Here's What You Need to Know About Using Wood Conditioner

ECOS 09/25/2018
wood conditioner

In a recent study, participants spent six full work days in an environmentally-controlled office space at the TIEQ lab at the Syracuse Center of Excellence. In this space, VOC levels were reduced to approximately 50 micrograms per cubic meter and 40 cubic feet per minute of outdoor air per person. They found that, on average, cognitive scores were 101% higher than in conventional workspaces. In the past, we've discussed the health effects of VOCs as well as various painting methods and top secrets for painting precision. But VOCs aren't just in paints -- they can also come in other products like wood conditioner. Here's a quick FAQ to help you use wood conditioner safely and properly.

How do I know if the wood I'm working with requires wood conditioner?

To determine this, it's important to first recognize the purpose of wood conditioner. This substance is intended to make wood appear newer, glossier, and more sealed for protection. It comes in many different types, but it's typically required on many wood surfaces to help liquid stains appear more evenly.

"To help even out the color when working with new and bare woods, you can try using a pre-stain wood conditioner. The condition penetrates and temporarily seals the wood to even out the rate of absorption, thereby creating a much more uniform stain coat....many experienced woodworkers believe that standard liquid stains will produce the best results on pine, fir, alder, maple, birch and similar woods if the surfaces are first treated with a conditioner," writes Chris Baylor on The Spruce Crafts.

What are the preparation steps involved with applying wood conditioner?

Before applying wood conditioner, it's best to sand down the wood until it's smooth to remove blemishes. If needed, remove the sawdust with a shop vac so you don't apply it with the conditioner itself. It's essential to apply wood conditioner only to a perfectly clean surface to yield the best results.

Studies have shown that levels of several organics average two to five times higher indoors than outdoors, and when inhaled they can contribute to several health problems. That being said, if you do decide to work with wood conditioner, make sure to take the proper precautions or invest in a low VOC wood conditioner. For more information about priming woodwork, protecting hardwood floors, or picking out paint, contact Ecos Paints.