smoothing out ceiling- need tips for good job

We are attempting to skim coat over a stomp textured ceiling (400 square feet). Scraping is not an option. Pics of ceiling available at: http://www.math.uwaterloo.ca/~mrubinst/ceiling/index.html We're not sure what material to use. The lady at home depot suggested we use 'Polyfix smooth surface filler'.
Is this a good choice? Besides being expensive, it seems to me that it would be better suited for fixing small imperfections as opposed to smoothing out an entire ceiling. Would it be better to use drywall compound? What about some sort of plaster?
Also, any good tips for skim coating a ceiling? I want nice results and
want to avoid having the stuff crack, fall off, etc.
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drywall compound way to go.
scrub cieling, it MUST be clean, then scrape anything loose, let dry and vaxcuum to remove dust or anything remaining loose.
then fix all bad areas, sand smooth best possible.
now be CERTAIN to PRIME the entire surfav with BIN and let dry well. this assures the drywall mud will stick uniformily to the entire surface
then apply mud its good to have a helper, and use brush to give it nice finish. swirl look.
its much more difficult to give it a pure perfect flat surface, swirls cover multitude of sins
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On 13 May 2006 08:12:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I've seen a "Pro" smooth walls in a home that had knock down texture. He thinned his joint compound and applied a thin coat on an entire wall, moving from left to right horizontally. After letting it cure, he applied another thin coat left to right vertically. Using this method he filled in all the areas a little at a time to reduce the need for lot of sanding. The trick I guess is finesse. I imagine a ceiling would be more difficult.
Oren
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes."
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search this site:
http://www.drywallschool.com
If it wasn't for the crown moulding I'd probably just glue & screw 3/8" drywall on the ceiling to cover it up.
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On 13 May 2006 08:12:29 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Stretch-vinyl? I saw something like that on Cribcandy.com, a while back.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

You say scraping isn't an option. I'm going to pretend you didn't say that. I'd strongly recommend against trying to skim over that texture as-is. Consider using a plaster plane to knock off the worst of the ridges. You should be able to find one at a decent drywall/plaster/stucco supplier. It looks like this: http://www.oleaspecialtyproducts.com/p-plaster_plane_608.html (It's going to be very loud - use ear protection.)
Once you've knocked down as much texture as possible...
1. Clean with TSP or substitute. Let it dry completely.
2. Prime
3. Apply premixed All purpose or light-weight joint compound. It'll take many (3 or more) coats if you're not skilled with a trowel/knife. Be sure to allow plenty of drying time between coats. (All-purpose has better hold, lightweight shrinks less and is easier to sand.)
4. Sand
5. Touch-up bad spots.
6. Prime.
7. Touch-up the bad spots which weren't there before you primed, but which are bloody obvious now.
8. Sand
9. Prime Touched-up spots.
10. Paint.
If you're still unhappy with the results, replace the surface mounted ceiling fixture with one that doesn't provide such critical lighting. If it still looks bad, replace all 60 watt bulbs in the room with 15 watt and wear a baseball cap with a large visor when in the room. :)
It appears you have some hairline cracks above the doors:
http://www.math.uwaterloo.ca/~mrubinst/ceiling/1024/IMG_1878.1024.jpg
and possibly a crack or bulge here as well:
http://www.math.uwaterloo.ca/~mrubinst/ceiling/640/IMG_1876.640.jpg
These cracks will re-appear through the skim coat if you don't fix them. Scrape really well around the crack. Apply paper tape with all-purpose mud. Top with all-purpose or light-weight. You'll want to work these repairs in at the appropriate stages in the skimming project.
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