Makeover — Amanda’s “Mushroom Chair”

by Amanda Reass

Today come into the garden, kick back with a cold beverage and enjoy the story of the “Mushroom Chair,” a Makeover project from Design Junkie Amanda Reass of Columbus, Ohio.

Last October my fiancé and I moved into the house that my grandparents had lived in for 30+ years. We didn’t mind taking on the task of painting and updating the décor in exchange for low rent, and I was thrilled to take over Grandma’s garden.

Mushroom Chair in Amanda's Garden

At our previous house we had a front stoop that was just great for all my potted herbs and such, but I had no such luck with a spot for pots at the new place. We have a bit of a rabbit problem, so I didn’t want to leave them sitting on the patio, plus that was just not the most attractive option.

I was tooling around with various boxes and tables trying to come up with a solution for the potted plants; I started poking around in the garage when I stumbled upon this chair. It was all beat up and had definitely seen better days. The matching table and other three chairs were long gone. I decided that the chair would make a great plant stand, but it was in need of a big makeover.

Mushroom Chair Before

I later found out from my mom that when she was little, the chair (it was old and beat up even then) lived in the root cellar at the house on Ward Road–the house my grandparents lived in before the current one–down the street and around the corner.

She told me a mushroom grew out of the knot in the back. A mushroom so big that it made it into the Columbus paper. With a story like that I just couldn’t bring myself to throw it out!

The chrome was peeling off the legs and the vinyl and padding needed to be stripped from the seat. I unscrewed the back and seat, scrubbed the chrome with steel wool and sprayed it down with the highest setting on the hose sprayer. Once it was all cleaned up and dry, I spray painted the chair pumpkin orange. Many of my pots are green and yellow, so I thought a splash of orange would be a nice touch.

Mushroom Chair in Progress

Once the two coats of paint were dry, I painted the floral design on the back. I found a few vintage 70’s embroidery designs from Green Light GO! on Flickr that I really liked and thought would make a great design for the chair.

Using tracing paper, I took bits and pieces from the three designs to come up with something that filled the space appropriately and freehand painted it with basic acrylic craft paint.

Design Inspired by Embroidery

Here are the links to the floral designs:

List of supplies:

  1. Steel wool
  2. Scrub brush and soapy water
  3. 2 cans orange spray paint
  4. Tracing paper
  5. Acrylic craft paint – variety of colors
  6. Paint brushes – small and large sizes

Now the chair that once was home to a giant mushroom is a bright and cheerful garden plant stand!

Mushroom Chair After

Thanks Amanda for sharing the tale of your marvelous mushroom chair, and for the DIY instructions.


What’s your story about renovating a piece of family furniture?

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4 Comments for “Makeover — Amanda’s “Mushroom Chair””

This is beautiful, and I’m glad to see a tute on it!
I’m so happy you put some of my patterns to such good use! I adore this chair- fantastic- so beautiful!

Wow, this is so pretty! I love that the pattern links are included. Now I just need to find something to repaint. Thanks so much, I’ll be linking to this.

Hi Rachel,

Thanks for the link!

— Kathy

love the chair and the orange color choice.
So many chairs to save so little time. I recently found a chair myself that was in dire need of attention. I have decide to sandblast her and repaint, along with a stained wood seat and back. My souls passion are chairs feel free to post a comment on my site. Visit “The little chair that could”. 🙂

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