Upgrade Your Home Decor: Painting Tips for IKEA Billy Bookcases and Sektion Cabinets

Upgrade Your Home Decor: Painting Tips for IKEA Billy Bookcases and Sektion Cabinets


When it comes to home decor, IKEA furniture is a popular choice for its affordability and functionality. However, sometimes the standard finishes may not match your desired aesthetic. Luckily, you can easily upgrade your IKEA Billy bookcases and Sektion cabinets with a fresh coat of paint. In this guide, we will provide you with comprehensive painting tips to transform your basic IKEA furniture into stylish pieces that seamlessly blend with your home decor.

Preparation is Key

  1. Choose the Right Paint: Select a high-quality paint suitable for furniture, such as acrylic, latex, or chalk paint. Consider the finish you desire – matte, satin, or glossy – depending on the look you want to achieve.
  2. Prepare the Surface: Properly prepare the surfaces by cleaning them thoroughly. Remove any dust, dirt, or grease using a mild detergent and water solution. For glossy finishes, lightly sand the surface to create a better bonding surface for the paint.
  3. Remove Hardware: If possible, disassemble the furniture and remove any handles, knobs, or hinges. This will ensure an even paint application and prevent the hardware from getting damaged.

Priming for Success

  1. Choose the Right Primer: Use a primer specifically designed for furniture painting. It helps the paint adhere better and provides a smooth surface for an even finish. Consider a stain-blocking primer if you’re painting over a dark or stained surface.
  2. Apply Primer Evenly: Use a brush or spray gun to apply the primer evenly across all surfaces. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding drying times and number of coats needed.

Painting Techniques

  1. Brush vs. Spray: While brushes are excellent for detailed work and smaller surfaces, spray guns provide a more professional, even finish on larger pieces like cabinets. Consider using both for optimal results – brushes for corners and edges, and a spray gun for broader areas.
  2. Thin Coats are Better: Apply thin, even coats of paint. Multiple thin coats result in a smoother finish compared to one thick coat, which might drip or show brush marks.
  3. Mind Your Strokes: If you’re using a brush, paint in the direction of the wood grain for a professional look. For spray painting, keep the spray gun moving to avoid pooling and uneven coverage.
  4. Drying Time: Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next one. Rushing this step can lead to tacky or uneven surfaces.

Finishing Touches

  1. Seal the Deal: Once your final coat of paint is completely dry, seal the surface with a clear topcoat. This protects the paint and adds durability to your furniture. Choose a topcoat that matches the sheen of your paint for a cohesive look.
  2. Reassemble with Care: After all the paint and topcoats are dry, reattach the hardware with care. Make sure not to scratch the newly painted surfaces during reassembly.
  3. Personalize with Hardware: Consider upgrading the hardware for a completely new look. Choose handles and knobs that complement your decor style, whether it’s vintage, modern, or industrial.

Maintenance Tips

  1. Handle with Care: While your newly painted furniture is durable, it still requires gentle handling. Avoid slamming doors or drawers to prevent chipping.
  2. Clean Properly: Use a soft, damp cloth to clean painted surfaces. Harsh chemicals can damage the paint and finish over time.
  3. Touch-ups: Keep leftover paint for touch-ups in case of scratches or chips. Proper and timely touch-ups can extend the life of your painted furniture.


With a little creativity and the right techniques, you can transform your IKEA Billy bookcases and Sektion cabinets into personalized pieces that elevate your home decor. By following these painting tips, you can achieve a professional-looking finish that not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your furniture but also adds a touch of uniqueness to your living space. Happy painting!