Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner penetrates the grain of the wood to promote uniform acceptance of oil-based wood stain.


  • Specifically designed to use before staining to help prevent streaking and blotching and help ensure a beautiful, even stain.
  • Quickly dries in 15 minutes to minimize project time.
  • Can be applied over any wood but is especially necessary when working with soft or porous woods like pine, alder, birch, and maple.
  • Evens out the absorption of oil-based stains

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Application Directions

  • Preparation Warning
    Removal of old paint by sanding, scraping or other means may generate dust or fumes that contain lead. Exposure to lead dust or fumes may cause brain damage or other adverse health effects, especially in children or pregnant women. Controlling exposure to lead or other hazardous substances requires the use of proper protective equipment such as a properly fitted respirator (NIOSH approved) and proper containment and cleanup. For more information, call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (in US) or contact your local health authority.
  • PREPARATION
    • Start with bare/stripped wood that’s clean and dry.
    • Sand with #220-grit sandpaper in direction of the wood grain and remove sanding dust.
    • Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner can be applied over any wood, but especially necessary when working with soft or porous woods such as pine, fir, alder, aspen, birch and maple.
  • APPLICATION
    • Stir Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner well, before and during application.
    • Do not thin.
    • Apply using a brush or cloth in the direction of the wood grain.
    • Allow product to penetrate for 5 to 15 minutes.
    • Wipe away excess conditioner with a clean, dry cloth.
    • Apply stain within 2 hours of Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.
    • Complete your project by applying a clear protective finish.
  • CAUTIONS
    DANGER: Rags, steel wool, other waste soaked with this product, and sanding residue may spontaneously catch fire if improperly discarded. Immediately place rags, steel wool, other waste soaked with this product, and sanding residue in a sealed, water-filled, metal container. Dispose of in accordance with local fire regulations. CAUTIONS: CONTAINS ALIPHATIC HYDROCARBONS. Contents are COMBUSTIBLE. Keep away from heat and open flame. VAPOR HARMFUL. Use only with adequate ventilation. To avoid overexposure, open windows and doors or use other means to ensure fresh air entry during application and drying. If you experience eye watering, headaches, or dizziness, increase fresh air, or wear respiratory protection (NIOSH approved) or leave the area. Avoid contact with eyes and skin. Wash hands after using. Keep container closed when not in use. Do not transfer contents to other containers for storage. FIRST AID: In case of eye contact, flush thoroughly with large amounts of water for 15 minutes and get medical attention. For skin contact, wash thoroughly with soap and water. In case of respiratory difficulty, provide fresh air and call physician. If swallowed, call Poison Control Center, hospital emergency room, or physician immediately. DELAYED EFFECTS FROM LONG TERM OVEREXPOSURE. Contains solvents which can cause permanent brain and nervous system damage. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal. WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY. KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. CONFORMS TO ASTM D-4236. Contact a physician for more health information.

Data Sheets:

Product Number Base Container Size SDS
027426615007 Clear 1 Quart SDS
027426115002 Clear 1 Gallon SDS
027426415003 Clear 1 Pint SDS
027426134072 Clear 1/2 Pint SDS

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MINWAX® PRE-STAIN WOOD CONDITIONER?

Much of the wood used for projects is "soft" wood, such as pine or spruce. But even some hardwoods, like alder or aspen, are porous and tend to absorb stain unevenly. That’s why it’s essential to pre-treat soft or porous woods with Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner to help ensure even stain color penetration and beautiful results.

HOW DOES MINWAX® PRE-STAIN WOOD CONDITIONER WORK?

Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner penetrates the pores of the wood, reducing the amount of stain the larger pores will absorb. This evens out the absorption of stain, preventing streaking and blotching.

CAN MINWAX® PRE-STAIN WOOD CONDITIONER BE USED ON HARDWOODS SUCH AS OAK OR MAHOGANY?

Yes, but more dramatic results will be seen on softwoods. Hardwoods tend to have a more uniform pore structure than softwoods, resulting in more uniform staining. Exceptions include maple, alder and aspen, which have uneven pore structures. Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner should be used on these woods

WHAT HAPPENS TO MINWAX® PRE-STAIN WOOD CONDITIONER AFTER TWO HOURS HAVE ELAPSED?

The resins in Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner will begin to dry and may inhibit stain absorption. To open the pores again, sand the wood lightly with a medium grit (#120 - #180) sandpaper.

DOES MINWAX® PRE-STAIN WOOD CONDITIONER NEED TO BE SANDED BEFORE STAIN IS APPLIED?

No. Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner is not a sanding sealer and does not require this extra step as long as the stain is applied within 2 hours after pre-treatment.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO APPLY TOO MUCH MINWAX® PRE-STAIN WOOD CONDITIONER?

No, not if label instructions are followed and any excess Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner is wiped off after 5 to 15 minutes.

CAN MINWAX® PRE-STAIN WOOD CONDITIONER BE USED PRIOR TO APPLYING A WATER-BASED STAIN?

No. Since Minwax® Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner is an oil-based product, it should only be used as a pre-stain treatment with oil-based stains such as Minwax® Wood Finish™ stains. For water-based stains, use Minwax® Water Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner.