IKEA Billy Bookcase Built-ins Hack

By Corbin


The first step is to remove the baseboards and carpet. You will not want to build something like this on top of the carpet. To remove the carpet I just used a utility knife, but I know there are also special tools that you can use to make the job easier. 

Step 1

After the carpet and baseboards were out of the way we started building the base that we would place the billy bookcases on. We have an 8-foot wall and the billy bookcase is only 6 1/2 feet tall so we decide to put them on top of a 6-inch platform to get them a little closer to the ceiling. 

Step 2

Assemble the billy bookcases. We decided to shave off the back of the bookcases and use some smooth 1/4 inch plywood for the backing. This is completely optional, and honestly, if I were to do this again, I wouldn’t shave off the back.

Step 3

Next, we need to build the support to attach the bookcase to the wall. This is what gives them that “built-in” look. We took a common 1x6x8 and attached it to the side of the wall. Then we used 4 pieces of scape wood to bring the support 11 inches wide.

Step 4

Screw in your bookcase to the sides of the supports that you just built.

Step 5

It is time to start making those bookcases look built-in and beautiful. Start first by adding MDF board to the baseboard. The base is 6 inches high so we just got a 6 inch wide MDF board and slapped it on there with a brad nailer. Because we wanted our base to stick out a few inches we covered the top 2 inches with MDF board as well. 

Step 6

Add MDF trim to the shelves for a thicker more custom shelf look. You can use whatever size MDF you choose, but we went with 1 1/2 inch.

Step 7

To fill in the gap between the ceiling and the bookcase we used the 3/4 inch birch plywood. We attached these pieces to the same board for the bookcase.

Step 8

We took a little bit of a lazy route for the crown molding. We kept it simple with a single piece of MDF across the top. Like I said this is kind of a lazy/easy way to do the molding. Don’t forget to cut your end at a 45-degree angle for clean joints.

Step 9

Now it is time to fill in nail holes with some spackle. If you have any nails that are sticking up a bit a recommend using a nail set to the nail flush with the wood. After all your holes are dry go through and give them a lite sand with 220 grit sandpaper.

Step 10

Use paintable caulk to fill in all the cracks and joints where you attached the MDF boards

Step 11

Paint. I recommend using a paint sprayer for this job. We ended up painting with a roller and brush, but it would have been so much better and faster if we used a paint sprayer.

Step 12

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