Staining is a necessary skill for any DIYer who likes to work with wood. My first DIY project was a counter-height dining table which my wife and I decided had to be stained. I had no experience staining wood, so I did some research online to find out what I needed to do. One site recommended using pre-stain wood conditioner before applying the stain.
I thought I would try using pre-stain wood conditioner because I didn’t want to do all the work of building a table only to have the stain look horrible. I was very happy with the result, so I started using pre-stain wood conditioner on all projects that I finished with stain. When it was time to stain the doors for the console table I made for my master bedroom (I will be sharing this project in the next few weeks.), I ran out of wood conditioner. Instead of taking 20 minutes to go buy some more, I decided to just stain it without using pre-stain wood conditioner.
The result was terrible. The stain on the doors was botchy and inconsistent. I felt miserable because I knew that I could not leave it looking the way it did.
Without Wood Conditioner
So I sanded off the stain, applied pre-stain wood conditioner, and then re-stained the doors.
With Wood Conditioner
They now look so much better, and I learned a very valuable lesson. I will not make the same mistake again.