I had my bedroom ceiling, office ceiling and walls, and dining room ceiling skimcoated.
(skimcoat: coat with a mixture of gypsum and spackle; "he skimcoated the drywall", dictionary.com). The bedroom and office had to be done as the paint was crackling and falling off. Apparently the original primer didn't get a good grip! The dining room ceiling was just ugly.
The contractor did an ok job. It's better than I would have done, but not as flawless as the guy who did my hallway ceilings. Why didn't I hire that guy back? Well - he made me uncomfortable.
Of course now I think I should have gone with brief discomfort - or had Jaimee deal with him ;) - as this guy didn't do as good a job, and he took nearly 2 weeks to finish. 2 weeks is a long time not to have a bedroom or easy access to your clothes...
Anyway. It's still a better job than I would have done. Since I really wanted my room back, I took Friday off and primed and painted. Max came to help, and by Friday night all 3 rooms were primed and the bedroom and office ceilings were painted. Sunday I finished the dining room. So after 2 weeks of work, a not -inconsiderable amount of money, and an exhausting weekend, I have 2 rooms that look...almost exactly like they did 2 weeks ago. I mean, the paint is no longer falling off, which I think is great, but I'm reliably informed that many people don't actually notice that.
Phooey on those non-detail people! I think it looks good. And now I can finally paint the walls in the office - right after I pick the color. And clean up all the joint compound dust that's all over the house.