lot of research on what type of plaster to use for the hood. I finally decided on a product called Marmarino Piatto from VenetianPlaster.it. You can get it tinted with almost any paint color. I chose the same color as our walls: Sherwin Williams Pure White. I order 1 gallon of Marmorino Piatto. I also order 1 quart of Anchor Primer.

When applying plaster to drywall you have to use a special primer to help the plaster stick to the surface.

Before I applied the primer, I taped all of the edges around the hood and covered the range and countertops with plastic. Plasterwork can get messy.

To be honest, the drywall guys did such a great job, I felt bad applying plaster on top of it. But it was necessary to achieve the look we wanted.

Using a smooth roller, I applied an even coat of the primer, which is very thick and grainy.

I let the primer dry overnight. The next day I started on the plaster.

I loaded up my hawk with plaster and went to work. Don’t be alarmed at the color. Wet plaster is much darker than its final color. Once it dries, it will be the color you ordered.

Since I wasn’t working with a large area, I opted for a large joint knife versus a trowel.

Tip: I recommend experimenting and practicing with the following technique on a scrap piece of drywall before applying it to your hood.

First I applied a base coat. Starting from the upper left corner of the side I was working on, I applied a thin coat by holding the knife at about a 15-degree angle. Then I increased the angle to about 30 degrees to spread the plaster with varying lengths of strokes. I reloaded by knife and repeated this until I had an even coat on all sides of the hood.

Tip: Periodically clean the dried plaster from your knife.

After the base coat had completely dried, it was time to apply a texture coat. I did this the same way as the base coat, but on the second pass with the knife, I used a skipping motion. This leaves subtle voids in the plaster and gives it texture.

If you want your vent hood to be more rustic, you can leave bigger voids.

Tip: Spend extra time on the corners to make sure they are nice and straight.

After the texture coat had completely dried, I burnished the surface. I did this with a clean joint knife held at a 30-degree angle. I went over the entire hood in circular motions. This gives the plaster a polished finish in areas.

Finally, I wiped off the entire hood with a damp cloth to remove any dust.

Here’s a closeup shot to give you an idea of what the texture should look like.

Shop This Look

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43 Comments

  • Reply Sarah Goodman

    our builder won’t currently do a plaster hood for us and we’re thinking we don’t want to settle. would making one be possible after close? when kitchen is finished & cabinets are already in?

    March 4, 2020 at 1:39 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hello Sarah! Is there a reason he will not do a plaster hood for you? I was just curious. Is it possible for you to do one yourself during the building process? We had a contractor, but he allowed me to DIY anything that I wanted, for example the plaster hood and built-ins.

      March 5, 2020 at 2:05 am
      • Reply jewls

        We are in the same boat with our builder. LOVE what you did! Thank you for sharing the steps. I will be trying to create the same thing in our home AFTER the home is finished. The builder is a basic tract home builder who won’t do anything extra and won’t let you in until it is finished or do projects. Hoping we can have this done after the fact. This is so helpful!

        May 23, 2020 at 1:17 am
        • Reply Victoria M.

          Hi! How do you find cleaning the plaster to be? Hoods can get greasy. Did you use a sealer? Thank you!

          July 30, 2020 at 12:20 am
  • Reply Helga

    Hello, is there anyway you can show a close up picture of what the plaster looks like ? We are currently plastering our hood and the painter finished and there are blackish trowel marks it seems. Not what we were going for. Thanks

    March 5, 2020 at 7:28 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hey there Helga!

      If you will dm on Instagram, I can send you a close up video.

      March 9, 2020 at 2:50 pm
      • Reply Hayley Feyter

        Hi Brooke

        Could you pretty pls send me the up close video of the plaster as well?
        @hayleyfeyter

        March 29, 2020 at 5:22 pm
      • Reply Holly Steeves

        Hey Brooke, could you also send me that close up video too if I dm you? We are just about at the stage of getting our range hood done as well and I’d love you see a bit of a closer look at the finish! Thank you so much!!

        July 6, 2020 at 4:14 pm
  • Reply Priscilla Spencer

    Hi Henry! Thank you so much for such a thorough tutorial! May I ask how much this cost in material ?

    March 5, 2020 at 10:25 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Hello!

      Thank you for the kind words and I hope it was helpful to you! I think it was around $200 or so.

      March 9, 2020 at 2:51 pm
  • Reply Michael Young

    Did you drywall on the inside of the hood too or just paint some trim? We’re about to DIY something similar and trying to figure out the details of how the outside drywall transitions to the inside

    April 9, 2020 at 6:23 am
    • Reply Henry

      I added some wood to fill in around the insert. The drywall on the inside butted up against that. We painted the wood.

      May 13, 2020 at 1:21 pm
  • Reply Laura Hawthorne

    I would love to see a closer view of the hood. Could you please dm me some pics or video? We are getting ready to build a hood and I love this one. @laurahawthorne75
    Again, thank you

    April 29, 2020 at 3:40 am
  • Reply Michele

    Hi, thanks so much for this How-To! We are getting ready to build ours soon. For the Marmarino Piatto plaster – you said you can “get it tinted” with any paint color. Does this mean you had them mix it for you or did you mix it yourself? And if so, how much paint do you mix in with the plaster? Thanks!!!

    May 10, 2020 at 1:58 am
    • Reply Henry

      They mix it. On their website you can choose pretty much any color.

      May 13, 2020 at 1:22 pm
  • Reply Tony Fiocco

    Hi Guys, one of my designers sent me this post featuring our FirmoLux Marmorino Piatto and Anchor Primer. Thanks for your endorsement, you are now part a large group of designers and professional plasterers that agree with your selection of Piatto.

    May 19, 2020 at 8:23 pm
    • Reply Henry

      You’re welcome. You have a great product!

      May 29, 2020 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply Alison Bohman

    Would it be possible to do this on an already finished wall?

    May 19, 2020 at 8:32 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Yes, but the framing will have be done a little differently.

      May 29, 2020 at 2:25 pm
  • Reply Angela Fincher

    I would also love a closer view / final product of the vent hood. Please send to @wa2shy
    Thanks in advance

    May 20, 2020 at 3:10 am
  • Reply Mary Dowling

    Hello,
    Such a lovely range hood. I am using yalls tutorial to build one in our own kitchen remodel right now. I am wondering why you did the last step of plaster, instead of just having dry wall guys finish it off smoothly. What’s the difference between the Venetian plaster and drywall? The drywall guy we hired is saying it’s the same exact thing, but I’m sure there is a reason y’all did the extra step of adding the Venetian plaster. 🙂
    Thanks!

    May 29, 2020 at 1:07 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Thanks! The plaster gives it texture. In the tutorial I explain more about the texture coat. And the final step of burnishing gives it a polished look in places. These are the things that separate it from plain drywall.

      May 29, 2020 at 2:28 pm
      • Reply Mary Dowling

        Ok thanks.
        Next question 🙂 we just started building the frame last night…
        So how does your insert actually sit/get supported by the frame since it’s 5” wider than the insert. Is your insert flush with the bottom of frame, or is it up in there a bit??
        Would you explain briefly!
        Also… when did you install your hood insert? Did you insert it then add supports to it?? I’ve read through your tutorial a few times, but these were the puzzling things as we actually built it last night. Thanks!!

        June 1, 2020 at 12:33 pm
        • Reply Henry

          The vent is up in the hood a couple of inches. All vents mount differently, but the one we used comes with brackets. Two on the back sat on a piece of wood running across the back and the two on the from sat on a piece of wood running across the front. Then I secured them with screws. Then filled in the gaps with primed wood that was later painted with Sherwin Williams Pure White. Hope that helps!

          June 1, 2020 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply TRICIA ALBISTON

    Hello we are considering a drywall hood. I am wondering why you chose to do plaster instead of just painting the drywall. Does it achieve a different texture? If so, couldn’t you just do a different drywall texture? Or does the plaster give off a different sheen? Easier to clean? Our builder thinks the drywall is good enough…

    June 13, 2020 at 12:37 am
    • Reply Henry

      Plaster does have a diferent texture than drywall, and burnishing it creates areas that have some sheen.

      July 5, 2020 at 7:03 pm
  • Reply TRICIA ALBISTON

    Sorry I didn’t notice the previous comment before I posted mine. I think that answered my question. Thanks for a great post. If you don’t mind, could you email me close up pictures of the texture compared to your drywall? I’ve scoured the Internet for some thing that will give me a reference to decide if we do want to go the extra step and play the plaster or if we will be happy with painted drywall. Also considering just doing a different drywall texture and painting it a different sheen so it looks different but it’s still a very similar color to the walls.

    June 13, 2020 at 12:39 am
  • Reply Haleigh

    Hello! How would this work if we have a MDF venthood that was painted. Could I prime then apply the plaster over the paint?

    Haleigh

    June 15, 2020 at 5:17 pm
    • Reply Henry

      You should be able to apply the plaster to MDF just as you would to drywall, but yes, you would need to use the primer.

      July 5, 2020 at 7:04 pm
  • Reply Ken Mullen

    Hello! This is a truly beautiful kitchen. You have inspired me to renovate my kitchen and to do the same hood. My dimensions are a bit different, so I chose a smaller insert. Just curious…if something goes wrong with that insert or the ducting above it, do you have any way to get to it? You can’t drop the insert back out because the ducting is rigid, correct?

    July 17, 2020 at 11:16 pm
    • Reply Henry

      I don’t believe there is a way to drop the insert back out. We went with a flexible duct, but either way, it is highly unlikley that anything could go wrong with the duct work if it is installed correctly. As for the vent, it can be repaired if something goes wrong with it without dropping it out.

      July 18, 2020 at 3:39 pm
  • Reply Barbara

    Hello! First and foremost, thank you so much for your posts! I’m in the process of building my custom house and your ADM Sea Smoke flooring suggestion turned out wonderful! Love love love my floors! Kitchen hood is next. Initially, we were planning to wrap it up with porcelain slabs but now are having second thoughts. From a practical stand point, how much dirt/ grease shows up on the plaster surface of your hood? If a lot, how easy it is to clean it, and don’t you think it might change its original color with time if you have to clean it quite often? Otherwise, it looks absolutely stunning! Would love to see your up close pictures of the texture of your hood, if possible!

    July 18, 2020 at 12:21 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi. That’s great to hear about your floors! As for the hood getting dirty, our hood doesnt have one bit of grease or dirt on it. So we haven’t had to clean it at all. Maybe we are not very messy cooks, but I would imagine you would have to do some heavy deep frying to get grease on it, unless it was mounted very low.

      July 18, 2020 at 3:45 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Forgot to add, I’ve been dragging my feet on the close up pics. I’ll try and take some today and add them to the article.

      July 18, 2020 at 3:46 pm
  • Reply Barbara

    Perfect texture! Thank you, Henry! You guys are great helpers for everyone who follows you.

    July 18, 2020 at 6:58 pm
    • Reply Henry

      You’re welcome. 🙂

      July 22, 2020 at 1:24 am
  • Reply Brandy

    Hi! Thank you for this tutorial. How is the MDF attached to the bottom and top pine boards? It looks flush but not sure how this is done without attaching behind the boards. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    July 21, 2020 at 12:44 pm
  • Reply Brandy

    Hi! Thanks for the tutorial. My husband and I are going to attempt to build the range hood frame this weekend and are wondering how the curved MDF pieces attach to the top and bottom of the framing? They appear to meet up flush (instead of behind or in front of the framing) but we’re not sure how that was achieved. Any advice would be wonderful!

    July 21, 2020 at 6:11 pm
    • Reply Henry

      That’s great! The MDF pieces are glued and nailed directly to the top of the bottom piece. I shot the nails at a slight angle down through the MDF into the top of the bottom piece.

      July 22, 2020 at 1:24 am
  • Reply Megan

    Hi! We are building this same hood. Can you advise if you took the plaster to Sherman Williams and they tinted for you? I just called our local store in PC and they said tinting Venetian plaster can be tricky.

    Thanks!
    PC Fan

    July 21, 2020 at 9:38 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Hi Megan. That’s exciting. The place where I orderd the plaster from will tint it for you. You can read more about this in the first paragraph of step 5.

      July 22, 2020 at 1:21 am
  • Reply Rose

    Wonderful tutorial, you’ve inspired us to try try this for our kitchen hood. Thank you. And if you can, will you post the video of the up close process.

    August 20, 2020 at 12:53 am
  • Reply Jaime C Kenney

    Hi Henry! I’m curious how you chose the depth of the insert? We just ordered a Z-Line 36 inch gas range. Is there a reason you went with the 21 inch insert? We were thinking the 15″ or 18″. Probably the 18″. Our kitchen is smaller and we don’t have uppers. I’m just trying to envision what our hood would look like at 23″ deep? And if it’s really important to go that deep. Thank you so much!

    August 24, 2020 at 9:07 pm
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