I'd have to agree with NAV. Try a 3/4" or 1" nap roller and thin your mud. Consistency should be almost like pancake batter, maybe just a bit heavier. Add water gradually until you get the right texture.....
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Did you ever figure out how to recreate this texture? I just bought an odler home and I am attemptign to repair a part of the wall that currently houses a window unit. Yes, a window unit in a wall... The walls have this texture and I can't find out how to recreate it anywhere.