Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Beefed up Billy Bookshelf

I love bookshelves, the perfect place for books, plants, photos,  knick knacks.. and a great place for hidden storage. A number of years ago we invested in the Billy bookshelves from Ikea and created a built in look using some trim, baseboards and moulding. When we sold the house we were sad to leave the bookshelf behind (it was requested as part of the sale). When we moved into baby bungalow I really missed having the shelving so off to Ikea we went. It's taken forever over a year to get the shelves assembled and beefed up (clearly we've been busy) but its finally happened. Baby bungalow has a bit of a slant to the ceiling so it doesn't look "built in" like it did in our previous home but it certainly takes the shelving up a notch

Here is how we beefed up our Billys..

Supply List

billy bookcases
billy bookcase extensions
billy book case doors (if you like)
window trim
crown moulding
primer and paint

1. Assemble Billy bookshelves from Ikea, we used 4 of them plus extensions which fit right on top of the shelving. We chose to add doors to the lower portion of our shelves but this is completely optional (I wanted a bit of hidden storage)


2. Once shelves are secure add crown moulding to the top and baseboards to the bottom. You may need a saw to make corner cuts. We used a nail gun to secure the moulding. Next secure trim to the front of the seam where the bookshelves are pushed together this will give the shelving a unifed look

3. We chose polyfilla to fill in any nail holes that were showing. Once this is dry sand the filling until smooth

4. Now its time to paint and prime the trim, moulding and baseboard. We applied just one coat of primer and two coats of Benjamin Moore "Paper Mache". Its not an exact match but pretty darn close.

I'm thrilled to have our Billys back!

Front Room

complete bookshelf
area rug
side table project
window treatment
purchase sofa

Thanks for visiting!!



  1. Wow, impressive, Amanda. I like how"forever" is crossed out and replaced with "over a year."


  2. Thank you SO much for posting this. I'm about to use your instructions for my Billys this weekend. :) Can you tell me which paint formula you bought of the Benjamin Moore Paper Mache? They have semi-gloss, flat, and eggshell.

    1. Awesome! once you beef up your billy Im pretty certain you will be in love :)

      Its been awhile since I picked up the paint so I searched for the container and Im shocked to discover the can has NO indication of sheen! Its a small Colour sampler. We never actually needed to buy a regular size can as the sample size was more than enough to paint moulding on our billy book case and kitchen moulding. Colour Samples cans are testers that are 465.5 mL and now Im wondering if the sample cans come in only one sheen.
      We checked out the paint on all the mouldings and it doesn't seem very shiny at all so we are guessing the sample cans come in a flat or eggshell.
      Sorry I couldn't be more help, but I'm sue Benjamin Moore could solve the mystery when you go!
      Good luck on your project

  3. HI, did caulk fill up the gap between the lower bookshelf and the baseboard? I am doing the same thing and I'm finding the gap pretty big. Also how did you manage to fit the baseboard under teh doors? We are having a bit of a time with that. We've pulled the doors as far away from the shelf as we can and it looksa bit funny!


    1. Hello Anonymous
      When we applied baseboards to the lower portion of the shelf we measured first and found baseboards that were the exact height we needed to fit snugly. There is a bit of a gap along the top of the baseboard where it doesn't quite meet the actual shelving unit. We did not fill the gap with caulk we just left it as is because the doors keep it hidden. Good luck and if you need more help feel free to send us an email and I can send you a few more pictures of the bookshelf :)


Thanks for your comments!!