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Why don't you just skim coat the walls with a Veneer Plaster that can be applied over a painted substrate.
No sanding is required before or after if the correct plaster is applied.
 

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Homeowner here too, so may not be the best advice... but I had a bathroom in my house that I had a similar issue with. It also had really bad drywall joints/seams, which is why I'm guessing they did the poor texturing in the first place.

I knocked down the high spots with a paint scraper, and floor scraper (what they use to remove vinyl flooring and carpet), then sanded down.

I then thinned out pre mixed all purpose joint compound, applied with roller, and used a flexible trowel (I think its brand name is "magic trowel") to smooth it out. I also used a 2" and 4" putty knife for tight spots. There are videos of people on youtube doing this with not so heavy textured walls, but it will give you the idea on how to do it.

Sanded lightly in between coats of joint compound with 220 and repeated until I came out with a level 5 finish. I want to say it took me 4-5 coats.

Definitely a pain. It took a lot of elbow grease, and probably 2-3 hours a night for a week to do the room.

With the quantity of work you should buy a electric drywall sander. (I wish I at least rented one). WEN makes one for 130-ish on amazon and it will save you tons of time and effort. People comment on removing popcorn texture off ceilings with the them, so I'm guessing it would suffice. Just get a bag and/or sock for your shop vac filter as it will get clogged quickly.

This was about 6 years ago and everything still looks perfect. I've had no issues with seams recracking or the compound not adhearing.
If you were to use a good veneer Plaster you could have completed the job in 2 Hrs. a night for 3 nights with no sanding and have a glass smooth finish.
 

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If you would like to try a good product, send Me a private Message & I will mail you a wet sample.
Enough to cover about 3 to 4 Sq. Ft. on your existing.
Please note I am not a sale rep.
I do not represent any manufacture I am a retired Plasterer I worked in the Plaster trade until the age of 78 am now 84.
I will include a simple printed sheet of instructions.
With this material you will not need to SAND & it will be glass smooth.
 
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