This is the Billy bookcase stencil tutorial for my Billy bookcase hack from week 2 of the September 2018 $100 Room Challenge.
Who doesn’t love IKEA??? And their Billy bookcases are pretty versatile. I used them for my new pantry. And I used them in the $100 Room Challenge that I took part in September 2018. I had three of them. Two of the shorter ones (31.5“ wide) in White, which I was using in my livingroom, but they weren’t really working there. The third one is a 79.5” tall one, and was birch. It used to live in my spare bedroom in my former home. When we moved it was stored upstairs in the room that would become my Craft room.
Cutting Edge Stencils
Cutting edge stencils provided me with a free stencil, as part of their promotion of the $100 Room Challenge. I have wanted to work with them for a while, so I was really excited to be able to get a free stencil to try out. And full disclosure here, since I am in Canada, everything is a bit more expensive for me, once you add 30% US exchange, shipping and duty 🙁 So a free sample is extra special! I chose the vision all over craft stencil in medium. I used it on the backing board for my bookcases, and also as an accent for my DIY Sewing table They look so much prettier with the stencil pattern. See?
Here is a blow by blow account of how to do this. Hmmm, that sound way more painful than it is!!
If your bookcase if already assembled. Remove the backing. You can easily remove the little nails that hold it in place with a flathead screwdriver. For this project I took an old 79.5” Birch finish IKEA Billy bookcase and painted it white. If your bookcase if already the desire shade, skip over this step to: Stenciling
The first thing you need to do before applying your colour of choice is to use a good primer like Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer. Especially since it is a shiny finish. I would suggest doing a light sanding first to ensure you have good adhesion of the paint. Painting a bookcase is much easier if you dismantle it first. I started painting this one in the room it was going to end up in.
But in the end it was actually less work to drag in downstairs and lay it out outside.
Then I applied a coat of Behr Semi gloss paint in Frost. I went with the cheaper paint, without primer, as I had already used a primer. I applied 2 coats of this on the frame and shelves. For the backing board, because you will be stenciling here, you need to use a flat (matte finish) paint. Ask them at the paint store for whatever is the most matte finish. I used Behr **. Cutting Edge Stencils recommends Ben by Benjamin Moore (link) but any flat paint will do. For this project I wanted a white ‘background”. Actually with this stencil the larger area is the stenciled portion, and the background is the lesser area. Here is what I mean
Billy Bookcase Stencil Tutorial
Choose the colour that you are using as your background colour (see above), and do 2 coats, on the bookcase backing and let dry.
Here is the stencil that I used for this project. Decide where you want to start your stencil. For this project I chose the part of the stencil that I deemed to be the center of my designCenter that at the top of your backer- board. Make sure it’s straight. With the vision all over stencil it has a somewhat random pattern, so it doesn’t really have an edge to line up against. So, I chose 2 points where it was ‘even’ and measured to the edge, since I started stenciling in the center of my board. You don’t need to use spray adhesive. Just lay the stencil where you want it and use a couple of small pieces of painter’s tape to hold it in place.
For my stencil (main) colour I went with Rust-Oleum Metallics in Sterling Silver I had never used this paint before and I LOVE IT!!!! I will totally use it again. You don’t need much paint. I probably could have completed this project with about one fourth of the amount I bought. So, for a small project like this you could get away with a craft sized paint like this.
I bought my paint tray at Dollarama for $1. Then afterwards I went back and bought 4 more 🙂 these are so great, I like them better than the ones I used to buy for way more at Home Depot! (sorry home depot 😉 I used a beauty tone mini velvet roller. I bought mine at Home Hardware. This one is similar. This is my new favourite roller. It holds a lot of paint without getting “gloppy” 🙂 and it’s super easy to clean, because it’s foam, so you can squeeze it. I have used mine over and over.
Stir or mix your paint, and pour a small amount into the tray. Cover your roller, and roll off excess on paper towel. Roll gently over your stencil. Do not push down hard, or you will get bleeding.
Truthfully, you will get bleeding anyway, but you will get less if you roll gently. Roll in multiple directions until all of the open stencil area is covered.
Then gently lift and re-position the stencil. If your base paint is flat, it absorbs and dries fast, so you shouldn’t get smearing. But move the stencil carefully, lining up the overlap areas, and re-tape. Repeat this process until the full area that you want stenciled is complete. With the backing for the bookcases, there are no corners, so it’s pretty easy. If you have small areas left over, go back once the paint is dry, and lay the stencil in place to get the small areas coated. Let dry and slip it back into the back of the bookcase.
And here is what it looks like up close. There is definitely some bleeding, but you really won’t see it from far away. I did take the time to touch up one of the boards, but you can’t really tell which one. So, honestly I wouldn’t bother.
I found the most efficient way to wash my stencil was outside with the hose! We have a gravel area at the side of our house, where I do all of my outdoor painting and other messy endeavors. Using the spray nozzle on “jet” to rinse off the paint. Of course, it was summer time when I did this 🙂
Then I ran over both sides with a small dish brush to loosen any dried paint. Once clean I put it in between a couple of layers of paper towel to dry.
These stencils are very robust, and can be used over and over. And here are the finished bookcases, looking classy.
And that’s is my Billy bookcase stencil tutorial! Very easy, and there are soooo many different designs you can choose from. Check out some here:
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Pretty ingenious. Helps to bring back a bookshelf to life. I really like that pattern.
Thanks Amanda. It looks so much nicer doesn’t it?! The pattern is vision all over from cutting edge stencils.
What a great tutorial! I love a good Ikea hack!
Thanks Nat. I do too!