Water Based Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural

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Forum topic by pjones46 posted 12-30-2014 06:44 AM 1057 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1001 posts in 2612 days

12-30-2014 06:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question pre-stain conditioner blotch contol wash coat trick oak mahogany cherry maple pine walnut finishing sanding

Has anyone tried the General Finishes Water Based Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural?

I would like to get some feedback on which woods it was used with, finishing process you used and the end result of your finish.

-- Respectfully, Paul

4 replies so far

View RogerInColorado's profile


321 posts in 1924 days

#1 posted 01-01-2015 03:44 AM

I’ve never tried the GF product, but I have tried the Charles Neal product. I used it on a table top I made of Alder trying to make it look like the Cherry base it was going to sit on. I made the Top from Alder because I got a batch really cheap (and cherry isn’t). It was also my first shot at a huge (50 inch) glue up and flattening. I thought, “I’ll build the top, finish it and install it and see if my wife can tell the difference between it and Cherry. Two years later and she’s still thrilled and so am I. Check out Charles’ video. He tends to talk a lot (A LOT), but the content is excellent and I swear by that product. Follow the instructions on his video. It is a waterborne product so the part about letting it dry is really important.

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2612 days

#2 posted 01-01-2015 04:26 AM

I have evaluated Neils product along with others, and am writing an article to list many alternative approaches removing the hype of product promotion by companies who make it available.

There needs to be a full discussion of all of them. Very few seem to be aware of General Finishes Water Based Pre-Stain Conditioner as Neil has so many disciples, especially here on L J. Many do not know about other ways such as using wash coat of thinned down water based acrylic top coat products, proper use of Shellac formulations, etc. Many methods are cheaper and just as good or better.

Water based Pre-Stain Conditioners are not necessarily the best products to use either, totally depends on the application and what you are going to use in the process of finishing such as between coat sealers, stain, and finish.

Also, wish to include in the article different applications and the do’s, don’t s and not necessary steps. I have started to put it together but it will take me some time to reasearchand evaluate the many products. Hope to have it done by a 2015 fall target date for submission.

-- Respectfully, Paul

View Razorburne's profile


41 posts in 1388 days

#3 posted 01-03-2015 03:01 AM

I’ve used it multiple times with Pine and Douglas Fir….I used a GF Gel Stain, once in Georgian Cherry and another in Walnut. Used a Gel Topcoat on the first project and Arm-R-Seal on the second project (both GF products as well). Both projects turned out great with no noticeable “blotch”.

View pjones46's profile


1001 posts in 2612 days

#4 posted 01-03-2015 03:31 AM

Thanks Razorburne.

Gel stain seems to be the stain of choice as it appears not to sink in to the wood as fast or as much, where if it did blotching seems increase. I have used the gel stains and the gel finishes with great results.

-- Respectfully, Paul

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