Saturday, July 20, 2013

Caulk and a Billy Bookcase: Hiding the Holes

I made the mistake of asking the man, "Can you show me where the caulk is"? Do NOT ask your boyfriend/husband that question unless you want to hear, oh, about 100 jokes about, well, you know...

Trust me. This is experience talking.

This is part 2 of how to make a Billy Bookcase into an Entertainment Center Built-In and this part is soooo simple. It's even easier than the wallpaper project that we did in the previous post and this takes about half the time.

What You Need:
  • Caulk (latex or latex mix recommended)
  • Caulk gun
  • Spatula
  • Paper towels (recommended)
There is a type of caulk that you can buy that doesn't require a gun, but I have never used it before so I can't say how it works. But there are options. If you have questions, just ask your local home depot sales man and I'm sure he'll have the answer! 

There are lots and lots of peg holes in a billy bookcase. It's really not too bad once it's over but when you're just starting the project, well, it just looks overwhelming!


From personal experience, I recommend removing everything off the shelves and then taking a big, deep breath. Now grab that caulk gun and get to work!

That's my serious face.

First, cut the caulk tip off to make it just a tad bit smaller than the holes of the bookcase. This can be done easily with scissors. Snip! Snip! 

Now put the tip into the hole and push down on the trigger, filling the hole completely with caulk plus some more just to make sure.

I overfilled the holes for the sake of the picture. You don't have to add that much.

Personally, I like to fill an entire row at one time before I remove the excess, but you can do this however you like. Just remember that if the caulk gets too dry, then you'll have to use a razor to remove the dried caulk.

 Then you lay the spatula flat against the caulk to push it into the hole and mush it around so that the hole is 100% filled. (Do you like my very professional descriptions?) Add more caulk if needed.

 Now you're ready to scrap off the excess!

 Just run the spatula down the length of the row, removing all of the extra caulk.

Yay! You're done with one row. Now repeat with one of the many rows you have left! 

Make sure to wipe off the spatula with the paper towels before you do the next row!

Big difference, right?

It honestly wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I finished all four bookcases in about an hour.

Here is a little trick! The caulk gun can leak some even if you aren't pushing on the trigger. Stick a nail into the hole to stop any dripping! This is also a great way to store the caulk after you're done with your project. 

Be warned that caulk shrinks slightly after it dries so you may have to do some touch ups the following day. No biggie!  But if your dried caulk is too big for the hole then use a razor to shave away the excess. Personally, I'm a bit OCD so I always run a razor over my finished work the next day, but if you're sanding then it's not really necessary unless there is a lot of extra caulk. 

Now you're done!! Yay!! No sanding require until you're ready to paint. 

If you're building the billy's to look like an entertainment center... then there are only a few steps left. We need to add trim, build a place to store our DVD/DVR and then sanding and painting. Whew! Almost done! 

Er, sort of. 

If you're building a bookcase built-in, then all that's left is trim, sand and paint! 

Happy Caulking!

Part 1: Wallpapering a Billy Bookcase
Sherri Griffin
Sherri Griffin

Thanks for checking out my blog. I get serious about a few things in life: animals, chemicals, and food. For the rest I can't promise anything so keep the bar low. For more about me check out my "About Me" page! Happy DIYing!



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