Are you looking to give your IKEA Billy bookcase a new look? Maybe you got one while you were in college, or maybe for your first apartment. Well, don’t donate that IKEA Billy bookcase, give it a makeover! Y’all know I’m a Homeright Ambassador, and you may remember when I participated in an IKEA Tarva hack challenge last fall. In fact, I actually won that challenge. Well, Homeright has issued another challenge for us!
Homeright sent us a small IKEA Billy book case and asked us to do “our thing” to it. I’ve never had an IKEA Billy before, so I really didn’t know what to expect!
These are the pieces of the small IKEA Billy bookcase. Since I wasn’t totally sure what I was going to do with it, I just started putting it together following the directions. I did know that I wanted to use rustic fence boards for the back instead of the handy board that was included with the bookcase. I already did that once with this little window cabinet.
To make the Billy bookcase stronger, I used Gorilla wood glue for all of the dowels. Aren’t you so envious of my snazzy manicure?
The Billy bookcase went together pretty smoothly.
In order to have something substantial to secure the fence boards, I added some scrap plywood to the bottom (rear) of the bookcase.
While doing a dry fit of the fence board, I noticed that there was a gap between each shelf and the fence board as well. I used more scrap pieces to fill in those gaps. NOTE: see the peg holes and the routed area for the handy board back? You’ll see later that I fill those in with wood filler.
How do you paint over a laminate IKEA Billy bookcase? This is how I did it. I roughed up the entire surface by lightly sanding everything, then used my HomeRight Finish Max and some French Vanilla Chalk Type paint from Heirloom Traditions. I painted it on a drop cloth inside my new spray shelter.
Since I used the spray shelter on the driveway, I put down a drop cloth and held the back of the spray shelter out of the way by weighting it down with a paint can.
I also took this opportunity to put a second coat on my wine bottles for my wine bottles and more. oops! While I was waiting for the paint to dry, apparently there was a small gust of wind. Note to self, secure the spray shelter while using it on a hard surface.
Now, this is where I disguise the fact that this is an IKEA Billy bookcase. I patched all the peg holes and that groove in the back. After a coat of paint, I noticed that I needed to do some additional patching before the second coat of paint. When I attach the fence boards, the 2 shelves will become permanent instead of adjustable shelving. If you take a closer look you can see the extra little piece I added to the back of the shelf to enable the fence board to sit flush against the shelf.
A view from the back after I have sanded the patching. See the small piece of wood I added to the shelf?
I hurriedly picked up the first poly I saw on the shelf to give a protective coat. oops! It worked great in the Finish Max, it was quick and easy. BUT, it sort of yellowed the paint. I really should have used the topcoat from Heirloom Traditions. Why was I in a hurry? It was H.O.T. and I wanted to do a quick coat and get back inside the house.
Fast forward a week or so, and I was running out of time to get this project finished. I worked very early in the morning before the heat set in. I had already cut my fence boards to size, so this was going to be a piece of cake! I would be in the house before the sun finished rising.
I used my Ryobi staple gun to secure the fence boards to the back of the bookcase—top, bottom, and both shelves. I had to rip one fence board to get the right width. I really should have ripped a little off of each board to make the uniform.
It’s looking less and less like an IKEA Billy bookcase, don’t you think?
I wasn’t really happy with how the bottom looked, so I ripped another fence board and attached it to cover up the original Billy bookcase trim.
I really wasn’t pleased with how it looked. I felt like it didn’t have enough “repurpose” to it to suit me. I contemplated adding a window/door to the lower portion of the bookcase. The sun was getting higher in the sky, I needed to move to a more shady spot to think about this.
Uh oh! As I was moving the bookcase on two small dollies, the bookcase shifted, slipped off the dolly and busted the bottom. ugh! now what? Forget the window, let’s move on to Plan B.
It was hot and apparently I forgot to take any pictures. Basically I cut 2 fence boards for each side of the IKEA Billy bookcase and 2+ some for the top.
I also ripped some boards for a front facing, mitering the top corners.
It’s D.O.N.E. !!! I love how it turned out! My goal was to disguise the fact that it is a Billy bookcase, and I think I pulled that off, don’t you?
My Homeright ambassador friends are sharing their own bookcase makeovers on Homeright.com, be sure to check them out.
NOW for the giveaway! I’ve been telling you about this fabulous giveaway all month long. The giveaway ends in just a few days. It’s your last chance to enter.
How to enter:
Mandatory: Leave a comment on this post telling me why you want the prize pack of a Finish Max, Rapid Clean Kit, and the Spray Shelter. (use the last option on the Rafflecopter widget after leaving your comment) Must be 18, US resident. Void where prohibited by law.
Hop over to Homeright.com to vote for your favorite hack. Everyone who votes will be entered into a random drawing to win a Finish Max, Spray Shelter and a Rapid Clean Kit.
Disclaimer: Because I am lucky enough to be a Homeright Ambassador, Homeright supplies me with products to review. All thoughts, opinions, and projects are my own.
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.