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1 qt. Wood Conditioner (2-Pack)

  • Conditions interior wood surfaces to prep for oil based stain
  • Seals soft or porous wood for a smooth, even wood stain finish
  • Easy to use, high solid formula covers up to 220 sq. ft./quart
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Product Overview

Varathane 1 qt. Wood Conditioner (2-Pack) is a pre-staining step made for use on interior wood projects before finishing with an oil-based stain. Varathane Wood Conditioner helps prevent splotchy, uneven staining on soft and porous wood types, including birch, maple, alder, fir and pine. High-solids formula offers excellent penetration into the wood for beautiful staining results and projects. Made to prep and seal wood surfaces allowing for a rich, deep and even color.
  • Use prior to applying stain to porous woods to minimize blotchiness and ensure a consistent, even stain application
  • Works on interior soft wood surfaces including pine, maple, alder, fir and birch
  • Covers up to 220 sq. ft.
  • Acts as a wood sealer and seals soft wood pores for a better, even color and stain control without splotches
  • Applies easily to interior wood surfaces using a brush or cloth
  • High-solids formula penetrates deeply into wood to close pores, allow 30 minutes after application before applying wood stain
  • Cleans up with mineral spirits
  • Will work on a variety of wood surfaces including interior wood furniture, cabinets, doors, trim, wood floors and paneling
  • Actual paint colors may vary from on-screen and printer representations
  • Browse Available Floor Refinishing Tool Rental Options
  • Online price includes PaintCare fee in the following states: CA, CO, CT, DC, ME, MN, OR, RI, VT, WA
  • California residents

Info & Guides

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Container Size
1 Quart
Coverage Area (sq. ft.)
220 ft²


Application Method
Base Material
Oil Based
Dry to touch (min.)
30 min
Interior Paint & Stains Product Type
Number of coats recommended
Number per Package
Paint Tool Product Type
Interior Paint/Stain
Paint/Stain Clean Up
Mineral Spirits
Paint/Stain Features
No additional features
Product Form
Substrate Condition
Bare Wood,Bare Wood,Finished Wood,Finished Wood,Stained Wood,Stained Wood,Unfinished Wood,Unfinished Wood
Vertical / Horizontal

Warranty / Certifications

Manufacturer Warranty
Satisfaction guaranteed for full refund of purchase price

Questions & Answers

Typical questions asked about products:

  • Is the product durable?
  • Is the product easy to use?
  • What are the dimensions of the product?

Customer Reviews

  • 4.2
    out of 282 reviews
  • 79% recommend this product
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Showing 1-10 of 282 reviews
Not what I expected
I stripped and sanded an antique oak cabinet. I was under the impression that I needed to add conditioner to the piece. The conditioner has darkened the oak and I planned to add a white oak stain to the wood. Now the doors are darker than the cabinet that was just sanded. I would not recommend applying this conditioner to oak wood.
Response from Rust-OleumSupportMar 19, 2021
Thank you for sharing your experience using our Varathane Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. This product is designed to even out the porosity of porous woods such as pine, maple, alder, fir, and birch, since staining these woods directly can result in a splotchy or uneven appearance. Oak does not typically require a pre-stain conditioner, however, applying this product and wiping the excess according to the label instructions should not result in any change in the color of the wood surface. - Rust-Oleum Product Support 2 Rustoleum
    I bought this just after HD stopped selling the OTHER stuff, on the recommendation of a paint aisle person who said it was just as good. To be safe, I tested this alongside its competitor on clean, 220-sanded pieces of 1 x 6 radiata pine and cherry, with the recommended penetration times of 30 minutes for this and 15 for the other stuff. In both tests the the Varathane side was unacceptably blotchy while other stuff eliminated virtually all blotching with half the penetration time. I will be returning this can as defective.
    Response from Rust-OleumSupportFeb 5, 2021
    We appreciate the feedback about the Rust-Oleum Varathane Wood Conditioner, Don. Keep in mind that the excess wood conditioner does need to wiped away to avoid getting a blotchy finish. - Rust-Oleum Product Support 5 Rustoleum
      DO NOT BUY
      This product does not work. I ran out of MinWax pre-stain conditioner and swapped some of this in. Came out just how I suspected. Luckily this is the inside of the door that no one will see. I urge anyone to avoid this product as it will cause blotching. See photos for comparison between MinWax and Varathane.
      Response from Rust-OleumSupportDec 28, 2020
      Oh no, that's not what we like to see, Adam! Please give us a call at 800-901-0411 to talk with us further about your application with Rust-Oleum Varathane Wood Conditioner. We hope you will give us a chance to try to make things right with you!
      - Rust-Oleum Product Support 3 Rustoleum
        Use this if you want to ruin your project
        after issues with three different projects now all of them preconditioned there seems to be a common theme. The wood conditioner saturates the wood to a level that it doesn't absorb as much stain as it should and resulting in a tacky residue left over when the stain dries. to test the theory I stained a fourth project without putting any conditioner on it and had no issues at all. conditioner leaves the wood exactly the way it says it's not supposed to, incredibly blotchy.
        Response from Rust-OleumSupportJul 27, 2020
        Oh no, we understand your frustration! Please keep in mind that any excess of the Rust-Oleum Varathane Wood Conditioner needs to be wiped away to ensure proper drying and absorption. - Rust-Oleum Product Support 5 Rustoleum
          It helped even out the stain that I used afterwards
          It helped even out the stain that I used afterwards
          • Verified Purchase
          • Recommended
          Works well
          Used it on birch applied 2 coats with a brush. This was the only option at Home Depot, It’s totally worth it. You can see in the photos that it is still a little blotchy but much better than the sample piece I tried to stain without the wood conditioner.
            • Recommended
            I used this prior to staining with Varathane Premium Fast Dry stain. The directions on the stain ...
            I used this prior to staining with Varathane Premium Fast Dry stain. The directions on the stain stated that use of a conditioner was unecessary with this product, but I didn't want to take a chance after many hours of sanding stair treads. The conditioner was easy to apply, and was rapidly and evenly absorbed. It was easy to clean up drips or overapplicaton. It does put out some fumes, so be ready with a fan or other air circulation if using indoors.
            • Verified Purchase
            • Recommended
            Used it before staining my coffee table ...
            Used it before staining my coffee table
            • Verified Purchase
            One coat of this very thick product is enough, while other brands require multiple. Brings out th...
            One coat of this very thick product is enough, while other brands require multiple. Brings out the wood beauty in my projects.
            • Verified Purchase
            • Recommended
            1 person found this helpful
            I am using it for an art project Acrylic pouring...
            I am using it for an art project Acrylic pouring
            • Verified Purchase
            Showing 1-10 of 282 reviews