Billy After+Billy-786102

Published on September 13th, 2010 | by Jules Yap


Customised Ikea Billy

Materials: Billy, Paint

Description: We didn’t want a plain white shelf in our living room as we were afraid that it appeared to ‘cold’. So the goal was to choose a background colour that underlined the warm colours of our room but still made a modern impression. Strangely, in the end my wife and I chose an olivish green (with a yellow proportion).

As we had three 80cm Billys and two 40cm ones to the sides, I experienced a different backwall material what made it necessary to paint the small ones with 3 layers. The bigger ones were painted twice. Should you want to try it on your own, make sure you put a cloth around the fixed shelves while putting in the backwall as for protection of the colour. You can easiliy rip them out afterwards.

It took me some considerable time as the colour needed to dry out over night but after three days it was worth the wait.

~ Marc Bellin, Zurich, Switzerland

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

6 Responses to Customised Ikea Billy

  1. Southie says:


    As you’re also in Zurich, what paint did you use? Was it sticky, or did it adhere well?


  2. Anonymous says:

    Love the chair!!

  3. You both did a great job on the shelves, and I love the olive green. Warm colors for an inviting room.

    - David

    Aloe Vera 101
    Holistic Health Info.

  4. MissXoxolat says:

    wow! amazing!!!
    i ♥ it!

  5. Keter says:

    The thing I dislike about the backwall material is the creases which scream “self assembly” even when painted like this. I replaced the backwall with veneered and stained quarter inch plywood. The extra effort is really worth it for open shelving that will be seen every day.

    I’m getting ready to make a large room divider with back-to-back shelves, and for it I will use 1/2 inch veneered plywood. That will allow me to screw the shelf backs together for extra stability.

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