I used a faux fireplace that my hubby built awhile ago and added billy bookcases from IKEA to create a built in entertainment center. I love the look of custom built in wall units. I started researching tips on how to make my own and realized that many of the tutorials I found used Ikea hacks. Mainly using the Billy bookcase. I went to Ikea and unfortunately they were sold out. I was looking for the tall, skinny ones. They were also sold out online. So I searched Facebook Marketplace. I found someone selling 2 (exactly what I was needing) and get this…they live 5 minutes from me. And the best part? They were already assembled. Score!! I didn’t even care that they were black since I was going to be painting them anyway. I lightly sanded them and then added a coat of primer. I wasn’t worried about the back inside because I planned on adding wainscoting there.
DIY Built In Entertainment Center
Once I got it cut down I placed the bookcases where I wanted them, which was a bit off the ground so I built a couple of boxes for the bookcases to sit on. I used 1 x 6 pieces of pine board and basically just made a box and then added a piece of plywood on top that I cut to fit. The bookcases fit perfectly on top with a enough space to add 1 x 4 trim around the edges.
I placed the bookcases where I wanted them, which was a bit off the ground so I built a couple of boxes for the bookcases to sit on. I used 1 x 6 pieces of pine board and basically just made a box and then added a piece of plywood on top that I cut to fit. The bookcases fit perfectly on top with a enough space to add 1 x 4 trim around the edges.
I then added 1 x 4 pieces of pine around the base of the bookcases and also added some new pieces of 1 x 3 trim to the fireplace. I also added decorative moulding around the boxes that the bookcases are sitting on. I just used what I had taken off the fireplace so that it all looked the same. The point was trying to make it look like one cohesive piece of furniture.
I went around and added pieces of trim on the corners and sides.
Once I got the top put back on and all the trim and moulding done I started painting the whole thing. I used Antique White from Glidden in a flat finish. I personally like using flat paint for furniture projects. It gives the piece more of a chalky finish. You can find this paint at Home Depot. It’s actually the paint and color I have used throughout my home. It’s the perfect creamy white.
I wanted something in the back that would look a little nicer than just the cardboard backing that was in the bookcases. I had some wainscot paneling on hand from a previous project so I just cut and pieced it in between the shelving. I also added 1 x 2 pieces on the sides. This did make the shelves more permanent so if you want adjustable shelving you won’t want to add these additional steps.
For the shelf above the TV I used a 1/2″ thick x 11 3/4″ deep piece of bullnose shelving from Home Depot. I fastened a piece of 1 x 2 on each bookcase for the shelf to sit on. I used the existing holes for the bookcase shelves to screw the pieces of 1 x 2 in.
I am so pleased with how this project turned out. It’s totally custom and fits the space we needed it in perfectly. And I did most of this by myself. I only had my hubby help me with a couple of cuts. And the total cost…$110!!
Here’s the cost breakdown and materials I used.
- Ikea Billy bookcases – $50 (found on FB Marketplace)
- 1 x 2 premium select pine (7 total) – $45
- Bullnose shelving – $9
- Caulking – $6
The rest of the items I already on hand.
- Decorative moulding
- Wainscot paneling
- 1 x 6 pine board
- 1 x 4 pine board
- 1 x 3 pine board
- Fireplace surround and insert
- Wood, caulking, finish nails, paint (Home Depot)
- Bookcases (Ikea)
- Fireplace Insert (Touchstone Home)