I recently had new drywall put up in the top floor of my house to cover a cracked plaster ceiling with popcorn texturing. I used a contractor, and when asked about a texture for the drywall my preferred option (smooth ceilings) was very expensive while a knockdown texture was not. I ultimately opted for the knockdown texture due to the cost difference.
I've been looking into doing something on my own to smooth out the drywall (while hanging it myself would probably not have been a good idea due to my skill level, I can do some other tasks adequately). Most options seem pretty involved, but I think that I could handle a skim coat if it's necessary.
But the skim coat process seems very similar to using spackle for small repairs in walls, which led me to wonder: would using spackle for smoothing a ceiling that has knockdown texturing work? There must be some drawbacks, or reasons it won't work at all, or else I would expect to see spackle as an option when googling ways to smooth the texture.
So I guess the best formulation of my question is: can I use spackle and a putty knife to smooth out my ceiling at all? And if it's possible, what are the drawbacks that make it such a (seemingly) unpopular option?