Plakbanterie: Refinishing Furniture, Recycling Becomes Art


Following the "It’s not what you are that counts, it’s what they think you are!" ideal, designer Johan Bruninx renews old furniture with an unusual medium: he covers scratched, dented pieces with paper packaging tape. Winding and weaving it into intricate patterns, the "refinished" furniture, which he calls "Plakbanterie," looks like more traditional wooden marquetry techniques; at a distance, it takes on the appearance of real wood.

Bruninx showed the project at the Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show 2007, held during Dutch Design Week. It's a great DIY idea for some of those Craigslist pieces -- we'd stay away from intricate patterns or detailed woodworking -- that you don't have the time, energy or space to properly refinish. Hit the jump to see more examples of this unique, artful (and easy!) reclaiming technique, along with some of the designer's thoughts about it, via ::dezeen
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The objective was to upgrade the value of old material by using brown eco tape in a crafty way, similar to the art of marqueterie.


By creating patterns with the tape one gets an aesthetic quality and a change of identity. We move from functional to ornamental values. From low to high, from packaging to an haute couture skin.


Because of the association with marquetry the paper skin becomes like wood… the ultimate disguise!

Ceci n’est pas du bois!

Concealing cracks, dents and scratches, a second skin of ordinary brown sticky tape gives old furniture a new identity. Saving old discriminated furniture by the use of smart camouflage ads to future trends in the recycling industry. Recycling becomes art!

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