Hello my lovelies. It’s been a while since I talked ‘DIY’, but I have a great little project to share with you today.

So you know how I’ve been going on about ‘lightening and brightening’ things up in my home for, oh, about a year now? I’ve managed to tick a few boxes here and there (like the purchase of my must-have light), but I’m finally making some real progress. The dining room was in need of a serious overhaul – mostly because it was filled with heavy, dark wood pieces and generally lacked charisma and a sense of direction. Well, that is changing. Its not happening as quickly as I would like, but it is well underway. I hope to share the full makeover with you soon, but for now, this DIY is a small part of what’s going on in there.

Despite the fact that I actually love this old bookshelf, it simply wasn’t in keeping with my new direction so it had to go! For its replacement, I was after something that looked a little more refined and less… shall we say… chunky.

bookshelf-before

I had fallen head-over-heels in love with a beautiful brass bookshelf that I spotted in one of my favorite home stores. Sadly, it cost about three times more than I was planning to spend so I had to reign myself in (very tightly) and walk away, but the seed had been planted and I was on a mission to find something that would give me the look I was now fixated on.

Naturally, I turned to Pinterest and it took all of two minutes to find a fabulous solution to my bookshelf dilemma. It was going to involve a spray paint DIY job. Of the many options, there was one particular bookshelf that looked remarkably similar to the one I’d fallen for. You can imagine my delight when I realized that it was an Ikea gem! I wasted no time in acquiring the lovely VITTSJÖ shelving unit (at the pleasing price of AED 325)…

vittsjo-shelving-unit__0135350_PE292041_S4

And here’s what it looks like now.

DIY gold ikea bookshelf

DIY gold ikea bookshelf

DIY gold ikea bookshelf

DIY gold ikea bookshelf

DIY-gold-bookshelf-D

I’m really pleased with the outcome. And, as always with my DIY projects, it’s super-duper-easy-peasy! The most challenging part was assembling the bookshelf… which I had to do twice. Obviously. This has become standard operating procedure with me and Ikea. All I can say is pay careful attention to those instructions, peeps. It’s tricky business and they are always out to get you.

Once I had the framework put together and spray painted, I had to decide what I wanted to do with the shelves. The three middle shelves are glass but the top and bottom pieces were black veneer, which I didn’t think was going to look great with a coat of gold spray paint. I mean there is no doubt a point at which one is at risk of creating a gold overload. So, I whipped out the old marble contact paper instead. The same one I used to transform my office desk. It gives a lovely contrast to the gold and dare I say I think it even offers an element of sophistication to this modest number.

 

DIY gold bookshelf how to-01

 

Its worth mentioning that I used more spray paint than anticipated. It was three full cans in end. It may be because it took me a while to get the knack of spraying properly so there were a few disaster areas which had to be sanded down and redone. The paint is so inexpensive though that you’d rather have too much than too little. I assure you that you will find something to spray with leftover paint. Did you see the big ‘H’ on my new bookshelf? That used to be plain sheet metal. Enough said.

Now to finish off the rest of the dining room in time for Christmas!

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Linking with: DIY Showoff | Liz Marie Blog | The Blissful Bee | The Makers | Brepurposed | Nifty Thrifty Things | House of Hipsters 

87 thoughts on “DIY gold bookshelf

  1. Irene

    I love this DIY! I’m planning on doing it this weekend, and was wondering if you primed the surface of the shelf at all first. I’m worried that the spray paint won’t bind well to the metal, has it peeled at all for you?

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hello Irene, so sorry that I’ve seen your comment so late – don’t know how I missed it?! I didn’t prime first, but I did use a matte clear varnish layer of spray paint at the end and that seems to have done the trick . Have you done your DIY yet? I would love to hear how it worked out. Kath

      Reply

  2. Lindsey

    Hi – I love this idea but can’t find the equivalent bookshelf on the United States section of Ikea. Do you have one you recommend?

    Reply

  3. Jenny

    Hi there! I love the color of your walls! Do you remember what shade and brand this paint was?

    Reply

  4. Lindsy

    Hi! I just painted my vittsjo side table and I wanted to ask you: how do I prevent the spray paint from leaving drip marks and being smooth? I sprayed and then some areas would drop down. Is that what you meant about sanding and starting over? Help! Any tips welcomed!

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hi Lindsy, if the paint is leaving drip marks, when you are applying too much paint to one area. This usually happens when you hold the spray paint too close to the item you are spraying. And yes, I did have a few areas like that which I sanded down and reapplied the paint to. You will soon get a feel for how far to hold the can. Good luck! Kath x

      Reply

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      1. Erica Guadagnoli

        Thank you for answering! 🙂 I think that is just about 15 inches. I’m going to buy a shelf at ikea this weekend and needed to know what size lamp I could put on there. Of course I will be painting tha shelf gold 🙂

        Reply

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  10. deb

    Quick question, I am considering trying this for my bedroom. I notice at IKEA they have a white and a black bookshelf. Any thoughts if white would be easier to spray and cover than black? It “seems” that it would but maybe it would change the final color or ??

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hi Deb, when I purchased mine, there was only black available. I imagine the white would be a great option – easy to cover and the end result will really be dependant on the spray paint that you select. Good luck! Kath

      Reply

  11. Amanda Duty

    Love this so much I am going to attempt this over the weekend! May I ask where you purchased your marble contact paper and was this the same paper you used for your gorgeous desk makeover? Thanks !

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hi Amanda, don’t know where you’re based but I got the marble paper at GAME in South Africa. I also found other options online, some of which actually look much nicer than what I used… some are considerably more expensive. See here. And lastly, yes – I used the same paper for both projects. Best of luck with yours! Kath x

      Reply

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  17. Alena

    This looks great! I’ve been looking at different tutorials on transforming the Vittsjo series to gold, and I was wondering how you feel about the spray paint vs. gold leaf? A lot of people seem to say the gold leaf gives the bookshelves more dimension, but I’m not sure I want to spend so much money and time since I am hoping to do this to a few pieces of furniture. What are your thoughts? The gold on these looks beautiful in the images!

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hi Alena, thanks for your message. I personally like the spray paint. It’s so quick, easy and fuss-free. I haven’t completed a project with the gold leaf myself, but I have heard is also pretty easy. I do however think that you get a slightly more ‘antique’ finish with the gold leaf so I guess you need to know what look you want to achieve. Best of luck with your project! Kath

      Reply

  18. Sabrina

    I’m doing this project this weekend, just curious did you put the shelf together before spraying it? Or did you first spray the pieces then assemble? And did you spray a finish coat of some sort?

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hi Sabrina, I put the shelf together first and then sprayed. That way, all the screws and things get covered in the same colour. I finished off with a clear coat to seal at the end because the gold was transfering onto a cloth when I wiped it. Good luck with your project. Kath

      Reply

  19. Bekka

    ABSOLUTELY ADORE THIS! Found you on Pinterest… I am planning to jazz up a similar colored metal coffee table that I have. First, did you have to prime? And second, what is the exact brand and color that you used? Hoping mine will turn out as fab as yours! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Best,
    Bekka

    Reply

      1. Bekka

        Thanks, Kathryn! I finally picked up the spray paint today but just re-read what you did and forgot to get an all-purpose paint to seal it. Can you recommend the one that you used? Thanks so much!! 🙂

        Reply

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  22. Grace

    Hi Kathy! This looks amazing!! Where do you find your succulents?? Are they real? And I am loving the pineapple! What is that? Would love to find something similar!

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hi Grace, thanks for the kind words. The succulents are fake 😉 … and they’re so old that I can’t recall where I got them but I know you could find something similar to them, and also the pineapple at The One (if you re in Dubai?) Kath

      Reply

  23. Kat

    Wow! Love those shelves! They look amazing and I love them against your wall color, too! Would you be able to confim what is color/brand the wall paint, by any chance? Many thanks for sharing such a great project!

    Reply

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  25. Moyo

    Hi, this is one of the best hacks of this unit I’ve seen. I ordered my spray paint last night and can’t wait to get to it! I’m really in love with your large “H”.. Do you mind telling me where I can purchase one? Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hi Moyo, thanks for your comment. I found that ‘H’ at Bloomingdales a few years ago. It was a plain sheet metal finish but as you can probably guess, I attacked it with the gold spray paint too. Really loved the outcome on that one. Good luck with your project. Kath

      Reply

  26. Elliott

    Hello! This piece is stunning, I love the marble contact paper as an added touch. Can I ask what brand and colour of spray paint you used? I love the gold.

    Thanks so much!
    Elliott.

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hi Elliot, thanks of your lovely comment. I used the Rustoleum metallic gold paint, as pictured in the post. I tried a few options and this was by far my favourite. Kath

      Reply

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    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Hi Beth, I didn’t sand or prime the new IKEA bookshelf, I just applied the spray paint and finished off with a clear all-purpose spray to seal the paint and prevent scratches. Kath

      Reply

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  29. adesigndiary

    I LOVE your new bookshelf Kathryn! I am now looking around my apartment to see what I can transform with gold spray!
    I have been working on some gold samples for a project and I have a whole can of gold spray paint left over something will definitely get made over soon!

    Reply

  30. loulou

    Wow … that really looks great. What a great IKEA hack. I love how clean and bright it looks (although I also like your old bookshelf!)

    Reply

  31. Tamryn D'Aubrey

    Kath… Stunning!! Ikea is going to sell out of these babies after this post 🙂 well done!! Xxx

    Reply

  32. Candice

    Not only does the book shelf look great but so does the styling of it. Love the pineapple, gold plant container and of course the grey beads. I just learnt they were traditionally used by the Zulu women as teething beads. Xxx

    Reply

  33. Monique

    Wow wow wow! It looks amazing! I loved the old bookcase but I LOVE the new one. I just love the decorations you have put on the shelves. Man, you are just too good. You make it look sooooooo easy. Well done, Kath!

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      Thanks for your kind words, but I have to admit, it’s not always that easy. I had a friend’s advice on some of the styling because two pairs of eyes are always better than one. X

      Reply

  34. Britt

    I LOVE THIS! I thought the old wooden one was gorge, but really love how the gold has lifted and modernised the space. Well done, Kath! I’m defo copying this one! x

    Reply

    1. Kathryn Hawkes Post author

      I know, who would’ve thought you’d see gold in my house! You’ll have so much fun with the spray paint but wear a mask! And send pics, please X

      Reply

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