DIY A/C Unit Cover

Is there ever an aspect of a room that you think “how am I going to work around this??”, well for me, it was the lovely in wall air conditioner unit that came with the house. Don’t get me wrong, it’s my best friend when it’s 90 degrees outside but it didn’t seem to make any sense the rest of the year, and it’s pretty much the first thing you see when you walk into the bedroom.

Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of options out there when it comes to concealing an a/c unit so I decided to make my own, and for only $30 in supplies, I’m very pleased with how it turned out!

So the first thing I did was build a frame for the unit.

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Then I wanted to make something decorative for the doors that would also let air through when they were closed. This part delayed things for a while until I found these two pieces of laser-cut wood panels from Michael’s that were on clearance for only $.50 each!

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To make the doors, I used hobby wood to create frames and then stapled the panels to the back of them. This is what it looked like before I painted it with the doors on.

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And after two coats of fresh white paint, it was all finished!

ac unit after

I also made sure there was enough room to store the cord.

I’m not kidding when I say that if I can make this, anyone can! Other than taking a few shop classes while I was in high school, I really have no carpentry knowledge at all. I think my old shop class teacher would be proud  :)

I’ve been very behind in finishing the bedroom but I promise I’ll have the final pics up this weekend!

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21 Comment

  1. Looks great but what did you make the frame and secured the hobby wood with? Wood glue?

    1. Hi Gloria, I used a bit of wood glue and staples to make the frame and then stapled the decorative panel to the back of the frame. Hope this helps!

      1. Awesome, one more thing.. The laser cut wood. Was it a fluke that your Michaels sold it?? Do you re,ember the section?? I will as at my local Michaels.

        1. They were on clearance towards the end of summer, so I’m not sure if the panels were a seasonal item. I haven’t been back to check if they’re in stock, however, I do know they have a section of laser cut items in their hobby wood section.

  2. Genius! Love this idea!

  3. I saw this over on Apartment Therapy – its gorgeous! I have about as much experience as you (yeah shop class!), but I”m not sure how you hung the frame on the wall. Those doors are gorgeous to me. I have been wanting to do this at my place, but cannot decide how to put the frame on the wall.

    1. Hi Christine, so glad you like it :) I actually had the same question and my husband suggested using L-brackets (or corner brace, which I think is the proper name for it). We just screwed two of them into the frame of the cover and then into the wall. It worked perfectly and you can’t see them at all. Hope this helps!

      http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-1-1-2-in-Zinc-Plated-Corner-Brace-4-Pack-15304/202033892

  4. Brilliant! I absolutely love that idea! Definitely going to check out Michaels laser cut stuff…I have an electric fireplace with truly realistic looking flames when it’s on but not so great looking when it’s off. I’ve looked and looked but can’t find a fireplace screen that’s the right size so I’d love to make a fireplace screen similar to yours.

    1. That’s a great idea! and would be very easy to make, good luck!

  5. Hi, this is the best idea I’ve seen for hiding a wall unit ever! I bought a huge picture frame and it perfectly conceals our hideous 1980’s ac unit in our living room…but now it’s hot again and I really can’t stand the site of it!
    Two questions:
    1. Does the air come through the tiny vents well?
    2. How would you plug it in? Mine has a plug to the left of it about 4 inches. Ideas??

    Thanks! Love your incredible visions!!!

    1. Hi Amy! I’m glad you like it. The air will come through the panel but it’s much more efficient with the cabinet doors open. We cut a hole in the bottom of the frame to allow for the cord to come out and it just runs down in behind our lamp stand. Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you for responding! Btw, I have been looking desperately for these laser cut panels from Michael’s but I can’t find them…anywhere! I really have been trying to find them for weeks. Have you seen them since you made these? I can’t even find anything even close that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Ah!

        1. I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time finding them :( I saw them a few days ago at the Michael’s here in town but I’m not sure if every store stocks them. Are you in the states? I was originally going to buy a decorative metal screen like this one from HomeDepot ( http://www.homedepot.com/p/MD-Building-Products-36-in-x-36-in-Union-Jack-Aluminum-in-Silver-57208/100351162 ) and spray paint it, but they don’t sell them in Canada for some reason. So I used wood instead.

  6. Genius and inspirational!

  7. Does it block the airflow from the AC unit?

    1. It would a bit yes, we usually open the doors when we’re using it for maximum air flow. I just couldn’t stand the look of it when it wasn’t being used so this was my solution. Thanks for asking!

  8. john meyerhofer says: Reply

    Super Genius !!

  9. Brilliant and beautiful!! Great way to disguise the elephant in the room.

  10. I love this idea and going to definitely do this to cover up my AC unit. What was the width of your frames? I’m trying to figure How big of a strip of wood I would need. Thank you for sharing !

    1. Hi Tam, the frames were about 12 inches wide each. I’d assume that a/c units can vary in width though, so of course you’ll want to make sure the frames will cover your a/c unit first. Good luck!

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