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Billy Bookshelf Shelf Fix

Ikea Billy Bookshelf Fix - Unfinished Side of Shelf Fixed

Ahh, the satisfaction of obtaining and getting home new Billy Bookshelves from Ikea! Ain't life grand? Maybe it is until you realize that you are almost finished assembling the Billy Bookshelf only to discover you put one of the more permanent shelves in backwards and now the unfinished side is there for the whole world to see. Taking it apart really isn't much of an option as these Ikea bookshelves don't come apart easily. I had also already nailed the back of the bookshelf to the finished side of the offending shelf so the finished side was now marred. What a nightmare!

The wife came home from a long day of work and I was anxious to surprise her with her completely assembled, ready-to-go bookshelves. But alas, it was not to be. Instead, she experienced the huge let-down of the unfinished shelf once again ridiculing her bookshelf experience (she had had another bookshelf assembled in a similar manner in the past).


Billy Bookshelf Shelf Fix

Ikea Billy Bookshelf Fix - Unfinished Side of Shelf Fixed

What were my options? 1 - I thought of trying to cut off some of the finished part from an inconspicuous location of another shelf and glueing it to the unfinished side of the offending shelf. A study of the pressboard shelf revealed that this would be difficult as getting a neat, straight cut and separating the finished part from the pressboard shelf would be a nearly impossible task. 2 - painting the unfinished side? Oooh, that's a start. 3 - or using some wood putty and then painting the unfinished side - now we are talking. So in the first photo, we are applying a little wood putty to our unfinished Billy Bookshelf shelf. Let the games begin!

Here's a second photo of the shelf after application of the wood putty. The putty actually dried pretty close to the bookshelf color and I thought of just leaving it like this. However, I had already purchased the paint. I just got a can of enamel spray paint from the hardware store. I brought in another shelf to match the paint and got a really close match.


Billy Bookshelf Shelf Fix

Ikea Billy Bookshelf Fix - Unfinished Side of Shelf Fixed

I've gone ahead here and masked off the section to be painted. I took the enamel spray paint (after the putty had dried) and hit it with several light coats with a 5-10 minute dry time in between each. The enamel paint had a nice glossy finish to match the bookshelf's glossy finish and dried quickly.


Billy Bookshelf Shelf Fix

Ikea Billy Bookshelf Fix - Unfinished Side of Shelf Fixed

Here's a photo of the shelf after a few coats of the enamel spray paint had been applied. We are well on our way to fixing the curse of the unfinished shelf side.


Billy Bookshelf Shelf Fix

Ikea Billy Bookshelf Fix - Unfinished Side of Shelf Fixed

Here's a photo of the final product. Oh yeah, can you even tell which shelf was the offending one? The camera is pretty forgiving from this distance but we got 'er done! Damn Ikea! Why don't they just finish both sides of the shelves? What a pain in the arse!


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