IKEA HAVSTA, the new favourite for built-in bookshelves

Move over HEMNES, IKEA HAVSTA is taking over.

The quote for a bespoke bookcase was over £3K. We rolled up our shelves and hacked ourselves an IKEA HAVSTA built-in bookcase. We love that we get the bespoke looking finish for the IKEA price!

IKEA HAVSTA storage combination built-in hack

Watch the transformation on our Instagram.

The project took around a week and cost about £1200.

IKEA items used:
IKEA havsta storage

HAVSTA storage combination | Photo: IKEA.com | Buy on IKEA.com

Other materials and tools:

IKEA HAVSTA built-in bookshelf hack instructions: 

1. Assemble the IKEA HAVSTA units. (We decided to omit the back lip of the shelf. Refer to photo above of the original HAVSTA to see it.)

assemble storage units

Related: IKEA HEMNES built-in: Trim and moulding does wonders

2. Screw the units to each other.

3. Then, place an MDF piece across the bottom to create a uniformed looking “plinth”.

add plinth

4. Add MDF to each side and across the top of the units using batons.

add coving

5. Add the coving across the top so it looks like a continuation of the wall.

work in progress

6. Use decorators caulk to hide all the joints.

7. Next, remove the doors for ease of painting.

IKEA HAVSTA storage combination built-in hack

8. Prime the units and mdf. (You can can use a paint sprayer or do it by hand.)

9. Paint the entire unit. We used a sprayer and saved loads of time.

IKEA HAVSTA storage combination built-in hack

10. Seal the paint using a clear paint varnish.

11. Put the doors back on.

IKEA HAVSTA storage combination built-in hack

12. Add new handles.


What was the hardest part about this hack?

Realising we needed a primer after we started to paint!

IKEA HAVSTA storage combination built-in hack
What to pay special attention to?

Take time to practice using a sprayer before starting as there is a bit of knack to it!

Looking back, would you have done it differently?

Sprayed the whole unit with a primer first!

~ by Jo @thenewfrontwall

Jules Yap