merl, i just posted on lad but in case u dont see it i had a similar problem but with sm700 which was the same. I layed it on bed my mesh in and layed a few mill on top to sponge finish, I left it overnight and it had a shiny crust on it in the morning. I tried scraping it back and spongeing it but left a rough texture. In the end i worked out that by laying on a really tight coat i could sponge it up straight away. It was quite quick once i had a system going and i used a swiss trowel loading straight from the bucket to get it on. 2 bags did about 30mts.
the sponge i had of ebay..magic sponge or summat
i was laying about 3mm over the mesh then laying in a tight one on that. Dunno if thats wat youre doing. cos it was on so thin there is no issue with sagging or the like. I figured it was a good way to stucco finish. but the rain is very coarse
Top tip from the man who invented plastering " after you have layed on spray a mist of water over the area, this prevents any wind from drying it too quickly. does work aswell
Merl can you try not to finish it with a sponge? keep the gear loose as you can and when meshed and trowelled through see if you can get a nearly faultless finish of the trowel and then any remaining tramlines or nasties put the waffle over them before texture coating. it might work for yer?
I have found with maite etc that if you get the mesh close to the surface you can get the surface pretty flat. The only reason i was sponging it was because the job was to be finished with sm700 sponged
right finally sorted it , normally i wouldnt sponge addie coat but the topper is parex DPR sand fine its really fine rubs up like sand & cement so addie coat has to be bang on,or it look shite , i have been doin mesh coat one then day top coat next day when picked up a little spray mist of water and rub up like mp75 with sponge float,leave to pick up and spat again ,this leaves it flat as f@ck, also traps water in surface stops it from goin off too quick , next morn rub up lightly with round drywall sponge , it is pretty much perfect finish, lot of pissing about but like i said DPR sand fine is really unforgiving