Meet the girls


    Mak and Jill have been friends since seventh grade. They both were lucky to have creative mamas who encouraged their artistic sides. 

  They have 45 years experience between the two of them upcycling furniture, creating works of art, styling and interior design. They have a beautiful store "The Abode" - located on Avenida Del Mar in downtown San Clemente, where you can find their upcycled furniture, unique finds, and so much more.

They are stockists of Chalk Paint® decorative paint and offer furniture painting workshops, teaching others what they have learned over a lifetime.






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Entries in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (11)


Jack Johnson's Boat Wood Desk

Okay - I just said Jack Johnson to get your attention.  And I think Jack would really like this boat wood finish on our newest piece!  I just decided we will call this desk "Jack".   I remember last year around christmas we had a drift wood Christmas tree, made by one of our artists, Terry Murphy, that was for sale in front of our store.  People loved it and kept mentioning it reminded them of Jack Johnson's Christmas tree that they had seen in a magazine, so I looked it up.  It was so cool.  Just like Jack.  And just like our boat wood desk that we wanted to share with you.


Isn't Jack beautiful?  Check out this view of the top:


















So Jack started out as a sad dated pine desk.  You know, kinda shiny, with wierd planks going in a diamond pattern.  We love these old mexican pieces of pine furniture.  They are sturdy, have some interesting details, nice rustic hardware, and take a makeover extremely well.  This one just screamed "Boat Wood Finish"!!!!

So we got out the paint - lots of different colors - and went to town!  

Check out the layers of colors.....










There are probably 8 to 10 colors used on Jack.  About 3 different colors layered on each plank. 

We applied the paint with a rubber spatula.  You can use a plastic credit card - preferably one you aren't using any more, or a piece of cardboard.  Or a scraper.  My favorite is a rubber spatula.  You just dip it in the paint and kinda frost the plank like you would a cake.  Try not to cover all over, try to get it on kinda thick, and try to get some cool texture.  Let it dry, then do it again with another color.  And do it again.  And again.  And again.

It's actually pretty fun!

So after you apply the last layer, let it just barely dry, then get out a scraper and scrape away in places.  Get down to the wood here and there, and to the underlaying colors where you can.  Then sand it.  Then clear wax it.  And then......the final, and very life altering step - dark wax it!  The dark wax just makes it all meld together and gets this wonderful aged patina.  It's good stuff.

Here are some more inspiring pictures of boat wood finishes....

How about adding some graphics to your boat wood finish?  Oh the possibilities!






I think I could do this!










And I think I could do this too - but wow - that would be lot's of work!  So many slats!!









And this is the kind of piece of furniture you come across quite alot.  So next time you do, give it a boat wood finish!

And if you aren't quite sure you get it - check out the September issue of "This Old House" Magazine.  We were featured in it again!  We are super excited about it, and will be sharing more of that very soon, so keep an eye out.  

In the magazine, we did another boat wood finish table, along with four other projects with step by step instructions.  Like I said - we will share more of that soon.  Until then, keep your eyes out for great pieces to make over, and go for it!


Thank you Annie Sloan

Hello Strangers! It's been a while! I don't know how people own stores, have kids and blog. And do all the other stuff in between. But I'm about to find out, because we have alot to share, and we are going to do it darn it!


This month has been crazy busy. Kids are out of school, paint classes are filling up, furniture is being bought by the boat load. Seriously. It's been a whirlwind. And we couldn't be happier. And we couldn't do all this without the help of a fabulous paint created by an amazing lady, and brought to us by an equally amazing company. Yes, we are talking about Chalk Paint® decorative paint.


Mak (Marjee) and I started selling Chalk Paint® about two years ago when we discovered it on line, ran out to buy it and give it a try, and were lucky enough to get in early and become stockists. If you don't know the history of Chalk Paint®, it was developed by Annie Sloan in England over 20 years ago, and was discovered by Lisa Rickert of Jolie Designs in New Orleans after her house was destroyed by Katrina and she was rebuilding and wanting to find a budget friendly way to make her kitchen cabinets look old world. The two fabulous women joined forces to create Annie Sloan Unfolded, to bring this amazing stuff to America. It is now made in Kansas City and sold by over 300 independant retailers in the good old USA.


We thank these women every single day as we open our paint cans and turn ugly, dated furniture into beautiful works of art. Seriously. We would not be able to do it all without this amazing paint! It makes it all so much easier than the old latex stuff we used to get at Home Depot. We never sand or prime. Just pop the lid on whatever color speaks to us, and begin creating. 


These are some of the amazing pieces we have created lately:












Marjee named this beauty "Old Man's Bar". Old Man's is a surf spot in San Clemente, and she pictured some cool surfer dude buying this beauty to use as a bar. In his hip beach house. Living his hip beach life.

Is it not just sooooo yummy!?



We just love the way this turned out. We really, really loved it. Yes. Loved. It's gone. Some hip surfer dude bought it. But he is using it to put his flat screen on. We were close!



















What do you think of this little beauty?

 One of our regular customers, whom we love so much, brought this to us. He was getting ready to give it to Goodwill, and thought maybe we could do something with it. And we certainly did!





It was a little sad, and Marjee and Martine, our new intern at The Abode, whipped out some painters tape and Florence and Old White CHALK PAINT® and did their thing! 




















We just love it!




Ombre baby!




































And then how about another beautiful but totally different work of art:
























 Is there anything you Can't do with this paint!? 





This Saturday is the Day!!!

This Saturday is a big day!!  A really, really big day.  Annie Sloan is coming to our store 'The Abode' for a book signing!

Her new book 'Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and more' just came out and we have it, and we have her!!!  Crazy, isn't it!!  


That right there alone is reason enough to come to beautiful downtown San Clemente.  Annie Sloan!  Here!  At The Abode!!  What more do you need?   But downtown San Clemente has so much to offer, so you might as well just make a whole day of it!

This Saturday is the perfect day to have a perfect day.  And really, it should be "A Perfect Day in San Clemente" day.

This is how it should go:

Start the day with a nice breakfast.  A couple of good places:  The Beach Garden Cafe - right across the street from the pier - yummy and a great view!  Or Cafe Mimosa, right across the street from The Abode.   So also a great view! And also delicious!



Both great choices.













Then it's time for the book signing!  Don't delay - get over there and get your book signed!  Annie will be signing books from 11:00 to 12:00 and then it's social hour from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.   You will probably want to hang out with Annie for a bit.  She's not only extremely talented, she's quite good fun.  And nice.  Really, really nice.  And did I mention that she is the author of over 20 books, and the inventor of the amazing Chalk Paint®, - that phenominal paint that sticks to virtually anything? That paint that gives your furniture amazing fine finishes with very little effort?  And she is nice.  Did I mention that?  And did I mention that this new book 'Color Recipes for Painted Furniture and more' is already in the top 5 of's top interior design books?  And that it is a REALLY GOOD BOOK?  Because I think I should mention that!  And that we will have some refreshments for you all to enjoy at The Abode?  Because a perfect day involves lots of refreshments!



And if that wasn't enough - right next door is the annual San Clemente Community Garden Fest!  It's just next door and it's a big deal. It comes around only once a year, and it is this Saturday! People come from all over for this thing.  And it's kid friendly.  And there will be flowers!!  Lots of flowers!!

And all this is a good reason to come for breakfast -  parking could be a problem.  San Clemente will be hopping this Saturday.  Annie, Garden Fest, Perfect Weather at the Beach!  I'm telling you - get down here early!

And bring the family.

And did I say get here early?









And after the Garden Fest, you need to just wander Del Mar and shop in all the great shops!  There are so many!  Lots of great restaurants, antiques stores and boutiques.  

And it time for lunch yet?  There are so many great places to eat I don't know which to recommend.  Too many!  Yum!


















This one might be my favorite.  

And then more shopping.

And then the very important walk down to the pier.  It's very important to end your "Perfect San Clemente Day" sipping cocktails at The Fisherman on the pier.  Go to The Fisherman "bar" on the right side of the pier.  The food isn't anything special, but the atmosphere and the view, and of course the drinks, are perfect.  Just follow Avenida Del Mar all the way to the end.  You will end up at the pier.

And there you have it!  A perfect day!

Hope to see you all this Saturday!


228 Avenida Del Mar

San Clemente, CA 92672


Any questions?  Call Jill  949-412-4499



Bed Turned Bench Twin Sister


Here she is!  The quieter, more laid back sister of "Bed Turned Bench".  




There are the twins before:






















And here is the first bench, during.  She was given a slatted seat, made out of scrap wood.


But her sister was given a solid seat, so she could be hinged, and supply some storage!  Because we can all use more storage, right!?  Right!!


She got the shabby chic treatment with some Annie Sloan Old White, some distressing, and a coat of clear wax.  Per Rick, the buyer, who loves some shabby chic!


And here they are together.....

So which is your favorite?



Shabby Shabby's Big Sister


A while back I painted a dresser in a shabby chic style, and named her Shabby Shabby.  


I wasn't sure I loved Shabby Shabby.  My hubby hubby was the instigator for that piece.  He likes things with a ton of distressing and character.  I like distressed, and I certainly like character.  So I did that piece for him.  And he loved it.  And lots of other people loved it!  Which kinda made me love it.  


It got pinned a ton on pinterest - more so than any other piece I've done.  So now I love it even more.


So here is Shabby Shabby's big sister.  The better looking sister if you ask me.


Again, she is heavily distressed.  But not quite as heavily.  I left more big areas of the white paint in tact on the body.  But I still went pretty crazy with the electric sander.




















Yum.  Did you notice her beautiful bowed front?  And that nice carved detail under the top drawers?  She is mighty pretty!

And I LOVE the color of her drawers.  I did a custom piece for someone in this color and loved it, so I used up the extra on this.  It's a mix of Annie Sloan's Florence, Napoleonic Blue and Provence.  I dry brushed some plain old Provence on there too, to add the beachy white washed look.


I decided to white wash the hardware on her also.  I just brushed on some old white, let it sit a bit, till it was almost dry, then wiped off the high spots with a wet cloth.





















And she was finished with a coat of clear wax.  

Incredibly easy, and quite lovely if I do so say myself!






















The end!