Ikea Billy Bookcase Hack - French Style

french bookcase, Ikea Billy Bookcase hack, DIY project. This DIY Ikea Billy Bookcase hack is simple and inexpensive and turns a plain bookshelf into an elegant French style piece for your home.

I'm so excited to be almost finished in redesigning my home office and will do a full reveal soon! It's been a hot mess for the last couple of years, and doubled up as my office and studio as well. More about that later including some horrendous before shots...hah!
The office had been one of our girl's bedrooms and back when she moved out I moved in {to that room, as my office:-} I purchased a few pieces of furniture from IKEA including a Billy Bookcase. The Billy served me well and I had used it mostly for storing magazines and books. In going with a more zen feel for my updated office I donated my piles and years worth of magazines and books, with the exception of a pretty large stack of magazines that I've been in over the years:~}


bookcase styling - Look at how beautiful this Ikea Billy Bookcase hack turned out. With just a coat of paint and a few simple touches, it's like brand new.

This is how it looks now, used as a display bookcase and to store some of my styling props for photographic work. I was inspired by Brooke Giannetti's Patina Style sunroom office and her beautiful book that I go back to time and time again.


For my Ikea Billy Bookcase hack, I was inspired by this beautiful antique French bookcase from Brooke Giannetti's office.

Mine is a redo...not a treasured antique, but still I was inspired by the one above.

Ikea bookcase - The complete Ikea Billy Bookcase Hack, finished and looking better than ever.

I had a vision of ramping up the bookcase a few notches to look more elegant and to repurpose it, rather than buying or building something new. Since we had already painted the floors white (see that post HERE), I figured that I'd leave it white and have it sort of fade away into the background and not be a statement piece in and of itself.

bookcase with crown molding

Hello husband! I really do appreciate your willingness to help {and you have more power tools than me:~} and this was a quick IKEA HACK that he is giving you the DIY for here:

Measure the top of the bookcase or piece of furniture that you will be upgrading to look classy. Obviously this can be done on not just the Ikea piece, but any furniture piece with a ho-hum top. 

Purchase some 2 3/4" pre-finished wood crown molding, meaning it has already been primed and ready for paint. We bought ours at the local Home Depot
Measure to the outside corners on each end. You'll be cutting your crown molding with a compound mitre saw, which really is a necessary tool for cutting two distinct angles as you have on crown molding.

These power tools are just what we need for this Ikea Billy Bookcase Hack.

Compound mitre saw and set the stops on the saw for a 90 degree angle. This is the one that we have, and you can find it HERE.

My husband at work with his power tools to cut the crown molding for my Ikea Billy Bookcase Hack.

Cut 3 pieces, one for each side and one for the front. 


My husband at work with his power tools, measuring and cutting the crown molding and framework for my Ikea Billy Bookcase Hack.

Pre-drill molding with a 16th or smaller drill bit to avoid splitting the wood crown molding. If using a nail gun pre-drilling would not be necessary as the wood is less inclined to split. 


We added crown molding to the top of this Ikea Billy Bookcase to give it an elegant and fresh look. Add a coat of white paint and that's a wrap for this Ikea Billy Bookcase Hack.

Use small finish (3 penny) and nail into drilled holes attaching the molding almost flush (leave a small reveal) to the bottom edge of the bookcase. 

Remove the shelves of the Ikea Billy Bookcase before painting and adding the crown molding. See how much better this bookcase looks with a few elegant touches? The perfect Ikea Billy Bookcase Hack.
Finish by caulking the outside corners and along the bottom edge for a clean, built-in look. 

Paint to match the bookcase. Since I've had that bookcase for several years it had turned slightly off-white, so we used my absolute favorite paint that I've talked about before and sprayed it on {which took all of 5 minutes}. Note* We removed the shelves first since we weren't painting the entire bookcase. If you do need to paint yours, be sure to use a primer/paint combination like the one that I so often used from Rustoleum.

And there you have it...fast and easy and inexpensive, but looking fancy and fresh!