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  • 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 55 sq. ft. per can
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Product Details

Varathane 8 oz. Wood Conditioner 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 55 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
  • 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
  • Return Policy
  • California residents

Additional Resources

From the Manufacturer

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Specifications

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Questions & Answers

42Questions
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Q:I had some holes on the wood chest I am refinishing and filled with wood filler. I am going to use the conditioner first before staining. Will these show up through the stain?
by|Dec 2, 2022
1 Answer
Answer This Question

A:  Happy to help, Anne! Rust-Oleum Varathane Wood Conditioner will have more of a clear finish and will not block any of the color. If the wood filler is a contrasting color, it may show through some with the stain, depending on how opaque it is. - Rust-Oleum Product Support 3

by|Dec 2, 2022
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    Q:Can I use a water based polyurethane over oil based wood conditioner, without using a stain?
    by|Nov 20, 2022
    1 Answer
    Answer This Question

    A:  You've come to the right place! Rust-Oleum Varathane Wood Conditioner can be top coated with a water-base polyurethane. For best results, be sure to follow the application and dry time information on the label. - Rust-Oleum Product Support 4

    by|Nov 21, 2022
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      Q:I applied as directed and wiped off the excess before drying. Will the wood color ever go back to natural?
      by|Oct 30, 2022
      1 Answer
      Answer This Question

      A:  We need to know more to get to the bottom of this, Bill. Varathane Wood Conditioner is a high solids, oil-based wood conditioner, designed to penetrate deeply into wood to provide a more even color and better stain control for all wood projects. Allow the conditioner to penetrate for 30 minutes before staining. Give us a call at 800-901-0411, so we can hear more about your application and try to make things right. - Rust-Oleum Product Support 6

      by|Oct 31, 2022
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        Q:Can this be used to prep unfinished Oak cabinets?
        by|Sep 10, 2022
        1 Answer
        Answer This Question

        A:  Great question, Jenn! Rust-Oleum Varathane Wood Conditioner is great for unfinished soft woods prior to staining to help ensure the best color. This product can be used on cabinets. - Rust-Oleum Product Support 3

        by|Oct 28, 2022
          1 found this answer helpful
          Showing 1-4 of 42
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          Customer Reviews

          4.2 out of 5
          (363)
          • 4.2
            out of 363 reviews
          • 78%recommend this product
          Filter by:
          Showing 1-10 of 363 reviews
          I conditioned, stained and varathaned my custom workbench. Had several...
          I conditioned, stained and varathaned my custom workbench. Had several tell me it was more of a household piece that a garage piece! Ha *came out good.
          by
          • Verified Purchase
          Glad that I started with this product
          Only giving 4 stars due to lack of information available from Rustoleum on this product. However, we achieved the look we were going after. We decided to buy unfinished cabinets for the kitchen. If our stain doesn't work out, we'll still paint with oil based paints. But, we wanted to try to create a natural look using the money we spent. We definitely followed the directions. Against the grain. It was nice to see the difference of the conditioner before our eyes.
          by
            • Recommended
            Good product, (probably 30 minutes- MAX)
            Seems like an alright product? I had never used before. I wanted to stain birch to look like walnut. I was told at my local HD store that this wood conditioner opens the pores of the wood to absorb the stain, (or create an even absorption). Was told the pictures of my project, (after this conditioner and four coats of stain), look good but I'm not happy with it. I did sand prior, but think I left this on too long? I also think I should have gone with a gel wood stain. Hopefully the Varathane stain poly will make it look better to me.
            by
            • Verified Purchase
            • Recommended
            Blotchy
            I used this as directed and the aged walnut stain for my butcher block for a desk and it turned out blotchy. So disappointing
            by
            Response from Rust-OleumSupportApr 25, 2022
            Oh no, not something we like to hear. Varathane Premium Wood Conditioner is designed to prep soft or porous woods before staining. Apply with a brush or clean, lint-free cloth. Apply the conditioner across the grain until the wood is saturated on top. Wipe the excess wood conditioner off in the direction of the wood grain, do not let the conditioner dry before wiping off the excess. Allow the conditioner to penetrate for 30 minutes before staining. Give us a call at 800-901-0411 so we can hear more about your application and try to make things right.
            - Rust-Oleum Product Support 6 Rustoleum
              Don’t get!
              I have used pre conditioner before with another brand and was very disappointed in this product. The fumes were awful and it took hours to dry! I had one area where there was no pre conditioner and when I stained it and another area that had pre conditioner, the pre conditioner was blotchy-it had the opposite effect (image shows the left side where the pre-conditioner was used). Now I have to re-sand the floors again and start again-so frustrating!
              by
              Response from Rust-OleumSupportMar 30, 2022
              Oh no, not something we like to hear Anna. For best results using Varathane Premium Wood Conditioner, apply the conditioner across the grain until the wood is saturated on top. Wipe the excess wood conditioner off in the direction of the wood grain. Do not let the conditioner dry before wiping off the excess. Allow the conditioner to penetrate for 30 minutes before staining. Give us a call at 800-901-0411 so we can hear more about your application and try to make things right.
              - Rust-Oleum Product Support 6 Rustoleum
                1 found this review helpful
                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.
                by
                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
                  1 found this review helpful
                  Disappointing
                  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.
                  by
                  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
                    2 found this review helpful
                    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.
                    by
                    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.
                      by
                      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
                        by
                        • Verified Purchase
                        • Recommended
                        Showing 1-10 of 363 reviews

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                        Container Size8 Ounce1 Pint1 Pint1 Pint
                        Application MethodBrushWipe OnWipe OnWipe On
                        Coverage Area (sq. ft.)55 sq ft250 sq ft250 sq ft150 sq ft
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