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Polycell sell a SmoothOver product that is a "quick and easy way to transform cracked and damaged walls to a perfectly smooth surface that's ready to paint. Fills imperfections such as cracks, gouges and small holes." It's basically a way to skim a wall if you're not great at plastering.

Now, I've used it in the past with great results, but it does take a bit of work: you've got to keep working it to keep the paste in a creamy consistency, and while it goes on easy you still have a lot of sanding to do at the end to get the finish you're after. Not a big problem, but there is a massive problem: cost. The tubs are massively expensive and only do a relatively small area.

I've just moved house and need to skim a number of rooms, and the cost of either getting a professional to do it, or doing it myself with SmoothOver, are both prohibitive.

So, my question is: Has anyone tried to replicate this product using standard building materials? How well did you do? Do you have a recipe that works?

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Pre mixed joint compound, ( UK vendor) either a low dust mix or a topping compound, is a LOT cheaper than a tube spackle. One 'recipe' is to add a bit of water to make it creamy, like your Polycell product.

It still requires sanding. Invest in a few knives (6, 8 and 12" wide blades), a pole sander and some sanding sponges. A hawk and a bucket scoop are optional, but very handy.

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