How to Build an Under-Stair Vent Cover

Build an attractive and functional accent under a floating stairway.

Materials and Tools:


tape measure
worm-drive circular saw
sliding bevel
air compressor
nail gun
safety goggles
one gallon MAB paint Genna
two 3/4-inch birch plywood sheets
carpenter's glue
three 1x6 poplar boards, each 8 feet long
shoe molding (optional)



1. Measure the space under your staircase and make a diagram for the cover you are going to build.
2. Take those measurements and draw the shape of the vent cover on the front piece on a sheet of birch plywood for the front and side. Use a tape measure and a level to make sure the shape is accurate.
3. We clamped two sheets of plywood together to save time cutting out the shape by creating a mirror image for the front and back.


4. Cut out the two sheets of plywood with the worm-drive circular saw.
5. When you reach the corners, use a jigsaw to cut the plywood.
6. Once done, you will have two pieces of plywood that are mirror images of each other.
7. Measure and cut the poplar with a table saw. These boards will wrap around the back of the birch plywood.


8. To get the correct angles for the poplar, we used a sliding bevel to change the angle on the table saw.
9. Using carpenter's glue and a nail gun, attach the poplar to the bottom sheet of birch plywood.


10. Along the end grain of the wood, apply wood glue to seal the joined pieces together. If there is any moisture, the seal will be secure.
11. Measure and cut the shoe molding with the table saw and then nail it into place on the front of the unit.
12. Paint the vent cover and let dry.
13. Install your new under-stair vent cover and enjoy the architectural enhancement of the room!

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