mtngigi,

Pre-mixed spackling coumponds are not suited for general, large area patching. Stick with the topping compound. It is much easier to sand and remains soluable by water when dry. CrackShot is vinyl based and is difficult to get off once dried. Good drywallers do not even sand their final coat of topping compound, but rather smooth out the edges with a dampened sponge.

When patching textured walls, I prefer the topping compound, as it can be blended into the existing surrounding texture with a dampened sponge. Products such as Crack Shot, if allowed to dry, will leave a distinct ridge which cannot be totally removed with sandpaper. This ridge will show under all but the heaviest textures.

When you do your sanding, use a sanding block. Sanding by hand will tend to leave waviness which tends to show if you are using a glossy finish coat of paint