IKEA is a go-to retailer for so many of us on the hunt for affordable decor, storage and organizational pieces for our homes. There are endless possibilities for transforming or “hacking” their goods into custom, one-of-a-kind pieces. Want to know what’s even better than an IKEA hack? A THRIFTED IKEA Hack! YES!! Today, I’m sharing how I gave this plain jane Billy Bookcase a bold new look using some wallpaper and a fun, bright color.
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While I wasn’t necessarily actively looking for a new piece for the mudroom, I was keeping it in the back of my mind. We were making do with an IKEA Kallax piece that was too deep and too wide for the little nook in the mudroom right near the door leading to the garage. It wasn’t the perfect piece, but we had it so we used it!
I filled each of the 4 bins up with hats, gloves and scarves and each of us had our own bin so-to-speak. One day I was out running errands and decided to pop into my favorite local thrift store and saw the bookcase at the back of the store. I immediately thought how perfect it would be since it checked all the boxes—tall, thin and shallow. I measured it and decided for 20 bucks, I was going to take it home. Sometimes thrift stores or even Goodwill sell items that are currently selling in that retailer’s store. Like how some Target clearance items go to Goodwill, for example! And this piece retails at IKEA for $79.99 currently. Well, like some things I thrift, they tend to sit in the garage or basement until I have some free time to work on them. After receiving a roll of fabulous self-adhesive, repositionable, removable wallpaper from Tempaper, I instantly knew I wanted to use it on the bookcase. So, I was off to gather supplies and get started.
First, I wiped down the shelves and sides with a warm, soapy rag to give it a good cleaning. After that, I opened up my can of paint [which was originally going to be a can of plain white paint!] and poured a little in the paint tray. I first grabbed my angled paint brush to get at all of the edges and creases at the back since it’s tricky to get a roller tight to the edges and corners.
Please note…I did NOT use a primer on this piece. Oil-based paint tends to go on smooth and be more durable, plus with the use of the foam roller, I was really able to get good, full coverage!
Next, I laid out the shelves and rolled a coat of paint on each of them. After that, I went back to the main piece and rolled a coat on the inside, outside and front edges. Let dry for 2-4 hours. You can lightly touch your paint to see if it’s sticky or dry and decide how much longer to wait before applying a second coat. Another tip, this paint was oil-based and was sort of a pain to get off of my hands, so I recommend wearing gloves if you want to protect yourself from scary blue hands!!
After applying the second coat, I went to the back of the bookcase and removed the backing.
This particular piece has the thin backing set in tracks on each side, so it was easy to slide the 2 back pieces up and out from the top after removing the tiny nails that help hold them in place. I could’ve taken the backs off before painting, but it didn’t really matter.
Next it was time to apply the removable wallpaper in this fun black and white geometric print!
The bookcase was narrow, but not narrow enough to roll the paper out from top to bottom. I simply rolled the paper out from left to right, lined it up on the left and then made a cut along the right side. Then I peeled off the adhesive backing and laid it down flat to the board.
Since it is repositionable, removable wallpaper, it was so EASY to apply and then pull up and readjust if need be. Still a big fan of the wallpaper we chose for our master bedroom accent wall, but it isn’t the removable kind! I was able to smooth out and air bubbles with my hands, but could’ve used a ruler or something with a straight, flat edge.
Each board used 2 different pieces of wallpaper and it was really easy to match up the pattern and then trim off the top and sides again before laying it down.
You could also press your wallpaper down and THEN do the trimming, which doesn’t need to be perfect since it will slide back into the track with the sides unseen.
If you’re new around here, then you’ll quickly learn about my affinity for black and white geometric prints!! See my fave rug round-up here!
After sliding the freshly papered back pieces down from the top, I hammered the tiny nails into the back at the top and bottom of the piece and into the middle stationary shelf so you couldn’t see the nails poking through. One by one, I put the shelves back in and moved it into place after a full 24 hours after painting! I didn’t put any sort of topcoat on the piece so I’m aware of the risk of the paint scratching off. I do recommend using an L-bracket or other form of wall mounting device to secure the piece to the wall to prevent tipping. Follow the instructions in your specific piece of furniture’s user manual.
And just like that, my thrifted IKEA hack had a new home!
I love the pop of color in the space! Don’t you?!
As for storage and organization, I left the bottom shelf open for a few pairs of shoes, which can be stacked on top of one another.
We also have this shoe rack nearby which holds the rest of our footwear!
The next 2 shelves have a basket on each and are still low enough for the boys to reach. I attached a couple of labels and filled them with items we’ll be frequently using this summer – sun hats and baseball caps and then in the other basket – extra flip flops, sunglasses, as well as extra sunscreen, pool toys and bubbles for easy access before leaving the house! I think I’ll be adding in a bottle of bug spray, too!
One shelf up is free of clutter, but I thought a small clear organizer would be nice to set things like keys, wallets or sunglasses when you walk through the back door. I actually grabbed the clear tray from the plastic serving pieces section at Dollar Tree. It fits perfectly, serves a function and doesn’t take up too much visual space. I still want to show off that pretty wallpaper backing, plus it was only $1!
The top 2 shelves are more “styled”, but I do love the idea of keeping a few magazines and books close by the door in case I want to throw a couple in my purse or beach bag before an appointment or heading to the pool. Yes, we are in Chicago-land, so more often than not, it’s the pool we head to, not the beach!!
And that’s about it! This IKEA hack took place at the perfect time since I’ve been slowly wanting and working towards a mini makeover in this space. The wall hooks you see to the left were added a few months ago and a bench near that [not shown] was brought up from the basement a few months before that. The bookcase created some storage and organization solutions for our mudroom / back entryway and I love how this tiny space is taking shape! One of these days, I’ll finish sprucing up the rest to share with you!
It always blows my mind what a little paint and some fun pattern can do to transform a space or a piece of furniture in this case. I definitely do not claim to be an expert on painting furniture, but with a little practice, it’s become something I’m not afraid to take on!
Soooo….Are you a fan of the bright and bold blue?! What’s your favorite IKEA hack?!
Don’t forget to pin for later!
Thanks for reading today! I’ll be back soon with a few red, white and blue projects just in time for your 4th of July celebrations! Have a great rest of your week!!
*Thank you to Tempaper for providing me with this awesome, easy-to-use removable wallpaper. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make This is our Bliss possible!