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Burnished Metal Fireplace Hood

Build your fireplace hood using luan or other thin plywood as facing. Cut out shapes from sheets of styrofoam or thick cardboard that you would like to appear as raised portions on the finished fireplace (for our production of I Hate Hamlet, we used diamonds and fleur-de-lys shapes, and for extra flair, added a molded coat of arms). Glue the shapes in the appropriate places on the hood facing using Liquid Nails (available at most hardware stores). Cover the entire hood with heavy-duty aluminum foil by stapling a strip at the top and smoothing it down to the bottom. Pay special attention to molding the aluminum foil over the glued-on shapes so that they are fairly well defined. Staple down along the side of each foil strip as needed to keep it from peeling back. Fold the bottom edge of the aluminum foil strip under the lip of the fireplace and staple on the back side. Repeat until the entire hood is covered with foil. Paint the foil with flat black latex paint. Don't worry about getting an even coat - you want it to look somewhat streaky. When dry, use a wet sponge to rub the paint off the raised portions only. The aluminum foil will shine through where you've rubbed, and the rest will look tarnished. You can see an example of it in the video on this page.

-- Chris Polo
Well-Used Range Hood

The show was Bus Stop. We needed a range hood over a grill in Grace's Diner. We tried luan, paint, tin foil, etc., but nothing would give us that look of a well-used hood.

We finally stumbled across some heavy cardboard-type matting material that came in a variety of colors. There was a silver color that looked burnished enough to give us the right effect. It worked perfectly!

We also have used the same material for countertops, facing, wall decor, etc. The best part is it's quite inexpensive, and some framing galleries and hobby stores will either give a non-profit a price break or flat-out donate it (Bless their hearts!).

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From: Eric Rogge (, Stage Coach Theatre, Boise, Idaho

The Community Theater Green Room
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