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Billy bookcases, but in paintable wood?

(15 Posts)
Mumswang Tue 12-Jul-11 10:51:51


We have an alcove either side of our fireplace. Can’t afford bespoke shelves and thought Ikea Billy bookcases would be just the thing. But as far as I can see they are all coated / veneered type stuff. I'd like some in plain wood so I can paint them the same colour as the wall so they blend in

Has anyone seen a similar bookcase (at a similar price) that I could paint?

Or has anyone successfully painted ikea ones?

Ponders Tue 12-Jul-11 10:57:13

If you get the white ones (cheapest) you could try sanding the smooth surface, very gently, to give a key & then paint.

You can buy single shelves, can't you - get one & experiment!

Mumswang Tue 12-Jul-11 11:33:35

Hmmmm I could. Although it's quite a trek to our nearest Ikea. I wonder why the don't make cheap wood ones, seems peculiar

jenniec79 Tue 12-Jul-11 11:37:38

You should be able to paint them with a primer then your chosen colour.

Ponders Tue 12-Jul-11 11:39:44

afaik the surface of the Ikea ones would be the same as the shelves you can get at DIY stores eg contiboard so you could try on that.

Cheap wood can't be machined with the same precision as MDF - the self assembly bits don't meet up properly. Ikea stuff is incredibly well designed & made, I remember what bookcases used to be like!

Mandy2003 Tue 12-Jul-11 12:32:10

I believe it's called melamine primer, to prepare the white bookcase for painting. Not sure what kind of paint you are meant to use on top of it though.

Mumswang Tue 12-Jul-11 12:56:23

thank you, i'll have a look into primer etc, or may be just have white ones grin

Ponders Tue 12-Jul-11 13:04:11

I have some white ones which are about 20 years old, & they still look great smile

jenniec79 Tue 12-Jul-11 13:07:30

I have the beach effect ones, and they're fab. I went all out and got glass doors for some of them, and they look far more posh than my real wood shelves.

queenmaeve Tue 12-Jul-11 17:19:26

I have painted over lots of ikea shelves. Primer is your friends or plain emulsion will do as a primer.

mogs0 Tue 12-Jul-11 17:33:30

As an alternative to Ikea bookcases, Jali sell reasonably priced mtm bookcases. I ordered 2 cupboards and a bookcase to fit in my very awkward alcoves and they look good.

It was a pain to prime and paint them mainly because I am useless with a paintbrush but the end result was worth the effort.

DonaAna Tue 12-Jul-11 18:59:30

I have so many books and Ikea's Billy is just a bad bookcase. The shelves sag under normal load - not a great visual. So don't buy them!

(I have lots of Ikea pieces, many of them good, but Billy is a disappointment.)

Mumswang Tue 12-Jul-11 20:00:37

Oh no DonaAna I really don't want saggy shelves. We had some mdf ones in our old house and they sagged. It was the bane of my life

Mogs0 I shall havens look at your suggestion (but we've just bought a house and are v v poor)

wompoopigeon Tue 12-Jul-11 20:05:19

I painted my Billy bookcases no problems. They were originally different colours of wood but that made no difference to the end result. Not even sure I bothered with sandpaper or primer, just two coats of white Dulux. The shelves with all the hardback art books sag a bit but considering the money paid, we're happy.

Ponders Tue 12-Jul-11 20:08:54

our Billies don't sag shock

If you have some really heavy books you can put them on the middle & bottom shelves (the fixed ones); ordinary books no problem IME

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