Wood Conditioner

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Forum topic by drpdrp posted 11-26-2012 09:07 AM 1069 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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150 posts in 2075 days

11-26-2012 09:07 AM

What does this stuff actually do? Like, does it open pores or something?

2 replies so far

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David Craig

2137 posts in 3138 days

#1 posted 11-26-2012 09:19 AM

Actually, it does the opposite. Porous woods blotch because stains are absorbed at a non-uniform rate. Conditioning is used so that more porous areas will absorb the stain at a rate that is more even with the non-porous areas.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

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915 posts in 2122 days

#2 posted 11-26-2012 10:33 AM

Wood conditioner exists to help alleviate the problem of blotchy, uneven staining. Woods like pine and maple take stain unevenly. Parts of the wood will take more stain (pigment) and therefore be darker than other parts. The wood conditioner tries to fill the pores a little so that the end result of staining will be more even.

The downside of wood conditioner is that you can’t get the wood as dark, typically, as you could without the conditioner. But in my experience the reduction in blotchiness is a fair trade. Conditioner is not a magical cure all. But it helps.

I used to think pre stain wood conditioner was a gimmick. Now I use it routinely. Not all woos will need it though. And the lighter in color your stain is the less likely you will need it.

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