I have used a set of Billy book selves from Ikea to create a built-in unit. I will be placing the shelves in place, then filling the rest of the holes (which allow for adjustment of the shelves). The intent is for the shelves to stay in place, to never be removed. How should I affix the shelves so they will stay permanently? Obviously I'll be using the pins which come with the book shelves to support the shelves, but I want to ensure they stay in place. Should I use something like Liquid Nails to keep them in place? Would the latex paint I'll be spraying the unit with be enough to hold them in place? Or is there a better way to ensure they don't move?

EDIT NOTE: The shelving units are already in place. If I'd have thought about it before hand, I would have used screws in the side to secure them in place.

  • If there is a tight fit between the shelves and the sides, the latex paint has a good chance of holding them in place under light pressure. Latex paint has "glued" several items together that I wanted to stay mobile.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 16:34
  • @JPhi1618 - I kind of figured that might be the case ... these are setup pretty tight. I'm pretty sure the paint alone will provide some "bondage" to the sides with the pegs providing the support. I guess time will tell ;-) Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


I took a quick look at the assembly instructions. If you wanted the shelves permanently attached the time to do this was while assembling the cabinet. Instead of using the shelf pins you would use wooden dowels as you did with the non-adjustable shelves.

One issue is that the adjustable shelves are going to be slightly shorter than the permanent shelves because they have to leave room to be inserted as well as room to accommodate the thickness of the shelf pins so you'd need to fill in the gap as well.

At this point I think your best bet is to just use the included shelf pins. Particleboard doesn't hold screws well. If you want to immobilize the shelves you can add a couple of pocket screws on either side of the shelf to lock it in place. A Kreg mini pocket hole jig is affordable and easy to use. I've found multiple uses for mine. If you do a lot of DIY projects you might want to look at some of their more versatile projects because pocket screw joinery helps with a lot of things. Check out my post of which Kreg Jig to buy. They also make plugs to fill in the pocket holes that can be sanded and painted.

I wouldn't recommend just using pocket screws because as I said particle board doesn't hold screws well. The shelf pins should give you better support but the screws will prevent someone lifting off the shelf.

Personally though, I would just use the pins and let gravity do it's job keeping the shelves in place. If the weight of items on the shelves causes the particleboard to break or you want to replace them at a later point because the particleboard has started to bow under the weight it's easier if their just on the pins.

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