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Hi, I have a little old house (1921) in Bay Area (California), which means there has been alot of movement over the years (last earthquake was 2 wks ago), which I bought 2 years ago and it is sucking the money out of me and I need to do repairs myself. I want to retexture the ceiling in my front room, I recently took out an old wall heater and there are numerous notable repair areas. I know it is a plaster ceiling. It has flat paint and a bunch of prior bad repairs. I want to do a smooth ceiling but will do rolled texture if it doesn't come out. I am watching the youtube videos (yes, unfortunately, I am one of those DYI'ers). This project doesn't have to be perfect, but I want to do the best job I can. I have tiled a kitchen before (which came out at least liveable), so I at least know what joint compound is, and i really want to learn how to do this right. I was told that since the ceiling is plaster, I shouldn't sand it prior to putting on a skim coat. Any pointers (other than hiring someone, no money really here).
 

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it’s hard to say without seeing the ceiling but likely how I would smooth it out would be to Use Fibafuse over cracks, and put skim 2 coats on ceiling, go one direct first, light sand once dry, then skim again in other direct and finish sand
Since smooth ceilings are a finished product, it is not usually something a DIY would do, at least if you really are looking for a professional finish
 

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look up "skip trowel finish" . its easy and hides all the waves and stuff of old plaster lids. cracks in plaster can never be guaranteed to not return. a lot of the times they dont but be ready for it. use fastset compound to tape and smooth any cracks.
 

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My hose is also an old one, but I renovated it when I bought it, I think it's fine to be in an old house if all the things are still good to use.
 
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