DIY gold bookshelf


DIY gold bookshelf

DIY gold ikea bookshelf

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.

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)…

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 ikea bookshelf

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.

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!

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

Kathryn Hawkes

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  • Lauren 20/09/2017 at 5:58 PM

    When spray painting the long pieces did you spray paint 1 side and then wait for it to dry and then spray paint the other? If you spray painted it all at once, how did you let it dry with out ruining the paint on one side?

    • Lauren 20/09/2017 at 6:03 PM

      Never mind I see an earlier comment you said you put it together first. Since that is the case, how did you avoid getting paint on the glass?

      • Lauren 22/09/2017 at 12:26 AM

        Sorry, also how did you put the contact paper on the top and bottom shelf? and did you do this before or after spray painting / fully assembling?

        • Kathryn Hawkes 22/09/2017 at 7:26 PM

          Hi Lauren, Hi did the contact paper on the shelf whilst it was unassembled and added those two pieces in at the end when I put the glass shelves in.

      • Kathryn Hawkes 22/09/2017 at 7:24 PM

        Hi Lauren, I only put the glass in at the end when everything was dried and sealed.

  • […] Via House of Hawkes […]

  • villa painting 18/05/2017 at 11:15 AM

    someone spray paints something gold a DIY’er gets their wings. 😀 Hee hee. I’m such a lover of this bookshelf, you had my heart at gold!!

  • […] are talking VITTSJO, the VITTSJO bookcase also makes for an easy and delightful hack! This hack by House of Hawkes also painted the frame in gold and added paper on the top and bottom shelf for even more […]

  • […] contact paper didn’t affect the fit, so they still slid right into place. It was an idea that she found on Pinterest a while back and had always wanted to try – and it could not have been […]

  • Laura Abrams Design 11/02/2017 at 2:26 AM

    Wow! Nice job. Looking for shelf styling inspiration and I cam across your blog.

  • […] a can of spray paint and a roll of marble contact paper, House of Hawkes hacked an IKEA VITTSJO shelving unit for less than $ […]

  • Irene 02/09/2016 at 9:26 AM

    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?

    • Kathryn Hawkes 08/09/2016 at 5:09 PM

      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

  • Lindsey 12/08/2016 at 10:24 PM

    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?

  • Jenny 11/07/2016 at 6:33 AM

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

  • Lindsy 19/06/2016 at 3:22 AM

    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!

    • Kathryn Hawkes 19/06/2016 at 9:45 PM

      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

  • THE MAKERS NO. 43 - Club Narwhal 25/05/2016 at 3:15 PM

    […] blogger! Kathryn from House of Hawkes brought some serious glam and high fashion to an otherwise simple Ikea bookshelf. Not only the transformation brings that wow factor, but you’ll love how she styled it! See […]

  • […] Via House of Hawkes […]

  • erica guadagnoli 23/02/2016 at 1:40 AM

    can you tell me how many inches apart the shelves are from one another?

    • Kathryn Hawkes 23/02/2016 at 9:05 PM

      Hi Erica, the shelves are approximately 39 cm apart. Kath

      • Erica Guadagnoli 24/02/2016 at 8:54 PM

        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 🙂

  • […] via 1, 2, 3, […]

  • Alina 15/02/2016 at 7:31 AM

    Hey Kathryn!

    I was just curious what color desk would look good with this bookshelf?

  • […] But…I did find some excellent examples here, here and here. […]

  • The Makers Link Party 28/10/2015 at 9:56 AM

    […] blogger! Kathryn from House of Hawkes brought some serious glam and high fashion to an otherwise simple Ikea bookshelf. Not only the transformation brings that wow factor, but you’ll love how she styled it! See […]

  • deb 17/08/2015 at 5:00 PM

    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 ??

    • Kathryn Hawkes 17/08/2015 at 5:42 PM

      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

  • Amanda Duty 14/04/2015 at 9:15 AM

    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 !

    • Kathryn Hawkes 15/04/2015 at 12:53 PM

      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

  • Amazing Furniture Transformations 13/04/2015 at 4:30 PM

    […] home needs a little gold and glam, and House of Hawkes brought it with a beautiful glitzy Ikea hack. A little spray paint can go a long way to making the […]

  • […] Images: emily henderson, bright bold and beautiful, bright bold and beautiful, centsational girl, domaine, house of hawkes […]

  • […] blogger! Kathryn from House of Hawkes brought some serious glam and high fashion to an otherwise simple Ikea bookshelf. Not only the transformation brings that wow factor, but you’ll love how she styled it! See […]

  • […] Updated Ikea Bookshelf from House of Hawkes […]

  • […] The VITTSJO shelving unit comes in all different shapes and sizes and originally comes in black metal but you’ll find it spray painted in gold all over Pinterest. Either way you prefer to have it, it is a great piece to showcase decor, photos, and magazines in your home. You can check out how this Ikea product brought this space back to life here. […]

  • Alena 03/03/2015 at 3:11 AM

    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!

    • Kathryn Hawkes 03/03/2015 at 10:24 AM

      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

  • Sabrina 24/02/2015 at 8:32 PM

    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?

    • Kathryn Hawkes 25/02/2015 at 11:51 AM

      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

      • Diana 30/08/2015 at 3:47 AM

        May I ask what clear coat you used in the end? Was it also a spray paint coat? Thank you!

        • Kathryn Hawkes 30/08/2015 at 10:04 AM

          Hi Diana, yes, it was a clear, matte spray coat that I used to finish it off. Good luck with your project.

  • Bekka 17/02/2015 at 6:25 AM

    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 🙂


  • […] The Everygirl | Style me Pretty | Unknown | House of Hawkes | Style by Emily Henderson | Danielle Oakey Interiors | A Joyful Melody | Dwellings By DeVore […]

  • […] Now I’d love to say that I’m a determined DIY’er who was unfazed by the sanding ordeal, but frankly, I am not, and the only thing I took away from this project was the certainty that there would be no further attempts to make over any solid wood furniture. So the dresser found a lovely new home via Dubizzle and the book case was replaced with a simple Ikea counterpart that I transformed into a fabulous gold number. A much simpler DIY project by all accounts. And with great results. See more on that here. […]

  • Grace 31/01/2015 at 1:45 AM

    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!

    • Kathryn Hawkes 31/01/2015 at 9:33 PM

      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

  • Kat 13/01/2015 at 11:03 PM

    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!

    • Kathryn Hawkes 13/01/2015 at 11:15 PM

      Hi Kat, thanks so much for your kind comment. The wall colour is Benjamin Moore’s ‘revere pewter. Kath

  • […] This is the look I am going for with the shelves (minus the marbling of the top and bottom shelves)  via House Of Hawkes […]

  • Moyo 26/12/2014 at 10:48 PM

    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!

    • Kathryn Hawkes 27/12/2014 at 10:15 PM

      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

  • Elliott 25/12/2014 at 2:22 AM

    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!

    • Kathryn Hawkes 27/12/2014 at 10:13 PM

      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

  • Laura Irion // Avery Street Design 27/11/2014 at 7:49 AM

    Hi again Kathryn! Just wanted to let you know I’ve featured this project as a favorite for Found & Foraged!! Hope to see you back again this weekend. Thanks again for sharing it! xoxo!!

  • Kyla @ House Of Hipsters 21/11/2014 at 1:25 AM

    Girl! You won our hearts with this! LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Thank you so much for linking up at Found & Foraged! PINNED! Hope to see you again this Saturday night at 8PM at

  • […] Without further ado…. These amazing room transformations! Kitchen Makeover at Lemon Thistle  | Bathroom Makeover at Sypsie | Pantry Makeover at A Prudent Life There were so many beautiful tablescapes, we wanted to share them all! Delineate Your Dwelling  | Hawthorne and Main |Blooming Homestead | Lolly Jane And finally, these adorable, incredible DIY projects just plain blew us away! Sweater Stockings at Confessions of a Serial DIYer | Chest Makeover at Confessions of a Serial DIYer | IKEA Hack at House of Hawkes   […]

  • Beth 17/11/2014 at 12:11 AM

    Did you sand the bookshelf before you painted it? What about primer?

    • Kathryn Hawkes 17/11/2014 at 8:00 AM

      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

  • Grace @ The Big Reveal 16/11/2014 at 7:47 PM

    Oooh! I love a good Ikea hack! This is gorgeous. So glad you linked it up at our Found & Foraged Linky Party. Hope to see you again next week.

  • Laura Irion // Avery Street Design 16/11/2014 at 10:19 AM

    I can’t even tell you how much I love this. It was pinned immediately before I even finished reading the post. Your styling is SO good! And the bookcase is beautiful. Thank you so much for linking this to Found & Foraged!!

  • Emily 13/11/2014 at 10:26 PM

    Love, Love,Love it! Thanks for sharing with us at Your Designs This Time!

    Emily & Erin

  • Kyla @HouseOfHipsters 13/11/2014 at 8:44 AM

    One of THE best IKEA hacks I’ve seen! This is great! You must come to our new linky party starting this Saturday at 8pm called “Found & Foraged” Can’t wait to party with you at This project would be absolutely perfect for it!

  • […] blogger! Kathryn from House of Hawkes brought some serious glam and high fashion to an otherwise simple Ikea bookshelf. Not only the transformation brings that wow factor, but you’ll love how she styled it! See […]

  • adesigndiary 11/11/2014 at 11:58 AM

    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!

    • Kathryn Hawkes 11/11/2014 at 5:41 PM

      Hi Julie! It’s kind of addictive once you start, but such fun. Thanks for your stopping by and saying hi x

  • loulou 10/11/2014 at 8:51 PM

    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!)

  • Ursula @ Home Made by Carmona 07/11/2014 at 3:34 AM

    Every time someone spray paints something gold a DIY’er gets their wings. 😀 Hee hee. I’m such a lover of this bookshelf, you had my heart at gold!!
    Thanks for linking up with us at The Makers!

    • Kathryn Hawkes 07/11/2014 at 6:47 AM

      Hi Ursula, that’s hilarious and brilliant! Thanks so much for the kind words and for stopping by my blog. Kath

  • Tamryn D'Aubrey 06/11/2014 at 7:42 PM

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

  • Jacqui Madsen 06/11/2014 at 4:50 PM

    Looks amazing Kath! Love it xx

  • Candice 06/11/2014 at 10:37 AM

    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

  • Jessica 06/11/2014 at 10:05 AM

    It looks amazing ~ completely and utterly inspired to have a go myself! Xx

  • Monique 06/11/2014 at 10:05 AM

    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!

    • Kathryn Hawkes 06/11/2014 at 12:08 PM

      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

  • Britt 06/11/2014 at 8:46 AM

    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

    • Kathryn Hawkes 06/11/2014 at 8:54 AM

      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

  • Sarah 06/11/2014 at 8:42 AM

    Wow! It looks great Kath! Very clever!

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    Hi, I’m Kathryn

    Hi, I’m Kathryn

    House of Hawkes is a boutique interior design studio based in Dubai. This website is where it all began and remains a creative platform for sharing my work, my love of design and things that inspire me. Come on over & meet the team.

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