The Kitchen Renovation.
Wet sanding

I’m finding it pretty hard to focus today. As I write this, looking out my window, it’s a beautiful autumn day. The leaves have just changed, it’s warm out, but has that feeling of fall. Birds and squirrels are in manic mode, running through the grass then shooting straight up through piles of leaves searching for the perfect hiding place for winter snacks.

No wait, that’s me.

Regardless of who is trying to hide their chocolate covered almonds, it’s a beautiful, beautiful day and I can’t concentrate on this website of mine. OR the kitchen renovations I should be attending to.

There’s a lot to do with any house renovation but a kitchen or bathroom is the be all and end all of misery. Anything that disturbs pooping or eating is a nightmare.

One of the first things I’ve had to do is remove the large pantry from my kitchen. Doing so, revealed a big blank floor underneath which I had to patch with my floor tiles. Luckily I had enough floor tiles leftover to do the repair.

While I was in the middle of starting to level the floor so I could lay my tiles someting came to me. I should probably do a post on the technique I was using; wet sanding.

Wet sanding is where you sand drywall compound with a damp cloth, as opposed to using sandpaper. In a lot of cases it’s cleaner and easier. Great for when you have to fill a small hole in a wall or even nail holes for instance.

I couldn’t be bothered to set my camera up and start taking pictures so I figured I do a short video. That’d be easier! And probably better!

I should have stuck with the pictures.


Wet sanding


The cleaner alternative to dry sanding your drywall compound.


  1. Lindsay says:

    Oh my word! I’m so glad I was poking around your site today! What a terrible video!!! LOL! I fully appreciate the fact that you still posted it anyways. I wouldn’t have been so brave! :)

  2. Kim from 3 peanuts says:

    Like many before me…I also love you Karen. I am not sure I will ever need to wet sand but if I do I will surely remember this video because somehow you make the mundane cute and quirky.

  3. Louise says:

    Girl, even your mistakes are cute! You’re GOLDEN!

  4. kathy says:

    I’ve always thought little sayings or posters with messages were, well, a little on the hokey side, but I think that having a nice set of letters for the entry hall, or the front porch, that announces Mess Mess Mess would be really useful. That way, anyone who happens by and expects to come in will be forewarned, and then, they will, of course, have to say, oh, I thought there would be a mess in here, but this is SO NOT a mess! Yes Yes Yes, I”ll make me some Mess Mess Mess signage!! Of course, we all know that mess is part of the genius process…..

  5. Ella says:

    thanks for the laughs!!

  6. Lisa Kuhl-Thomas says:

    I”ve wet sanded drywall for years. They also make a sponge on one side and a scrubby like thing on the other. This works well too. It’s the only way to go. To much dust dry sanding.

  7. Lisa says:

    You are very clever for a mere girl! LOL what a hoot you are,. So, I know of an awesome prize you could give out….”Spend a day with Karen” that would be amazing. I am not a celebrity stalker, nor have I ever had an interest to meet a celebrity, but you I would love to spend a day with drinking a bottle or two of Moscato! And then have to limp home because my stomach muscles hurt so much from laughing too hard; or my head would hurt from the spinning of trying to keep up to you. It wold be worth it though.

  8. Leslie says:

    First chuckle of the day. Thank you!

  9. AnnW in the US says:

    And YOU are a television professional! That was good. I would watch you unpack your groceries or pick out your clothes. Or hang your clothes outside on the line. You should get a YouTube channel or whatever they call it. I missed the robot. I’d better go look for it. You could get an intern to help you around the kitchen and hold the camera. Or they could wet sand and You could Hold the camera. Or sell tickets for people to come and hold the camera for you. Ann

  10. Barbie says:

    ….I meant “it” totally worked not “is” totally worked GEEZE!

  11. Barbie says:


    …..this so gives me hope!

    Your a genius blog lady!! You used the entire blooper! ….and is TOTALLY worked!

  12. Marion says:

    perfect! I needed that at work this morning, thank you :)

  13. Call Me Patty says:


  14. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    When is HGTV gonna recognize your great talent and give you your own instructional DIY show??? What is wrong with these people..give me their number Karen..someone needs to have a talk with their executives..

    • Karen says:

      Lol. The funny thing is I’ve spent many years on HGTV and in fact know many of the executives. Well. In Canada anyway. But we’re the ones who provide all the good US HGTV programming anyway.

      • Nancy Blue Moon says:

        Yes..I know you work for HGTV CA..That’s why I think you should have your own show..with your DIY knowlege and wacky sense of humor it would be awesome!!

        • Karen says:

          Well you have to keep in mind Nancy, that if I had a show … I wouldn’t have time to have a blog. It’s one or the other. I vote blog. You? :) ~ karen!

        • Nancy Blue Moon says:

          OK..since you have to do the actual win..I vote for the blog…

  15. I almost threw up when your camera phone flipped upside down, but that’s ok…still love ya.

  16. Johan says:

    Although I have experienced the merits of wet sanding, I couldn’t help myself. An out loud laugh in the morning is a good workout for the face. Thanks yet again! I love you too, Karen! (in a weird way)…
    Can’t wait to see the end result!

  17. Vicky says:

    That flipping around kind of made me dizzy. Great Video!

  18. Melissa Leach says:

    You are almost better than my first chia tea in the morning…thanks for the video. You crack me up while you taught me something. I love you, Karen! (and not in a weird way)

  19. Mary Werner says:

    Suggestion for next video – cleaning the porta potty – was that a discreet shot of your “amenities” in the final “end” shot? Now I have damp skivvies! Where did the name, skivvies, come from I wonder.

  20. Stephanie Finucane says:

    Love it, Karen! Just keeping it real and it was still really helpful!!

  21. Ev says:

    I find that some instructional videos are dry and boring. Not this one! Would like to see the cute li’l dancing robot though!

  22. Erin says:

    LOVE. I LOL’d so much I got strange looks from the others in the office – and it was totally worth it. Great vid ;]]

  23. Debbie from Illinois says:

    Ha! Love this video. :-)

  24. marilyn says:

    i feel sick

  25. Emily says:

    I was drinking my coffee while watching so now I have to use a DAMP cloth to clean the coffee off my screen! Thanks you SO much for the laugh this morning !

  26. Darlene says:

    I think I will submit this to some organization for an Oscar, Emmy or whatever award I can come up with…GREAT video!!!

  27. Su says:

    great video! think you might have a future kid in this communications area :)

  28. Nicole2 says:

    Oh yeah, much more enlightened on wet sanding there, lol! Your video is a microcosm of my entire life.

  29. Janet says:

    I love the beginning when you take us on a tour and comment, “Mess, mess, mess, mess…!” We all understand there is mess when you’re renovating. Thanks for being REAL.

    • Rhonda SmartyPants says:

      Yes, Janet. You and me both loved the ‘mess, mess, mess’ portion of the video. Hey, Karen, how about a contest where we send you videos of our homes and you can see our ‘mess, mess, mess.’ I guarantee I would win and I’m not doing any renovations – just livin’ and making a ‘mess, mess, mess.’ In fact, from now on I’m going to refer to any mess as ‘mess, mess, mess.’

  30. Susan Preston says:

    I should go pee before I watch anymore of your Oscar contenders!

  31. Jenny says:

    Do I love the robot or the wet sanding video!?! Do I have to choose!?!

    Robots doing wet sanding….ohhhhh. Mind blown.

    And why is it called wet sanding when it is really damp sanding?

  32. Marti says:

    I’m totally going to send this in for a “how (NOT) to do a DIY video” nomination. Where’s that entry form? I’ll win a ba-zillion dollars.

    So your website is now going to number responses? And not only number them, but correctly number and align replies? Perhaps you should teach it Roman numbers and to use lettering from the alphabet, too. I’m always amazed at how your website grows and develops. Is numbering replies a trend somewhere?

    • Karen says:

      LOL. I have no idea. Waylay recoded my site for me due to a few technical issues and BOOM suddenly the comments are numbered. ~ karen!

      • Marti says:


        Did I say EVER yet?

        Did you get them to try the carrot soup yet? I buy the big 5 and 10 pound bags of carrots at Costco and just dump ’em in the pot… and then gobble that stuff up!

      • Larraine says:

        I don’t know if this is the proper time or place to jump in with an opinion but here goes anyway — I do not like the “Name says: …” part of the new format. Somehow it seems redundant, repetitive and distracting. Well, I can’t get this to italicize “says” and I guess “redundant and repetitive ” is redundant and repetitive — but it is distracting.

  33. Tigersmom says:

    Ok, only 4 comments have been posted and only 3 are visible to me and yet, 2 of the comments say what I was going to say.

    I love you, too. Not in a creepy way. In a you make me laugh way. I love your pointy halo in the beginning of this video. It gives you this strange angelic quality, but with an edge. If someone hadn’t seen anything else that you have said, written or done, that chandelier might be, to them, the sharpest thing in your house. The rest of this video is classic Karen. Love. It.

    As for your sharpness, we know better, your genius is evident in the fact that you purchased that first set of piggy salt and pepper shakers months ago. I know I said thanks already, but seriously, they are perfectly done with the exact amount of detail and look amazing on my counter next to my stove. I smile every morning when I use them. Thank you again.

    Oh, and I like the new numbers on the comments. Very helpful for referencing another comment and for those of us who struggle with counting before coffee.

  34. Kim says:

    I don’t know about the best. instructional. video. ever. but OMG, I died laughing while watching it! In fact, still chuckling. Loved loved loved your technique for switching the camera view around. OMG, just thinking about it has inspired another laughing fit. You are AWESOME!

  35. dana says:

    Great video. Instructional & entertaining. I watched it twice & giggled both times when you said “rag, butt”-yep, i am 8. You have pretty blue eyes. Love your blog!! Cant wait to see your finished kitchen. Its going to be so cool.

  36. Muff says:

    Best. instructional. video. EVER for sure! A great technique though – have you tried using a damp scrubby sponge instead of a cloth? I found that to be quicker and easier to rinse the drywall compound out of when it got full. Whichever you use, it beats the tar out of getting drywall dust in your nostrils!

    PS – the piggie salt and pepper arrived the other day! They are perfect for my cousin and will make a wonderful housewarming gift for her new apartment!

  37. Bahahaha! BEST. VIDEO. EVER! Well, except for the dancing robot from yesterday. Okay, maybe it’s a tie. You’ll obviously need to post another video tomorrow to break the tie – what will it be?

  38. Tash @ The Dreamhouse Project says:

    Haha…ah-maz-ing! Karen that was seriously the. best. instructional. video. EVER! I love you. Wait is it weird to say that? Oh well…
    Wet sanding!! Who knew?? SO smart, and way cleaner. I’ll definitely be trying this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Karen says:

      Well. It was a pretty amazing video, Tash. I have to agree. I mean, it would just be fake modesty to pretend otherwise. ~ karen!

    • Rhonda SmartyPants says:

      Tash, there is nothing weird about telling Karen you love her. Nothing at all weird about it. I’ve done it several times; actually, only once, but I’ve thought it soooooooo many times that it feels like I’ve told her more often than only once. It isn’t weird to tell someone who is fabulous and funny and talented and, well, a teensy bit weird, how deeply you care about them. I think that is the most wonderful reason the word ‘love’ was invented, just so people could tell other people that they loved them and everyone would get what that meant with only one word.

      Lest you wonder how I came to be such an authority on this topic (easy answer: look at my name – duh!) I will let you know that when my daughter was about nine years old, this is how she would introduce me to her friends, “This is my mom, Rhonda Davis. She’s weird.” She had the cutest little speech impediment at the time but I have no idea how to translate that for the full effect. I’ve never figured out nor asked her what it was that made me ‘weird,’ but I’ve always considered my three children to be geniuses (my side of the family!), so I would just shrug my shoulders slightly and warmly smile as I extended my hand to complete the introduction.

      I add this caution, please do not take my endorsement that telling Karen you love her is not weird and begin telling all sorts of people you love them. In other words, this whole subject is best dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Not being weird is a tricky business – it can become weird with just one misplaced usage and then you’re on your own, Miss Tash.

      • Tash @ The Dreamhouse Project says:

        Rhonda SmartyPants you are awesome. Thanks for the advice! And I think we should all embrace our weirdness. I know I do. It’s part of what makes us unique and interesting in ways that make people want to read the things we post online – and I love that story about your daughter. Too funny!

    • Gail says:

      Not weird at all- I told my daughters if I ‘went that way’, you’d be my first pick! Cause I just love everything you come up with- keep it going!!

    • cheryl says:

      VERY cool video, who ever knew it could be fun….I’m wondering if the same tecnique will work on on rough feet….GO ahead an laugh, that was my intention to give you all a smile….happy sunday..

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