On my quest for an elegant old world/ Tuscan kitchen that won't cost me an arm and a leg I came up with a great idea for putting a Tuscan touch on (among other things) the microwave.
When we first bought our house we bought all new stainless appliances. I picked out a stainless above the oven microwave that had a black hood vent. The microwaves with stainless hood vents were about $50 more and I couldn't justify spending the extra money just for that one tiny thing.
I LOVED our new appliances but the more I looked at that microwave, the more I just didn't like the black hood vent. There was something about it that looked just a little bit off to my eye. It was like a black hole sucking my focal point right to its plastic cheapness.
When I found out about stainless look contact paper I jumped at the chance to change the look of our microwave once and for all. I went out right away and bought some and it sat around on the kitchen counter for a few months patiently waiting for me to get around to a project that would probably only take up 20 minutes of my time.
The next day I peeled it off and some of the sticky back remained so I grabbed a scrub pad from under the sink and scrubbed the residue off. I swear I should not own any scrub pads that aren't scratch-free because I am constantly ruining things with them. My microwave was now the proud new owner of multiple scratches thanks to me.
I am in love with the custom hoods that old world kitchens have. Of course we're not removing our over the range microwave any time soon so I figured out an idea to get the best of both worlds.
I thought I could slap some super thin wood up on the hood vent and then put an applique in the middle to create the Tuscan look I wanted. I told Cory my idea and he liked it. He also suggested putting a hammered copper cover on the hood but I opted to try out my (cheaper) idea first.
I had no idea what to use for the super thin wood. I wanted it to look custom, like it was meant to be there. Cory told me to try wood veneer.
Menard's seemed to be the only place around that carried wood veneer. At $20 for a box it was a little steep for me but I knew I could use it for lots of projects so I would definitely get my moneys worth. I also picked up an applique at Home Depot for $4.
There was a picture of people using spray adhesive on the box and I already had spray adhesive so I was pretty excited about that. Cory had suggested contact cement, which for my future projects I will be using. There was also a picture of a guy using a roller tool to smooth out the glue. I didn't have a roller tool so I figured I would use my rolling pin located in close range in the cabinet above the microwave.
I gathered up my supplies:
- wood veneer
- spray glue
- tape measure
- rolling pin
- all the painting supplies to match my cabinets
I got started by taking measurements of the microwave hood vent.
Then I measured and marked the wood veneer.
I unfortunately didn't have Cory's giant level handy to use as a straight edge. Since once I get started I don't want to stop for silly reasons like not having the right tools, I simply measured out the height of the microwave on the veneer at 4 inch intervals and put a small line there to make it easier to cut a straight line.
Then I cut out the wood veneer with scissors. Yes, that's right, scissors. This product is so thin the scissors cut through it like butter. No power tools necessary for this project!!
After I cut the veneer I laid out some paper towels to prevent glue from getting all over and sprayed down the back side of the veneer with an even coat of glue.
Then I gently lined up the veneer and pushed it onto the microwave hood vent. After I smoothed it out as best I could I grabbed my rolling pin and rolled away to get any remaining air bubbles out. I of course used two hands but I couldn't very well take the picture with no hands.
Here is how the microwave looked after I put up the veneer. I also put veneer on the sides to make it look more like a wood hood vent rather than just a facing.
Immediately after the veneer was up I measured to the middle of the hood and marked it for the wood applique.
Then I sprayed the back of the applique with glue and pressed it onto my marked area.
To recap, this was super easy, affordable and gave my kitchen more of the custom Tuscan look I want. If you don't remember the ugliness from before, here's a before and after:
I'm completely in love with the custom new old world Tuscan look the microwave hood vent now gives my kitchen! Look for many more kitchen projects to come before I complete my DIY Tuscan kitchen!