Ikea Hack – Billy Built-Ins

Let me start by telling you that this project has taken a year to get this far. Sad…I know!

I really wanted built-in bookcases in my office. I thought it would be well beyond my DIY skills, so I got a quote from the handyman service that we sometimes use. The quote was for nearly $3000…yeah, not in my budget!! I started looking for other options and decided to try an Ikea hack.

Billy Bookcases

I started with the oh-so-versatile Billy Bookcases and then added the extender. Our ceilings are not very high, so this took the bookcases to only 3 inches from the ceiling. I needed 3 full bookcases and one half sized one to fill the wall. This left about 4 inches on each side. I added the doors to the bottom, so I would have extra storage. We added trim between each of the shelves and on the front of each shelf to dress them up…AND THEN I GOT STUCK!

I didn’t know how I wanted to finish them out. I had a general idea and I even got some of the trim cut at Home Depot, but I just couldn’t figure out the whole picture.

I’m sorry, but I don’t have any pictures at this point…I wasn’t blogging yet. : ) Centsational Girl has a great tutorial on this project if you need some more tips.

Finally in January of this year, I decided to push forward and get it done!!

Billy Builtins 2

We stacked cheap baseboards and crown molding to make chunky crown to go around the top. We bought those builder bundles that are dirt cheap….one each – crown and baseboards.

The molding on each side is baseboards cut to size. I measured and had Home Depot cut them to the correct width for me. There is another piece of cheap trim behind it that is nailed to the bookcase and then this is nailed into that trim. (Again…I’m sorry I don’t have pics of this.)

Billy Builtins 1

We took the crown all the way around the room. Nice and chunky. AND THEN I GOT BUSY!!

I haven’t had any time to work on this. The nail holes needed to be filled and the cracks caulked….and of course everything needed to be painted.

Billy Builtins 3

Here is what I have now:

Billy Builtins

And this is my dilemma:

I have filled all of the holes, but I haven’t caulked or painted yet. I took a shelf to HD and had them match the color for paint. I started painting the trim with it and realized the the Ikea shelves are not white! They are really more of an off white. I kinda new this before, but I thought it wasn’t so noticeable until I started painting my pretty white trim.

So now I realize that if I want them to be white, I will have to paint all of it..shelves and doors, too. That’s why there is still tape up….I’m stuck!!

I have a few ideas to get unstuck. I’m thinking about a treatment for the doors. Hopefully, I can get something done in the next week or so. I will definitely keep you in the loop and show you what I decide.

Do you guys have any ideas?? I’m still open to some suggestions! : )

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  1. Molding is so great to complete the built in look. How about using paper or fabric on the doors or on the back of the shelves instead of completely painting them

    • Hi Emily! Great ideas…I will have to see if I can find a tutorial for attaching the fabric. I also thought about using wallpaper, but I've never used wallpaper before. Whatever I do will be a learning experience! :)

  2. What a great way to give the appearance of built ins! I love it! Sounds like you are going to repaint all of it white? I'm sure you'll be happy when it's all done :) Thanks for sharing this at my link party!

    • Yep. I think I might paint the back of them a different color, but the rest will be white. :) Thanks for hosting the link party!

  3. Love the moulding! I suggest uploading your picture onto the "chip it" resource at Sherwin Williams website. It will match your room to Sherwin William paint colors and this way you will have an idea of what color the shelves are. The process will take ten minutes tops.

    If you want, you could even have the SW color color matched at Home Depot or where ever you prefer to buy paint.

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class

    • Hi Sharon! I did get the shelves color matched and painted the trim that's attached to the front. Once we hung the primed molding, I realized that it all looked off white or slightly yellow. It might not be noticeable once I paint all if it, but right now it just looks so yellow and I want crisp white!! I will probably just have to suck it up and repaint all of it. :)

  4. that would be chunky. chunky moulding.

  5. this looks great, i love your idea for adding the chuky moulding. i don't know what to say about the color, i think it would look great white…or what about painting the inside of the shelves? then maybe the off white wouldn't be so obvious?

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