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Yeah I know...ANOTHER IKEA Billy Bookcase Hack?!

Back in June I moved into a new apartment with my beau in Long Beach. I am a little designer lover at heart so what did moving into a new apartment mean to me? You may be thinking "Yay I gets to live with my boyfriend!" Nope it was "omg I get to design another apartment and split the cost!!"

The apartment has wood floors throughout, amazing light, and a decent amount of space. Freaking amazing. The first thing I did was the living room, and I knew exactly what I wanted, a wall full of shelves for all my trinkets and endless opportunity to redecorate. However, we do not have the funds to build out custom built in bookcases, which is why I turned to Pinterest and IKEA.


  1. First I measured the length and height of the wall that the bookcases will be goin

g on. I needed four 31.5 x 93 in Billy bookcases. Pro tip: Ikea has been having stock issues, however they tend to have multiple options so you can find something in stock. In my case, the 31.5 x 93 in bookcases were out of stock. So I purchased the 31.5 x 79.5 bookcases and added the 14 in height extender to each bookcase.

  1. Next I purchased the Oxberg doors for the bottom half of the bookshelves.

  2. If you plan on painting the bookcases like I did you'll need sandpaper, primer, and paint.

  3. The paint color I used is: Benjamin Moore Southern Vine

  4. Even if you don't paint the bookcases I suggest getting plaster to fill the holes in the side of the bookcase for the shelves. It makes the bookcase look more expensive IMO.


I'm letting you know ahead of time, I made so many mistakes when doing this project, but I'm going to tell you what I would do if I could do it over.

Firstly, I sanded, primed, and painted all of the bookcases and doors before I assembled them. I would NOT do that again, took up too much damn space in my apartment having everything laid out. If I were to do it over, I would assemble the bookcases first, the

n sand, prime, and paint.

Next I filled in all the unused shelving holes. Pro Tip: make sure you leave the holes to hang the doors unfilled if you get the doors later. I let the spackle dry overnight.

The next day I painted all the bookcases with primer. IKEA furniture often has a plastic-y finish to them that makes it very hard for paint to grab onto. Sanding and priming gives you the best chances for the paint to not scratch off.

After the primer has dried, I did 3 coats of Southern Vine over all of the bookcases.

Once the paint has completely dried, I decorated. And thats it!


  1. Assemble bookcases

  2. Spackle unused holes

  3. Sand

  4. Prime

  5. Paint

  6. Decorate!

I'm in love with the way they turned out, they give us much needed storage, and are the focal point of our living room. A full video of the process will be posted on my instagram.

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