I bought an old desk at a garage sale, and I want to restain it. I've already sanded the whole desk and am ready to clean it up with tack cloth and restain. Should I use wood conditioner on it?

It is unclear to me as to whether wood conditioner is only for totally unfinished wood or if it is good to use on old finished wood that has been sanded and is ready to restain.

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    woodworking.stackexchange.com is a good place to ask this type of question. Sep 16, 2017 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


I have found that wood conditioner is unnecessary for harder wood species. The primary purpose is to help reduce blotchy spots due to uneven stain penetration, which in my experience is prevalent with soft woods.

Previously finished woods may be less susceptible to blotchiness, depending on how thoroughly the wood was sanded. Conversely, less than complete removal of existing finishes can itself cause uneven stain penetration.

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