Building our Custom DIY Built-ins using Ikea Besta Cabinets!
In this post on, DIY Living Room Built-Ins: Ikea Besta Hack: Part 2 The Build, I am going to break down each step I took to get thee living room ready for this makeover and adding custom diy built-ins using the Ikea besta cabinets. This post will give everything you need to know to build your own built-ins as well as give you some inspiration to implement the design that fits your style!
The Better Homes & Garden One Room Challenge Week Two & Three:
If you missed my first post, Part One, go check it out so you can catch up on what the BHG One Room Challenge is and the design & moodboard for this project! This post, DIY Custom Built-ins: Ikea Cabinet Hack : Part 2, covers the One Room Challenge weeks 2 & 3 progress on the DIY Built-ins we are building ourselves! In the first post we covered the design, plan and moodboard for the project and in this post we are sharing each step of this process of building our own custom built-ins.
How to Prepare the space for DIY Built-Ins
This week I made my way back to Ikea to pick up my second ikea cabinet base using the Besta Cabinets. I chose these over stock cabinets because they were already painted and ready to be installed and the dimensions of two of the cabinets fit along my wall perfectly. That means I only had to buy two of the Ikea Besta Cabinets which each had three storage spaces giving me 6 storage spots. The next step I took was giving the living room a couple coats of fresh white paint!
Being a mom and finding time for diy projects is super hard! Don’t mind the mess I’m working in between nap times and after bedtimes so my time is limited. Once I got the room painted, I moved on to assembling the base for the built ins. I’m using the BESTA tv stand from ikea with the Havenka cabinet doors.
This is it with just one base…
Two was definitely the way to go!! I think you’ll be shocked to see how wide it actually made the room look! And SO MUCH STORAGE!!
Building the Base for the Built-Ins
I built a base using 2×4’s to get the cabinets 5.5 inches off the ground so they sit above the baseboard and fit snug between the walls. I plan to cover the base with a matching baseboard to tie it all together.
So here is how it looks with two units side by side on the frame that I built!
The painters tape indicates where the custom shelving will be placed once I add those on top.
After the shelves are built I’ll move on to adding the shiplap and painting everything the same color as the walls! I feel like I can definitely see it coming together just how I envisioned and I am loving it so far!!
Make sure to check out all the other One Room Challenge Participants at this link here! There are a lot of spaces that are making me want to start another project ASAP lol
Material List for The Custom Built-ins:
- 3/4 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. PureBond Birch Plywood
- Pocket Hole Screws (make sure their the right size- for 3/4 plywood you would need 1-1/4-inch pocket hole screws)
- Wood Stain ( I used special walnut & white)
- Gap Filler (for spaces larger than the caulk can fill)
- 1×2’s (for the face frame and shelving spacers)
Tools You need to diy custom built-ins:
Below I linked the tools that I used-which are great beginner tools to get started on DIY
- Circular Saw (This is what I used to rip my plywood down and cut my shelves but for a beginner I would recommend having Home Depot making your cuts for you or starting with the table saw-it will be easier to rip the bigger pieces)
- Kreg Jig ( to create the pocket holes)
- Miter Saw
- Table Saw ( you only need this if you are ripping your plywood by yourself-* Home Depot can rip your plywood boards down before you buy them if you ask*)
- Caulk Gun
- Brad Nailer
Step By Step Guide To Building The DIY Custom-Built-ins:
Step 1: Preparing the Plywood
Ripping down the plywood to create the sides and top of the built-in shelving unit.
- I started by ripping down the plywood to make the sides and top of the built-in shelving unit. I made mine 11 inches deep and the appropriate height and width (for the piece across the top).
TIP– Check with your local Home Depot they can cut your plywood on their saw and it will make it so much easier for you to transfer and safe you the measuring and cutting!
Step 2: Assembling the Shelves
Using the Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes
2. Then I used my Kreg Jig to drill pilot holes in the center top piece, then I used my drill and the pocket holes to attach the center piece to the two side pieces. I used a little strip on the bottom to help keep it square and it will attach the unit to the wall.
What is a Pocket Hole?
Pocket Hole–A “pocket hole” is a type of concealed, angled hole in wood used for secure and discreet screw joinery to connect pieces at right angles.
Step 3: Cutting And Creating Shelves
Cutting the horizontal shelves out of 1/2-inch plywood and creating a little box for each shelf level using a 1×2 Filler.
3. Then I cut the shelves (horizontal pieces) out of the 1/2 plywood to attach inside the shelving unit. I cut two exact pieces for each level of the shelf because I am putting in a little 1×2 base to hold the face frame of the shelf to make them the thickness I wanted. Essentially I am building like a little box for each shelf level- you can see the example in the picture.
So each bottom of the horizontal boards are pocket holed to the sides (this is like my bottom piece of bread in this little shelving sandwich). Then the 1×2 filler piece (the meat of the sandwich) is nailed on top of the bottom shelf (one piece in the front and one piece in the back to keep it level) using my brad nailer then I later add the other shelf on top (the top piece of bread)
Step 4: Dry Fitting
Dry fitting the structure in the designated space.
4. I dry fit it in my space before I got any further to make sure that the structure itself fit perfectly. Here it is on top of the Ikea Besta Cabinets we installed earlier.
Step 5: Staining & Sealing
Staining the top, front, and bottom of the shelf boxes and adding wax for sealing.
5. Next I stained the top, front and bottom of the shelf boxes. I left the bottom layer attached with the pocket holes while staining them and then did the top shelf and front piece before I connected them. To accomplish this look (pictured below) I used the the special walnut then wiped it off and added the white stain on top. I added a wax to seal them.
Step 6: Attaching the Face Frames
Attaching 1×2 face frames to the shelf structure, filling any gaps with wood filler and painting the white part of the structure.
6. In this step I added the 1×2 face frames to the shelf structure itself. It went around the outside on the front of each shelf body. Once I nailed the face frames on, I used some wood filler to fill any gaps, then sanded it down to make sure it was smooth and primed for painting. Once that was done I painted the white part of the structure. It probably would have been easier to paint the shelving body white before I attached the first layer of the shelf sandwich.
7. Finishing the Shelf Boxes
Adding the gap piece and the top part of the shelf and 1×3 strips for the front of the “shelf boxes.”
7. Then I added the gap piece on top of the bottom shelves and just nailed in a strip on the front and back. Then I added the top part of the shelf-nailed that on top and then added the 1×3 strips I used for the front of the “shelf boxes”. Picture below with the face frames and the shelf boxes on the custom built-ins.
Step 8: Securing To the Wall
Using the hidden bottom 4-inch strip to secure the shelves to the walls
8. After the shelves were on top of the cabinets, I used that hidden bottom 4 inch strip that went across the bottom to secure them to the walls. I also attached a screenshot from the top inside of the shelf into a ceiling joist for extra support.
Step 9: Caulking the Built-Ins
Filling the gaps for a seamless look
9. I went through and added caulk on the inside corners and along the walls to make sure it looks seamless ( I actually saved this step for last for me but I would recommend doing it at this step of your custom built-ins. )
TIP–When applying caulk: Cut the tip at a small 45 degree angle and then use a baby wipe to remove the excess from the bead of caulk. The slight moistness of the wipe keeps the line clean. Another option is to take a squirt bottle with water and a dash of dish soap and spray that on the line before removing the excess caulk.
Step 10: Adding Faux Shiplap
Creating an affordable shiplap look by ripping underlayment into 4.5-inch strips
10. I wanted to add some shiplap behind the tv portion of the custom built-ins but I didn’t want to run my costs up so to make it extra affordable I ripped a piece of underlayment into 4.5 in strips and nailed those to the studs behind the tv. I used a quarter to space each board to give it that shiplap look. Then I caulked around the border of the faux shiplap to make it seamless. Shiplap look for way less! I chose faux shiplap because I wanted a lower profile ( didn’t want the thickness of real shiplap). I caulked and painted the shiplap to finish it off.
Faux Shiplap Savings Breakdown:
The faux shiplap (this underlayment) cost me $26 total. I cut it down to size and then nailed it on and if you account for the cost of nails and caulk too, total this costs around $45. Real shiplap (like this one) would have cost me $13 for every 2ish boards. That total would have been around $91 just for the boards, I still would have to add $20 for the nails and caulk as well. That is a total savings of $65!
Step 11: Adding the Baseboard
give your custom built-ins a finished and seamlessly Look by adding a baseboard
11. Badeboards, trima and the caulk are the most important ways to make these diy built-ins look actually custom and built in to the space. We added the baseboard on the bottom to the base we built first. I also added trim around the top to help fill any gaps and give it a little pop. I do wish I almost went bigger!
How to Install Your Baseboards:
- Measure and Plan: Begin by measuring the length of the baseboard needed for the bottom of your built-ins. Ensure that it aligns with the width of the shelving unit and any gaps are accurately measured.
- Mitering the Corners: To create clean, professional-looking corners, use a Miter Saw to cut the ends of the baseboard at 45-degree angles. You will also want to bevel your cut so this is going to be know as a compound cut. For inside corners, make sure the mitered edges meet neatly. For outside corners, position the mitered edges to form a perfect angle.
- Secure the Baseboard: Press it firmly against the front of the built-in structure and use finishing nails to secure the baseboard in place. Ensure that the nails are countersunk just below the surface of the baseboard.
- Fill Nail Holes: After attaching the baseboard, fill any visible nail holes with wood filler or putty that matches the baseboard’s color. Allow it to dry, and then sand it smooth. I love this convenient little hole filler for small holes- it is like a two in one!
- Paint or Stain: Finish by painting or staining the baseboard to match the color of your custom built-ins for a seamless and cohesive appearance.
What is a Bevel Cut?
Bevel Cut – is when a saw blade tilts or angles to make an angled cut along the thickness of a material, creating a sloping edge.
What is a Miter Cut?
Mitered cut– is made by angling a saw blade to create a precise angle across the width of a material. This results in two pieces that can be joined to form a specific angle, often used in corner joints, picture frames, and molding.
What is a Compound Cut?
Compound Cut: A compound cut is a combination of both a bevel and a miter cut, where the saw blade tilts and angles simultaneously. This type of cut is used to create complex angles, especially when working with materials that meet at various angles in three dimensions, like crown molding.