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I was at the HomeDepot the other day and was informed that I could pre-Condition wood using Mineral spirit. However, this is the information came from the very same person who told me that I could use Mineral Spirit to clean dried stain from my wood project, but after pouring a gallon of the substance on my project with no result, I realized that the guy probably does not know much of this stuff. Before this I had been using MinWax Pre-Conditioner and noticed how quickly one runs out of those and has to head back for more. I have a gallon of mineral spirit that could come in handy and wanted to know from those here is Mineral Spirit can in fact do the same job the MinWax Pre-Conditioner does, and seems to do well?

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No mineral spirits are not a good conditioner for wood. Solvents in general will dry wood out and break down any oils that are in the wood. This leads to decay of the wood.

What are you conditioning it for? Do you plan to stain and seal it or are you simply trying to protect the wood?

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yes, I do plan to stain and seal the wood afterwards. – user272671 Jul 30 '14 at 20:01
On my behalf, would you kindly go find the guy at home depot that told you that and slap him across the face? Sorry... don't do that...that's bad advice. But seriously, the best conditioner, is conditioner. My preference is Benjamin Moore but to be honest they all seem to be about the same. – user23534 Jul 31 '14 at 2:04
I have used lemon oil in the past as well. – James Jul 31 '14 at 16:01
on a side note if I am refinishing a piece and I have done my last coat of stripper, i do tend to run a damp rag of solvent over surfaces to clean it before I sand. I definitely do not saturate the wood in any way shape or form though. – James Jul 31 '14 at 16:07

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