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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

First-time poster here. I've dabbled in woodworking over the years and have started taking more and more of an interest in it since living in Austria as a hobby.
However, I'm really missing Home Depot right about now...

I have two projects working right now, both with pine, and I understand that I will need a pre stain wood conditioner to avoid blotches when I go to darken the wood.
However, I cannot find a pre-stain wood conditioner in Vienna, Austria at all. So much so, people look at me strange when I describe what it is when searching for it.
Of course, I could order from the states on Amazon with a 250% mark up, but that's last resort.

Does anyone happen to know what product I'd be looking for in German? Or if not, a work around to condition my wood otherwise?
Thanks in advance.
 

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Hello.

First-time poster here. I've dabbled in woodworking over the years and have started taking more and more of an interest in it since living in Austria as a hobby.
However, I'm really missing Home Depot right about now...

I have two projects working right now, both with pine, and I understand that I will need a pre stain wood conditioner to avoid blotches when I go to darken the wood.
However, I cannot find a pre-stain wood conditioner in Vienna, Austria at all. So much so, people look at me strange when I describe what it is when searching for it.
Of course, I could order from the states on Amazon with a 250% mark up, but that's last resort.

Does anyone happen to know what product I'd be looking for in German? Or if not, a work around to condition my wood otherwise?
Thanks in advance.
There is a lot of different things you can use for a pre-stain conditioner. I don't buy any. I use a 50/50 mixture of paint thinner and linseed oil and let it dry before staining. You could thin down the varnish you are using. You could even take wood glue and water and make a conditioner. You could thin down shellac. The ratios on these different products would take some testing and experimenting to get the results you want but when you have it write down the formula and you will have it. A wood conditioner is just a sealer which the soft places in the wood absorb more of so it makes the surface more uniform and would tend to stain uniform.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There is a lot of different things you can use for a pre-stain conditioner. I don't buy any. I use a 50/50 mixture of paint thinner and linseed oil and let it dry before staining. You could thin down the varnish you are using. You could even take wood glue and water and make a conditioner. You could thin down shellac. The ratios on these different products would take some testing and experimenting to get the results you want but when you have it write down the formula and you will have it. A wood conditioner is just a sealer which the soft places in the wood absorb more of so it makes the surface more uniform and would tend to stain uniform.
Thanks for your time, Steve!

You mentioned a 50/50 mixture of paint thinner and linseed oil. How do you store this once you mix it or do you mix it as you go?
Also, what are your thoughts on say, using Turpentine and Linseed Oil for this mixture? Or Mineral Spirits and Linseed oil for the same purpose?
(I know I may be beating this topic too hard, but the better my understanding of this allows me to make a wiser purchase here in Vienna. It's not like home depot, where I can just go in and grab mineral spirits or paint thinner... It's a bit more difficult to ensure the product I'm buying is in fact what I'm looking for and further, which additives if any have been included.)

Since my posting, I watched one prep a piece of oak with nothing but water 15 minutes before staining. Any thoughts on that?
For now, if I take the 'ready made' easy route for an extra buck, I would do the following:
1. Minwax Pre-Stain Conditioner (Oil Based)
 

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Thanks for your time, Steve!

You mentioned a 50/50 mixture of paint thinner and linseed oil. How do you store this once you mix it or do you mix it as you go?
Also, what are your thoughts on say, using Turpentine and Linseed Oil for this mixture? Or Mineral Spirits and Linseed oil for the same purpose?
(I know I may be beating this topic too hard, but the better my understanding of this allows me to make a wiser purchase here in Vienna. It's not like home depot, where I can just go in and grab mineral spirits or paint thinner... It's a bit more difficult to ensure the product I'm buying is in fact what I'm looking for and further, which additives if any have been included.)

Since my posting, I watched one prep a piece of oak with nothing but water 15 minutes before staining. Any thoughts on that?
For now, if I take the 'ready made' easy route for an extra buck, I would do the following:
1. Minwax Pre-Stain Conditioner (Oil Based)
Where I live turpentine is a rare critter so I've never used it for wood conditioner. I think probably it would work the same or better. All the solvent does is thin the linseed oil. If you didn't thin it the stain wouldn't take at all. I don't attempt to keep the conditioner, I throw out what ever is left over however I think it wou.

In order to understand how the conditioner works is the species of wood prone to blotch the grain is wavy and when the wood is surfaced it cuts the grain fibers and you more or less have spots with end grain in the middle of the board. The wood conditioner fills and seals these fibers so it doesn't just drink up the stain when you apply it. See, if you looked at wood through a microscope it would look like a cluster of drinking straws glued together. If it was a wood like oak the straws would go through the board in a straight line and would stain evenly without a conditioner,

Water raises the grain of wood and makes the stain penetrate better. If you are working with a wood that goes blotchy, water is the last thing you want to use. On oak it doesn't make that much difference however you sand the wood smooth and if you wet is the wood would then be rough to the touch. Not exactly what you want when finishing to make the wood rough. It would take more coats of finish and more sanding between coats. Try this sometime. Put a drop of water on a scrap piece of wood and let it dry. Then stain the wood and see what happens. The spot that got wet will be a whole lot darker. It's a big problem when preparing wood to finish in the summertime. You get the wood sanded and have a drop of sweat fall on the wood and then you have to let it dry and sand it again.

I've never used the Minwax conditioner. I stopped buying minwax products a number of years ago because they seem to be substandard. Their wood stain works real easy but are badly prone to fade. Then the Helmsman varnish fails faster than any varnish I've used.
Thanks for your time, Steve!

You mentioned a 50/50 mixture of paint thinner and linseed oil. How do you store this once you mix it or do you mix it as you go?
Also, what are your thoughts on say, using Turpentine and Linseed Oil for this mixture? Or Mineral Spirits and Linseed oil for the same purpose?
(I know I may be beating this topic too hard, but the better my understanding of this allows me to make a wiser purchase here in Vienna. It's not like home depot, where I can just go in and grab mineral spirits or paint thinner... It's a bit more difficult to ensure the product I'm buying is in fact what I'm looking for and further, which additives if any have been included.)

Since my posting, I watched one prep a piece of oak with nothing but water 15 minutes before staining. Any thoughts on that?
For now, if I take the 'ready made' easy route for an extra buck, I would do the following:
1. Minwax Pre-Stain Conditioner (Oil Based)
Where I live turpentine is a rare critter so I've never used it for wood conditioner. I think probably it would work the same or better. All the solvent does is thin the linseed oil. If you didn't thin it the stain wouldn't take at all. I don't attempt to keep the conditioner, I throw out what ever is left over however I think it would probably keep for months. .

In order to understand how the conditioner works is the species of wood prone to blotch the grain is wavy and when the wood is surfaced it cuts the grain fibers and you more or less have spots with end grain in the middle of the board. The wood conditioner fills and seals these fibers so it doesn't just drink up the stain when you apply it. See, if you looked at wood through a microscope it would look like a cluster of drinking straws glued together. If it was a wood like oak the straws would go through the board in a straight line and would stain evenly without a conditioner,

Water raises the grain of wood and makes the stain penetrate better. If you are working with a wood that goes blotchy, water is the last thing you want to use. On oak it doesn't make that much difference however you sand the wood smooth and if you wet is the wood would then be rough to the touch. Not exactly what you want when finishing to make the wood rough. It would take more coats of finish and more sanding between coats. Try this sometime. Put a drop of water on a scrap piece of wood and let it dry. Then stain the wood and see what happens. The spot that got wet will be a whole lot darker. It's a big problem when preparing wood to finish in the summertime. You get the wood sanded and have a drop of sweat fall on the wood and then you have to let it dry and sand it again.

I've never used the Minwax conditioner. I stopped buying minwax products a number of years ago because they seem to be substandard. Their wood stain works real easy but is badly prone to fade. Then the Helmsman varnish fails faster than any varnish I've used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks a lot, Steve. I have about 6 different test slabs going right now. We'll see which one takes the cake. I'll share photos when I'm done.
 
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