Hackers Help

Published on October 15th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Hacker Help: Problems with holes

Description: We have three homes with a lot of Ikea furniture. But, how can you be proud of your kitchen or about your Billy when they’re showing off plenty of small holes, correctly made for you to choose where to put your shelves?

How can I solve this real big issue when Ikea is having hole plugs, or hole covers, or hole caps, only in black? My billys are the birch ones, and the Faktum only comes in white.

any of you having any hack-idea?

~ jo

More hacks on IKEAHackers.net

Trade Show Booth? Ikea Saves the Day
Clayton Grey Inspired Nailhead Side Table

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".

20 Responses to Hacker Help: Problems with holes

  1. BB says:

    I just bought several glass replacement shelves for my Billy bookcases. When I went to install them, the screws were smaller than the holes for the adjustable shelves. Come to find out, Ikea changed the size of the holes about 5 years ago. If I could just replace the screws that would be great, but a larger screw won’t fit thru the hole in the bracket.

  2. Geraldine Brennan says:

    I’ve got three pieces of Kallax furniture: two out of three didn’t have enough wooden plugs so I ‘borrowed’ out of the third set. It seems difficult /verging on impossible to get more — it’s a real pain for me to get to the store as I rely on friends for transport. Anyone know a good substitute. I need about 4

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly what is needed. Thanks, Mary!

  4. Bentley says:

    G’day Hackers,
    I have used a set of ‘plug cutters’ in combination with any offcuts or scrap material with the same finish. They cut a small plug…as the name suggests… like a dowel from the same material as the piece, then its as easy as lining up the grain with that on the project and gluing it in place. (obviously using a plug cutter the appropriate size for the hole)

    take a look


    lots of different brands, great finish!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I dont have this on hand to check but how about something like a hama (vaktum) bead in cream or even just a paper bead and some very well matched nailvarnish and a steady hand… I did something similar on a much smaller project a while back and it worked quite well. You do have to get busy with a tweaser when you want them out though.

  6. LJ says:

    You can check out this specialty store Lee Valley Tools (www.leevalley.com). To camoflage the holes look up PVC screw covers and unfinished wood screw covers. To make it fancy, look up “clavos“ (fancy nails). Maybe you can use these nails with some poster putty and stick them in the holes.

    Or get a roll of matching melamine edging from the home centre and hole punch some circles, or use one long strip and lightly glue on with craft glue.

    Also try googling `veneer screw caps`. I found some self adhesive ones.
    Good luck!

  7. Lorraine says:

    You could try making your own plugs from a wood dowel if you can find the right size. If you need to remove them later you can use a drill to pull them out.

  8. Michael says:

    What about getting the black plugs and giving them a few light dustings of spray paint? Should be able to get the right color and matte or gloss finish.

  9. Anonymous says:

    ikea doesn’t sell them, at least not in italy. you can ask at the customer corner to have some, but they’ll be black. call it antracite or coal or dark grey, or any color you like, but white.

    silicon or any other filler won’t be good, if in the future you’ll try to change your configuration.
    same if you’re drilling a bigger hole: all of your former ikea parts won’t fit anymore.

    i did ask a friend of mine who’s in the hardware business, but he said no light colour exists…


  10. customstyle says:

    I’ve used these “flat head plugs” from http://www.craftparts.com/buttons-and-plugs-c-162.html to fill holes in a project I did. For IKEA holes you might need to drill a slightly bigger hole (metric vs. inches) but these fit easily without glue if you use a rubber mallet.

    They even have “side grain plugs” if you need a wood grain to show though stain.

  11. billyhacker says:

    Great great question.
    I’ve tried wood putty – doesn’t work because the texture and color is so different from the IKEA surface foils.

    Stickers create unsightly seams…

    But “hole covers!” I basically live in a hardware store, and I’ve never seen those. I have nine Billy’s, so I’ll be buying a hell of a lot of them if I can find them. This made me very excited, but made me wonder why IKEA doesn’t sell them?

  12. Andsetinn says:

    The solution to your problem is at the next hardware store. Ask for wood filler, grain filler or wood putty. Different names for the same thing. They are available in all colors so you should not have any problems getting the right one.

  13. Just buy hole covers in the correct color at the hardware store, what’s the problem?

  14. Christian says:

    If it’s white then perhaps white silicon could work, but i think white silicon is whiter than the bookcases, but i’m not sure

  15. I used to work at a print shop, and we used to do this to hide seams in wooden picture frames, so it might help your disguise. Get some shoe polish of the same colour as the furniture. Use a small golf tee or similar item to apply it to the inside of the hole, making it less visable.

  16. JonasB says:

    Or make the round sticker, as suggested, and apply the directly over your holes without any plugs.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Why not buy some contact paper that matches the look of your furniture. Use a hole punch to make the requisite round stickers and apply them to the back of the plug covers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top ↑