Ikea Billy Bookcase Hack – Funky Desk

We’re always designing and making in studio R&B and we wanted a worktable we could stand at for designing and cutting out projects. We love this faux bois budget worktable, it gives us everything we wanted, loads of style, a big workspace packed with extra storage. This project is super easy to put together using readily accessible Billy bookcases and a flush door, pulled together with an easy bang on trend faux bois paint finish.



Billy Book Case Work Table


4x Billy bookcase

Flush door

Emulsion paint


Universal primer

Roller and tray

Masking tape

Kitchen roll

Paint brush

Paint kettle


Measuring jug

Spoon for mixing

Graining Rocker and Combination comb available online


Follow the instructions that come with the Billy bookcases to assemble the four worktable supports. To make the bookcases boxier, we cut the lower skirting section off at the base with a saw, making the bottom shelf flush with the floor.


Paint the bookcases, shelves and door with primer suitable for melamine, and then use a roller to apply two coats of the white emulsion.


Paint lining paper with white emulsion so you can practice the faux bois graining technique. For the graining glaze mix together 1lt orange emulsion with 1lt acrylic scumble glaze. Paint a generous coat of glaze onto the lining paper. Take the graining rocker and pull through the glaze using a rocking motion to create the wood grain design. When you are happy with your paper practices start graining the furniture surfaces.


To get varied woody effects, try using different rocking speeds and for simple graining use the combination comb dragged through the glaze. For best results be generous when applying the glaze and work quickly. To work the glaze while it stays open paint and grain in small sections, brush the glaze on in stripes the width of the graining rocker. After each pass clean off graining tools with kitchen roll. Don’t forget to paint the edges of the shelves and table top, glaze and run the comb over it.


When all the furniture surfaces are faux bois grained, leave to dry thoroughly for a couple of days, to protect the surfaces apply varnish before assembling the furniture. To make the structure more secure use a very strong wood adhesive product, cutting out the need for nails and screws.


Credits for product and styling:



Flush door




white and orange emulsion




Scumble glaze




Liberty Tana lawn fabric




scissors, tape measure pins, buttons




Rug and lamp



Cambridge Imprint

Printed papers




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