How to Cover Exposed Air-Conditioning Ducts

Build a much less noticeable enclosure with these step-by-step instructions.
Similar Topics:

Not crazy about the exposed-ducts look? This project shows you how to hide them behind drywall.

Materials and Tools:

ladder
step stool
workbench
long level
short level
C-clamp
circular saw
power drill
wrapping paper
scraper
utility knife
tape measure
carpenter's square
stud finder
T-bevel
dust mask
safety glasses
2-by-4-inch boards
drywall
nails
screws

Steps:

1. Locate studs in the vicinity of the ducts with a stud finder and mark the center of the studs, using a long level and carpenter's pencil.
2. If the ceiling is angled, use a sliding T-bevel to measure the angle, and transfer it to your 2-by-4's. Wearing safety glasses and a dust mask, use the circular saw to cut the 2-by-4.
3. If one 2-by-4 isn't long enough, clamp a second 2-by-4 to the first and hold them in place. Use the T-bevel to mark the end of the second board so you can cut it to fit flush against the ceiling. Attach the two boards permanently with screws and remove the clamps.
4. Use the first runner as a template for cutting your second one. Attach on either side of the ventilation duct with screws. Pre-drill holes for screws and make sure you're attaching the assembly to studs.
5. Cut more 2-by-4's to build a frame around the ducts.
6. Make templates for cutting the drywall pieces by pressing old wrapping paper against the frame. Score the drywall with a utility knife and cut the pieces to fit.
7. Attach the side piece of drywall to the frame with screws. Insert screws about every four inches around the perimeter of the drywall piece.
8. Before attaching the drywall sheet across the bottom, mark the position of the 2-by-4 cross-braces on the wall and on the new drywall. Have an assistant hold the piece in position while you attach it with screws. Make sure to drive screws into the cross-braces.
9. Prime and paint the drywall.

Next Up

How to Repair a Burst Pipe

Fix it and prevent it from freezing again with these instructions.

How to Install Columns

Create a bold, classic look with these step-by-step instructions.

How to Mount an Exhaust Fan

Getting rid of attic heat keeps things cool in the rest of the house, too.

How to Install Click-Lock Wood Flooring

Transform any room with new flooring. Click-lock-style wood flooring simplifies the installation.

How to Install a Whole-House Fan

Learn how to keep your cool by installing a whole-house fan.

How to Install a Motion Detector

Deter burglars and light your own path with these instructions.

Your Top Home Improvement Questions, Answered

There’s no such thing as a stupid question. Dying to know but too embarrassed to ask? HGTV Magazine hit up the pros for answers to your biggest bafflers.

How to Mount Rear Speakers and Hide Wire

Follow these step-by-step instructions for wiring your home theater for surround sound.

Top 4 Home Improvement Myths

HGTV experts debunk some common home improvement myths and share their tips on what not to do when trying to add value to your home.

How to Install a Programmable Thermostat

Save on your utility bills with these step-by-step instructions.

On TV

Stories We're Following

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.