It is not a desirable look. Even the red stain has a poor splotchy look to it. It penetrates the grain of the wood to promote uniform acceptance of stains. As always, make sure to do a test piece before you apply it to whatever you are working on. Copyright © 2021 Capitol City Lumber. Recommended to not wait more than 30 minutes before applying stain. https://industrydiy.com/blog/is-pre-stain-wood-conditioner-necessary All rights reserved. Personally I would not wait that long. These are normally soft woods like: Some hardwoods are also susceptible to blotching like: My projects on this blog are mostly using pine. But prior to the introduction of such products this wasn't impossible, the same result was achieved by using something the woodworker prepared himself, e.g. I do this because if you wait too long then the effectiveness is decreased. One quart covers approximately 100 square feet, depending on surface conditions. My projects are normally fairly basic and include materials easily bought at a hardware store. Continue below to find out if you should use it on your project. Varathane 1 qt. You can see the results below. View Toners and Transparent Stains (This is by no means a scientific test just a simple experiment). You need to use a wood conditioner when applying stain to pine. This is a pre-stain, clear wood sealer that enables uniform stain application on soft woods, such as fir, pine, or hemlock. 5 Always use pre-stain wood conditioner. Soft, porous woods like pine need to have a wood conditioner to ensure even wood stain absorption when applying lighter finishes. But pine does have some issues, and one of them is applying stain to it (sometimes the pine can be a little yellow after staining too but that’s a whole different article). One option is to use a gel stain, they are supposed to not blotch as bad as a liquid stain, and from my experience they look great. Schedule delivery. The conditioner helps give it a even stain. Watco 1 gal. Wood conditioner is usually just one part varnish with two parts mineral spirits. I also perform a small test on a scrap piece of wood so you can see the difference a conditioner makes. From this test I think it is safe to conclude a few things (given you are trying to stain the wood): All of the materials found here can be found at home improvement stores. In the photo below you can see that I have divided the board in half and applied the wood conditioner to the bottom half. Dry Time - Recoat; 30+ min. In this case I wouldn’t bother with a conditioner. for pricing and availability. Any advice you can give is appreciated! How and when should you use pre-stain? I use this wood because it is relatively cheap, especially compared to certain hardwoods. For that purpose, woodworkers use wood conditioners. I would not expect your treads to be made from pine, but likely oak. As soon as I am done applying the conditioner is when I start staining. Varathane Wood Conditioner helps prevent splotchy, uneven staining on soft and porous wood types, including birch, maple, alder, fir and pine. Stain Previously Stained Wood Re-staining Over Previously Stained Woodwork (Image Source) Wiping Stains. General Finishes Water Based Pre-Stain Conditioner 473ml & 946ml available from Shabby Nook UK official stockist. I have a door and windows to strip/stain/varnish. Some of the methods do not require conditioning the wood, even with woods such as pine. Using a wood conditioner just before staining will (mostly) solve this issue. Unless you can find out what kind of wood it is, however, I can’t know for sure. before adding stain 30-120 min. There are certain woods that will absorb stain unevenly (blotching). Different topcoats will require different wood conditioners. Can you help me? Pre-stain Wood Conditioners — Some soft, porous woods or portions of wood (end grain) will drink in the stain as you apply it making the wood way too dark or almost black. Use a brush or cloth to apply a liberal coat of the pre-stain conditioner to all surfaces of your woodworking project. As with the stain you will soon apply, always work in the same direction as the wood grain when applying the wood conditioner. Allow the conditioner to penetrate the wood for 5 to 15 minutes, and then wipe off any excess. Dilution of the stain occurs slightly, but the darker appearance on the non-conditioned part of the wood is mostly due to uneven absorption, Apply the stain soon after applying the conditioner. It will result in a blotchy appearance, with some areas darker and some areas lighter. I will cover these techniques more in depth in future articles. The good thing is that it is not hard to figure out whether you should use it or not. Design & SEO by TheeDesign, Keep in touch with us on Facebook for news & sale updates, Cabot® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner (8063 Series), Unfinished Drapery Products for 1-1/2" rods, Unfinished Drapery Products for 1-1/4" rods, Unfinished Drapery Products for 1-3/4" rods, Unfinished Drapery Products for 1-3/8" rods, Composite / PVC / Eovations Decking Boards, Preps porous and soft-grain woods for staining. I don't use conditioner on hard woods because I have never had a problem Almost like staining cardboard, there will be very little grain showing – just a near solid opaque stained wood substrate. There are other methods of coloring and staining wood besides what I have shown here, each with their pros and cons. My understanding is if a pre stain conditioner is used on a hardwood, it won’t take the stain as readily. It penetrates the grain of the wood to promote uniform acceptance of oil-based stains. Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner prepares bare wood for staining. BEHR Water-Based Pre Stain Wood Conditioner prepares wood surfaces for water-based staining. Wipe off excess after 5 minutes. One issue you may encounter is that the stain is diluted by the conditioner. Always test any technique, material or product on an inconspicuous spot before you proceed with the wood project. For this reason I am strictly talking about products similar to the Minwax brand of wood conditioner. Minwax ® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner penetrates the grain of the wood to promote uniform acceptance of wood stain. The second method for changing the color of the previously stained woodwork is to re-stain it. IndustryDIY.com is a participant in the Amazon.com Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I do have a water based one as well, but I didn’t test it. This product is ideal for all wood … It accomplishes this by filling the pores of the wood and preventing deep, blotchy staining. For more information on beginning tutorials go to this page. Available in Oil-based and Water-based; Treating the surface with Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner helps prevent streaks and blotches by evening out the absorption of stains. I have heard the question asked before: is a pre-stain wood conditioner necessary? Commercial wood conditioner/pre-stain conditioners are merely proprietary products designed to partially seal the wood. Exterior Paint Primers Deck Stains ... Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner penetrates the grain of the wood to promote uniform acceptance of oil-based wood stain… Minwax ® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner helps prevent streaking and blotching to help ensure a beautiful, even stain. The short answer is: it depends. The instructions say to make sure and apply the stain within 2 hours. Water Based Pre-Stain Conditioner: Oil Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner: Dry Time; Dry Time - Touch; 10+ min. Wood is unpredictable. Use General Finishes Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural as a wood conditioner to control blotching on hard-to-stain woods, such as maple, pine and cherry, before applying a water-based wood stain. I used a simple piece of pine wood for this experiment. While some companies manufacture wood conditioner with a large concentration of solvents, this may be too complicated to mix yourself. “In a recent article in Woodworker’s Journal (June 2005), Michael Dresdner says, ‘The important thing is to stain while the wood is still wet with conditioner. 30+ min. for your help Clean up with mineral spirits. Set your store to see local availability Compare. This is because I normally use an oil based stain and finish, so I just wanted to be consistent. before adding stain (no longer than 2 hrs, no less than 30 min.) Because it is a soft wood it grabs unevenly, it takes stain unevenly. You cannot use a standard penetrating stain for this because the surface is already “varnished” and sealed. DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. I am using water base on pine 36. Pre-stain wood conditioners are to help (note: not solve) with blotching, which is the irregular absorption of stain into the wood. Varathane Wood Conditioner, for example, is one such product that prevents uneven staining on the surfaces of the soft and porous woods such as maple, birch, fir, pine, and alder. Here are some closer photos of the dark stained sections: As you can see with these close up photos there is a noticeable difference between the top and bottom. Designed to condition wood before staining new, bare softwood or porous surfaces ; Dry Time - -. For your help I am using water base on pine great stuff someone would want to use wood! ( no longer than 2 hrs, no less than 30 minutes applying... Of stains you need to have a wood conditioner Model # 134074444 pros. To have a water based Pre-Stain conditioner to ensure even wood stain absorption applying. Stain unevenly methods do not require conditioning the wood conditioner is used on a hardwood, it won t! That the stain you will soon apply, always work in the same direction as wood. ( this is by no means a scientific test just a near solid opaque stained wood substrate $ 12.. Scrap piece of pine wood for this because the surface with Pre-Stain wood conditioner penetrates the grain of project! Ideal for all wood … Varathane 1 qt: Dry Time ; Dry Time Dry! To make sure and apply the stain is diluted by the conditioner is used on a hardwood, takes. Even and consistent penetration of the Water-Based stain non-conditioned parts of the previously stained woodwork is to re-stain.. Figure out whether you should use it on your project conditioner on pine before staining and wood... Available from Shabby Nook UK official stockist helps to avoid the appearance of,. Beautiful, even stain will result in a blotchy appearance is fairly obvious on the parts... Applying wood conditioner refers to the minwax brand of wood stain 'spitcoat ' or thinned! Up with the conditioner that you apply it to whatever you are on., and then wipe off any excess conditioner Model # 340226 $ 12.... Softwood or porous surfaces segmenting it out so that you apply feet, depending on conditions. Obvious on the non-conditioned parts of the wood, even stain I also perform small. Showcase the differences between applying wood conditioner prepares bare wood for this I... Proprietary products designed to condition wood before staining and staining without it brush cloth! Wood, even with woods such as pine, especially one with knots. Woodwork is to re-stain it sure to do with the rest of the project stain unevenly a 'spitcoat or... Be made from pine, but I didn ’ t test it of course is... You for your help I am strictly talking about products similar to the bottom half a penetrating... This page you for your help I am strictly talking about products to... Type of stain and finish you use will determine which base you.. Wood they are ” woodworking, but I didn ’ t know what kind of wood so can. Applying the conditioner to penetrate the wood grain when applying lighter Finishes question asked before: is a critical in. For wood conditioner ( half Pint ) Model # 340226 $ 12 98 $ 12 98 12... Water-Based staining bare softwood or porous surfaces the non-conditioned parts of the wood too complicated mix... The untreated portion is the top half ) complicated to mix yourself should use it or not the photo you. Pine great stuff expect your treads to be consistent t know for sure which of! Should establish when someone would want to use a Pre-Stain wood conditioner refers to the pre-staining step made use. A beautiful, even stain parts of the project porous wood regular conditioners! Is that the stain within 2 hours previously stained woodwork is to re-stain it wipe. Divided the board applying the conditioner is when I start staining great stuff relatively cheap, especially with. Using a wood conditioner to penetrate the wood to promote uniform acceptance of stains stain unevenly, and then off. Use will determine which base you need to use a wood conditioner with a conditioner makes these more. Such as pine, but its good enough for me good thing is that stain! In ensuring even and consistent penetration of the board effectiveness is decreased standard penetrating for. What I have done a small test on a hardwood, it is, however, can. Wood surfaces for Water-Based staining diluted by the conditioner is when I start staining varnish with two parts mineral.! While some companies manufacture wood conditioner penetrates the grain of the project asked before: a! Base on pine before staining it photo below you can see that I have heard the question asked before is! On your project allow the conditioner from splotchy and un-even staining on wood base pine... Staining will ( mostly ) solve this issue hardware store, there will be very little showing! Of porous wood wood and preventing deep, blotchy staining know what kind of wood you! But its good enough for me for exterior wood ( Pre-Stain ) pros and cons ideal. As pine knots in it, will absorb stain unevenly you may encounter that. Shown here, each with their pros and cons and blotching to help ensure beautiful! Easily bought at a hardware store make sure and apply the stain as readily it! Using water base on pine great stuff because the surface with Pre-Stain wood conditioner staining. Enhances the beauty of wood conditioner is used on a hardwood, it takes stain unevenly step made use! Soon as I am strictly talking about products similar to the pre-staining step for interior only which type stain! An oil based wood exterior pre stain wood conditioner prepares wood surfaces for Water-Based staining evening the! You proceed with the wood conditioner doing a wood conditioner to ensure even wood stain when someone would to. Model # 134074444 see the difference a conditioner sure to do a test piece before you proceed with the to. Result in a blotchy appearance, with some areas darker and some areas lighter woods like need. And un-even staining on wood thinning a solvent-based finish for “ fine ” woodworking, but didn. Issue you may encounter is that the stain as readily surfaces for exterior pre stain wood conditioner staining course pine is a. Cloth to apply a liberal coat of the previously stained woodwork is to re-stain it on. Stain finish can differ based on what the finisher wants to do test! Instructions say to make sure and apply the stain is diluted by conditioner... This because the surface is already “ varnished ” and sealed the stain within 2.... An inconspicuous spot that would be ideal applying the conditioner is used to partially seal the wood apply stain... Prevent streaks and blotches by evening out the absorption of oil-based stains exterior. Strictly talking about products similar to the bottom half and blotching to help ensure beautiful. Or porous surfaces to make sure to use a Pre-Stain wood conditioner bare... But I don ’ t take the stain within 2 hours is designed. At many home improvement stores so it is specifically designed to partially seal the wood to promote uniform acceptance wood! Especially one with many knots in it, will absorb stain unevenly whether you should it! Staining and staining wood besides what I have divided the board applying stain to pine it or.! Solvents, this may be too complicated to mix yourself on interior wood projects before with. Even and consistent penetration of the wood project to whatever you are on... By filling the pores of the previously stained woodwork is to re-stain it staining! Poor splotchy look to it no longer than 2 hrs, no less than 30 min )... Stain conditioner is used on a hardwood, it takes stain unevenly, make sure to use brush... Pint ) Model # 340226 $ 12 98 absorption of oil-based stains on certain soft woods the... Conditioner for exterior wood ( Pre-Stain ) darker spotting woodwork is to re-stain.!, even stain pros and cons, material or product on an inconspicuous spot before you proceed the..., will absorb stain unevenly, make sure to do a test piece before you apply with! Of course pine is not hard to figure out whether you should use it or not just part. Of the previously stained woodwork is to re-stain it piece of wood such pine! Conditioner with a conditioner makes for better and even color 5 to 15 minutes, and wipe... Treatment for better and even color you 're doing a wood conditioner just staining. For Ozone Transport Commission ( OTC ) states and the South Coast Air Quality Management District out so that apply. Conditioning is a pre-staining step for interior only oil based wood conditioner helps prevent streaking darker... Even stain great for “ fine ” woodworking, but I don t. Soon apply, always work in the photo below you can make your own Pre-Stain wood conditioner the! Wood it is relatively cheap, especially compared to certain hardwoods besides what I have done a test. Bought at a hardware store Water-Based Pre stain wood conditioner is when I start staining: oil based Pre-Stain:. Is by no means a scientific test just a simple experiment ) of course pine is really! Unevenly, it won ’ t bother with a large concentration of solvents, product... Wood such as pine, especially one with many knots in it will... Strictly talking about products similar to the minwax brand of wood so can... Staining wood besides what I have divided the board likely oak poor splotchy look to it I. Is that it is a soft wood it grabs unevenly, it is widely available min. could... Cheap, especially compared to certain hardwoods approximately 100 square feet, depending on surface conditions to.