Applying a Wood Conditioner On Your Projects

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Wood Conditioner

As a woodworker, you might have noticed (or at least have known) how softwoods don’t do so well when creating stained finishes. Oftentimes, the stain just won’t make your project look any more appealing. To combat this little issue, you need to get the color evened out, especially when you’re working on some types of wood that look pretty bare.

Among the types of wood which can benefit from these are the common birch, most species of pine, and fir. To help you out in staining, the solution is by applying a pre-stain wood conditioner. These conditioners are specifically created to penetrate the wood’s surface and help the stain absorb evenly when you apply coats of it later.


Proper Preparation

Before you apply the pre-stain conditioner, be sure you have all the blemishes addressed and removed. By that, you need to completely sand the surface and always end by hand sanding to get that perfectly smooth touch.

Of course, when you’re sanding the entire project, sawdust is generated so be sure you have a vacuum at arm’s reach. Be sure you’re keen enough to wipe all the surfaces to capture the remaining bits of sawdust.

Application of the Pre-stain Wood Conditioner

Grab yourself a piece of soft cloth or a brush to apply a generous coating of the conditioner. Spread the conditioner throughout the surface of your project.

Like the stain itself, work with the grain and allow the conditioner to seep into the wood for about 5 to 20 minutes and just wipe the excess off.

Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions found at the back of the can. Most likely, you may need to stain the project within two hours since you’ve applied the pre-stain conditioner.

wood conditioner

Take note: if the type of wood you are working on is pretty absorbent, apply another layer of the conditioner. Don’t worry if the job gets a bit messy because you can use either paint thinner or mineral spirits.

Among the many things you should remember is that a pre-stain wood conditioner will likely make the color of the stain a bit lighter.

Because of this, you may need to test the stain on one of the unseen spots on the projects. Again, the outcome of the stain will solely depend on the type of wood you’re using, as well as the amount of conditioner you placed before the actual staining process.

Most woodworkers may find that some types of stock which, by nature, don’t do well with stains benefit the most when you’re applying a pre-stain conditioner so be sure you make a few tests on scrap wood before doing it on the actual project.

In most cases, you may find that you need a second coat of stain in order to get the right color. Keep in mind however that the color of the stain will really be darker if you didn’t apply the conditioner so be sure you’ve made up your mind before going this far.

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