Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner substitutes

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Forum topic by RalphCompton posted 07-25-2012 10:38 AM 10889 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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71 posts in 1685 days

07-25-2012 10:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: pre stain finishing minwax

It is no longer possible to purchase Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner out here in California and it is too far to conveniently travel anywhere where it can be purchased. i.e. out of state.

So, Is there a substitute? I believe it to be a mineral spirits based liquid.

Thanks, Ralph

17 replies so far

View jmos's profile


682 posts in 1406 days

#1 posted 07-25-2012 11:59 AM

I have not used this, but many here have raved about how good it is. Here’s a review of Charles Neil’s blotch control.

I can’t speak to it’s availability in CA.

-- John

View Fuzzy's profile


297 posts in 3025 days

#2 posted 07-25-2012 01:19 PM

I use, and LOVE Charles Neil’s product. Just watch his real time videos on the product, and you WILL be convinced.

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3950 posts in 2997 days

#3 posted 07-25-2012 02:43 PM

I have not tried CN’s product, but a 1 pound cut of shellac will certainly seal well. Use De-Waxed shellac.
I tried the MW stuff once. Never again.


View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

5313 posts in 1365 days

#4 posted 07-25-2012 03:24 PM

I’ve had good luck staining pine by first applying General Finishes “Natural” which I’m pretty sure is nothing more than a dillute water based polyacrylic.

I apply water based stain over this and it absorbs evenly without blotching.

B4 discovering the GF Natrural, I tried Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner, and was not at all pleased with the results.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View RogerM's profile


635 posts in 1435 days

#5 posted 07-25-2012 03:36 PM

I have had good luck with Zinser’s Seal Coat diluted with three parts alcohol to one part Seal Coat. You can get Seal Coat at most big box stores

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View RalphCompton's profile


71 posts in 1685 days

#6 posted 08-02-2012 04:19 AM

when using shellac or Seal Coat do you need to lightly sand before staining?

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1978 posts in 1958 days

#7 posted 08-02-2012 12:37 PM

A “milk thin” mixture of wallboard joint compound and water works also. Brush it on, let dry, sand off. One coat on most surfaces but about three on end grain.

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

View Richforever's profile


741 posts in 2757 days

#8 posted 08-02-2012 06:01 PM

I sand to about 220 grit before sealing with 50/50 mixture of Zinsser SealCoat de-waxed shellac and denatured alcohol. After it dries, I lightly sand with 220 grit to just knock down any raised grain before staining.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View pintodeluxe's profile


4098 posts in 1850 days

#9 posted 08-02-2012 06:58 PM

I pre-condition with Zinsser Seal Coat mixed 2:3 with denatured alcohol. I only use it on cherry or wood prone to blotching.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3950 posts in 2997 days

#10 posted 08-02-2012 08:10 PM

Not only on cherry. Pine and maple too.
Didja get the shellac message? Try it. It works. Be sure to get the Seal Coat dewaxed, and thin it 1:1 (or close).


View fboucher's profile


4 posts in 1162 days

#11 posted 08-02-2012 10:40 PM

One more vote for the Charles Niel Blotch Control, but mostly I have used Zinsser Seal Coat and a little denatured alcohol and it works great for maple and pine, I never stain my cherry unless the customer wants that and even then I try to talk them out of it. If you have a highly figured wood such as Curley Maple and really want to pop the grain and bring out the stripes, I use a few drops of transtint vintage maple dye mixed in with a cup of dewaxed shellac. Apply by wiping and let dry, sand with 220, then I apply GF arm-r-seal or varnish of your choice. Doesnt change the color of the wood much but does bring out the tiger stripes in that maple. Try it on a scrap piece some time if you have some curley maple.

View RalphCompton's profile


71 posts in 1685 days

#12 posted 08-03-2012 12:02 AM

Thanks to all for the suggestions. Seems like I now need to do some experimenting.


View Canofworms's profile


103 posts in 538 days

#13 posted 06-13-2014 05:02 PM

What about straight denatured alcohol?

View RalphCompton's profile


71 posts in 1685 days

#14 posted 06-15-2014 05:19 AM

By the way, Min-Wax Pre-Conditioner now seems to be available and I stocked up!

View Canofworms's profile


103 posts in 538 days

#15 posted 06-15-2014 02:14 PM

Yes. Picked a cam of that

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

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