Behind The Scenes: David and Wemi’s Kitchen Reno

Some people may see David as one of the craziest dudes on Earth for buying a house without consulting his wife, Wemi. Others may see it as an incredibly romantic gesture. Regardless of your perspective, David definitely risked getting thrown into the dog house for making that decision. That’s when Sabrina and I entered the picture. Our mission: turn the house David chose, into the house Wemi loves, well at least the kitchen.

Tip: When it comes to your home and it’s upkeep you’re going to have to pay one way or the other, either in cash for a contractor or in mental anguish and marriage councilling. All I’m saying is if it’s starts to get hairy, give your contractor a ding!

If you missed this episode, you can check it out here.


We opened up this kitchen to improve flow, increase storage, and basically turn a boring ho-hum space into something stellar. An interesting part of this build, that we didn’t focus on in the show, was the fact that David and Wemi had a popcorn ceiling they didn’t want.

A popcorn ceiling can be difficult to remove and if it was installed before 1978 can easily contain asbestos, so the first thing we did was have it tested. The result came back negative, so we had the green light to move to the next step. We sprayed a small area with water to see if it turned gray. Gray indicates that the ceiling hasn’t been painted.

Our ceiling turned gray which was great because popcorn ceilings are much easier to remove when they haven’t been painted. We continued spraying the entire ceiling with water which helped the popcorn come off in clumps and kept the dust to a minimal. 6-inch drywall blades were used to scrape the ceiling while holding buckets underneath to catch the debris. After the ceiling was scraped, we went over it with a skim coat of mud to smooth it out, sanded and painted.

It’s quite the process, but it’s worth it if you want that look.

If your ceiling has been painted it will be more difficult to scrape. Adding 1 part vinegar to 10 parts water and using that mixture to spray the ceiling instead of just water should make it easier. It may still be too difficult to scrape and in that case, you’ll likely have to go over the top of it with 1/4-inch drywall to refinish it.

For all the before and after pictures of this renovation, visit HGTV Canada’s website here.

Tip: If you’re going to scrape a popcorn ceiling use a pump tank sprayer to spray the water. It gets the job done quickly and unless you have the forearms of Popeye, you don’t want to try doing it with a little spray bottle.


  • This was a tiny house which is why we had to be so efficient with every square foot in the new kitchen design. Space was in such short supply that Sabrina and I had to set up our base in the furnace room.
  • Dave and Wemi live 1.5 hours away from me, so I felt like a tourist in their neighbourhood. Being the sight see’er that I am, I took my Tacoma on a tour and found some cool vistas at a place called Rattlesnake Point.
  • I loved how the kitchen turned out so much that I put an apron on and tried to cook a meal before the camera crew had even left.

The sexiest aspect of the space: The Grey diamond pattern backsplash

This kitchen is 1000 times more functional than it was to begin with and as far as style, not many compare. What do you think?

Wemi now has a space that she can say she chose and David has been redeemed, but now that Sabrina and I are gone it’s up to him to stay out of the doghouse.

Good luck brother!

For more of the inside scoop on what happened during this episode, check out Sabrina’s Blog.

Sebastian Clovis

Sebastian Clovis

Sebastian is the principal owner of Clovis Contracting, host of HGTV Canada's Save My Reno, and a resident home renovation and DIY expert on The Marilyn Denis Show. He believes everyone should strive to understand the mechanics of their home, tackle home improvement projects while at the same time being able to identify when it’s necessary to call in a professional.
Sebastian Clovis

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