Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner substitutes

  • Advertise with us

« back to Finishing forum

Forum topic by RalphCompton posted 07-25-2012 10:38 AM 23152 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RalphCompton's profile


84 posts in 2674 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


839 posts in 2395 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


298 posts in 4014 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

4948 posts in 3986 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

8090 posts in 2354 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.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2424 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


84 posts in 2674 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

2658 posts in 2947 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.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 3746 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


5705 posts in 2839 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

4948 posts in 3986 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 2151 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


84 posts in 2674 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 1528 days

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

What about straight denatured alcohol?

View RalphCompton's profile


84 posts in 2674 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 1528 days

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

Yes. Picked a cam of that

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics