How to Paint Ikea Billy Bookcase

Are you looking to spruce up your living space? Look no further! Painting it is the perfect way to make it uniquely yours and give any room in your home some added visual interest.

How to Paint Ikea Billy Bookcase

This simple guide gives you the confidence and basic steps to paint an Ikea Billy Bookcase in no time! Whether you’re a DIY novice or a seasoned pro, this guide and tips will help you customize your bookcase quickly, easily, and with professional results.

In this blog post, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to paint ikea billy bookcase so you can create a beautiful addition to your décor that reflects your style. So let’s get started–get ready to transform your bookcase from drab to fab!

What Will You Need?

Before diving into your painting project, gathering all the necessary materials is essential. Here’s a list of the items you’ll need to paint your Ikea Billy Bookcase:

  1. A Good Quality Paintbrush or Foam Roller: This will ensure a smooth finish.
  2. Sandpaper (120 to 150 grit): This will help create a surface to which the paint can stick.
  3. Primer: This is especially important if the bookcase is laminate, as it will help the paint adhere to the surface.
  4. Paint: Choose a paint that’s suitable for wooden furniture. It could be your favorite color or something that matches your room decor.
  5. Clear Protective Finish: This is optional, but it will protect your bookcase from scratches and spills.
  6. Masking Tape: This will keep your paint lines neat and tidy.
  7. Drop Cloth or Old Newspapers: These will protect your floors from any paint drips.

Ensure you have all these materials on hand before you begin painting your Ikea Billy Bookcase, and the process will run smoothly.

10 Easy Steps on How to Paint Ikea Billy Bookcase

Spread Your Drop Cloth

Step 1: Preparation

Start by moving your Ikea Billy bookcase to a well-ventilated area where you can work comfortably. This could be your garage, backyard, or any open space. Spread your drop cloth or old newspapers underneath and around the bookcase to protect your flooring from potential paint splatters and drips. Then, remove any shelves or hardware from the bookcase.

This includes knobs, hinges, or anything else that’s attached. Keep these items in a safe place, as you’ll need to reattach them later. Once your workstation is set up and you’re ready to begin, put on some old clothes or an apron – things are about to get messy!

Step 2: Sanding

Now it’s time to make your Billy bookcase paint-ready. Begin by sanding the entire surface of the bookcase using your sandpaper. Aim for a light scuffing rather than deep sand, creating a slightly rough texture that helps the primer and paint adhere better. Pay particular attention to any corners, edges, and detailed areas – these are places where paint often fails to stick.

Once the sanding is complete, wipe down the bookcase with a damp cloth to remove any dust or particles left behind. Starting with a clean surface is crucial to ensure a smooth, even finish.

Step 3: Priming

Once your bookcase is clean and dry, it’s time to apply the primer. Primer is crucial when painting Ikea Billy bookcases as it helps the paint to adhere better to the bookcase’s surface.

Start by carefully applying the primer using your paintbrush or foam roller to cover all areas, including the shelves and any nooks and crannies. Use masking tape to protect areas you don’t want to paint, such as hinges or certain design elements.

Sanding the Entire Surface of the Bookcase

Step 4: Painting

Now that your primer is completely dry, it’s time for the exciting part – painting! Stir the paint well before use to ensure it’s thoroughly mixed. Applying the first coat of paint to your Ikea Billy bookcase using your paintbrush or foam roller.

Start from the top and work your way down, this prevents drips from spoiling your finish. Be sure to cover every inch of the bookcase, including the sides, back, and all the shelves. It’s best to apply thin, even coats rather than a single thick one. This technique provides a smoother finish and helps the paint dry faster.

Step 5: Second Coat and Touch-ups

Once the first coat has completely dried, it’s time to apply a second coat. This ensures a solid, even color and adds durability to your paint job. Follow the same process as before, covering all areas of your Ikea Billy bookcase. Once the second coat is dry, scrutinize your bookcase. If you notice uneven patches or missed spots, touch them with additional paint.

Step 6: Applying the Protective Finish

After the paint job is complete and you are satisfied with the results, it’s time to protect your work. Applying a clear protective finish will help protect your newly painted Ikea Billy bookcase from scratches, spills, and general wear and tear. Ensure the paint is thoroughly dry before you start applying the finish.

Use your paintbrush or foam roller to apply a thin, even layer of the protective finish. Allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step. This protective coat will not only prolong the lifespan of your bookcase but also give it a polished, professional look.

Applying a Clear Protective Finish

Step 7: Reassembly

Once the protective finish is dry, it’s time to put your Ikea Billy bookcase back together. Carefully replace the shelves and reattach any hardware you removed during preparation, such as knobs or hinges.

Ensure everything is secure and properly aligned. Your newly painted Ikea Billy bookcase is ready to be moved back into its designated spot. Remember to handle it carefully during the move to avoid any scratches or damage to your fresh paint job.

Step 8: Styling and Final Touches

With the bookcase back in place, the fun part is styling! Start arranging your books, decorative items, or any objects you wish to display on your newly painted Ikea Billy bookcase. Create a balanced look by mixing different sizes and shapes.

You can also group items by color for a cohesive look. Try incorporating personal items, like family photos or travel souvenirs, to give your bookcase a unique personal touch.

Step 9: Maintenance and Care

Now that your Ikea Billy bookcase has a fresh, new look, it’s important to take care of it to preserve its beauty. Regularly dust the bookcase with a soft, dry cloth to prevent build-up. If you spill something on the painted surface, clean it up immediately with a damp cloth and mild soap to prevent staining.

Avoid placing hot or wet items directly on the bookcase, as they can damage the finish. With proper care and maintenance, your newly painted Ikea Billy bookcase can maintain its attractive appearance for many years.

Step 10: Enjoying the Result

Finally, you have reached the most rewarding process – enjoying your newly painted Ikea Billy bookcase! Step back and admire your handiwork. The fresh coat of paint breathes new life into your old bookcase, making it a centerpiece of your room. Remember, it’s not just a bookcase but also a reflection of your style and creativity.

So adjust, refine, and play around with the arrangement of your books and display items until you’re delighted. This is your masterpiece, after all. Sit back, enjoy the sight of your revitalized bookcase, and feel a deep sense of accomplishment. You’ve created a unique piece of furniture and added a personal touch to your home decor.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

A Foam Roller is Great
  1. Choose the Right Tools: Not all paintbrushes and rollers are created equal. It’s worth investing in high-quality painting tools for a smoother, more professional finish. A foam roller is great for large, flat surfaces, while a smaller brush will help you reach into those tricky corners.
  2. Patience is Key: Don’t rush the drying process between coats of paint or finish. Giving each layer ample time to dry will result in a stronger, more durable finish. Rushing this step could lead to streaks or uneven patches.
  3. Consider the Lighting: The color of your paint can appear different in various lighting conditions. Before making a final decision, consider how your chosen color looks in the space where your bookcase will reside, both in natural and artificial light.
  4. Test Your Paint: Before painting your entire bookcase, first test your paint on a small, inconspicuous area. This will allow you to see the color, finish in action, and make any necessary adjustments before fully committing.
  5. Maintenance Matters: Regularly maintaining your painted bookcase will enhance its lifespan. Dust it frequently, avoid heavy objects that could scratch the paint, and promptly clean up any spillages. This will keep your Ikea Billy bookcase looking fresh and vibrant for years.

Painting an Ikea Billy bookcase with this comprehensive guide can be rewarding, fun, and creative. This process refreshes your interior space and allows you to unleash your creativity, making an everyday item your own unique masterpiece.


Painting the Ikea Billy bookcase is a great way to update the look of any room. With the right paint and prep, you can quickly give it an entirely new look. You just have to remember to set aside ample time for sanding, priming, painting, and sealing so that the furniture will last for years.

Additionally, make sure to judge the color palette carefully to avoid clashing. Overall, this simple project is a great way to add a fresh touch of style to your home without breaking the bank.

Hopefully, this article has provided you with valuable insight and practical advice on how to paint ikea billy bookcase. Following this guide, you can transform your Ikea Billy bookcase into a personalized piece that complements your home decor and reflects your unique style. Happy painting!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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