Water Based Pre-Stain Conditioner is a formula similar to our water-based stains without the colorant. Use General Finishes Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural as a wood conditioner to control blotching on hard-to-stain woods, such as maple, pine and cherry, before applying a water-based wood stain.
General Finishes Water Based Pre-Stain Conditioner Application Steps
For use with water-based stains. Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural can improve color uniformity over difficult-to-stain wood species such as pine. However, it will limit color absorption, so a darker wood stain may be required to get the desired depth of color.
Hand-Application Over Raw Wood:
Work in a well-ventilated area.
Stir thoroughly to reincorporate solids that have settled to the bottom of the can before and throughout the application process.
Test your complete finishing process before starting. The color of stain is affected by variances in wood and deepened by the application of topcoat.
Thin as desired with distilled water; start with 5%, adding up to 10% by volume.
Increase open time, if needed, 10-15% General Finishes Extender if allowed by local regulations. GF Extender will improve flow and leveling and increase open time, which is helpful in dry climates.
To accelerate dry time in humid conditions, add General Finishes Acceleratorbefore applying and work in a space with good ventilation and air movement.
Divide your project into manageable sections: top, side, drawer, door, table seam.
Apply a LIBERAL amount of Pre-Stain Conditioner to ensure easy workability using a synthetic bristle brush, foam brush, pad applicator or roller.
Wipe off the excess evenly with the grain using quality paper or shop towels.
Let Pre-stain Conditioner dry 20 minutes but no more than 30 minutes before applying GF water-based stain in ideal conditions: 50-70% humidity, 70°F/20°C. Cooler temperatures and higher humidity may prolong dry time.
Wear a full filter respirator (NIOSH/MSHA-approved) and work in a ventilated space.
Keep your gun at a 90° angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large, flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6-8" wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" wide to reduce overspray. Overlap each pass 25% to conceal lines.
Let Pre-stain Conditioner dry 20 minutes but no more than 30 minutes before applying GF water-based stain in ideal conditions: 50-70% humidity, 70°F/20°C.
Dilute Water Based Stains
Add 5% GF Pre-Stain Conditioner to GF Water Based Stains by volume, increase up to 15% as desired.
Custom Stain Colors
Add 3 tablespoons of any General Finishes Milk Paintcolor to one pint of Water-Based Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural to make a colored wood stain, or 6 tablespoons Milk Paint to 1 quart Pre-Stain Conditioner.
Warning: Do not use water-based products with Linseed Oils or Danish Oils.
Please be mindful of the manner in which water-based products are stored and how long they have been in storage. They not a forever product.
Life of Product
Water-based products do not last forever, even when unopened. General Finishes products are best used within 1 year. However, the life of the product may be extended several more years with proper care and storage (see Storage Tips below).
Water-based products can last 3-5 years if the can is unopened, in good condition and stored in correct temperatures.
Product that is 3 years old will not look like product that is 6 months to 1 year old. You will see more stratification or separation as the product ages. Always stir thoroughlybefore using.
If your product hasa foul smell, it is contaminated and no longer in useable condition.
Clumps & Settling
Gravity can cause some solids to settle on the bottom of the can and slight separation on the top. This is normal. If working with older product stir with a paint mixing attachment on a drill.
If the solids dissolve and clumps smooth out after mixing from the bottom, the product is in good condition for use.
Inability to reincorporate large, chunky lumps after stirring for several minutes is an indication that the product has frozen and can no longer be used.
See video tutorial: Tips on Storing Leftover Finishes
Water-based finishes crystalize and form a skin due to evaporation when the air-tight seal on a can is broken at first use. The following best practices will increase the life of your product:
Pry open sealed lids with a paint can opener by hooking under the lid's rolled edge. The use of a screwdriver can disfigure the rim and lid, impairing a complete seal.
Keep lid closed while working. Pour what you will use into a bowl, paper cup, or plate, and close can lid as you work.
Clean the chime of the can thoroughly with a paper towel before closing to create a complete seal. Product falling into the chime can be minimized by using a pouring lid, such as Fitsall. Avoid wiping used brushes on the lid.
Pound the lid in place using a rubber mallet to avoid distorting the chime or lid. Dents in the lid from direct contact with a hammer can impair a complete seal. Alternatively, place a flat piece of wood over can lid and firmly pound shut.
Store in moderate temperatures. Avoid temperatures below 50°F/10°C or above 100°F/26°C. Keep from freezing. Frozen and heat-damaged product cannot be revitalized. Temperature-controlled spaces, such as a basement, are ideal for storage. Do not store product in an attic, garage, in direct sunlight, or next to something warm like a water heater or furnace.
Store can upside down to create a liquid seal, minimize evaporation and reduce the chance of crystallization. Decant remaining product from the can before stirring.
Decant leftovers to a smaller container when the finish is almost used up. Alternative storage containers for water-based products are plastic FIFO bottles or glass bottles. Do not fill metal-lidded containers completely to prevent them from rusting.
The following water-based product mixtures can be stored:
Water-Based Pre-Stain Conditioner Warnings and Warranties
General Finishes products must be tested to your complete satisfaction before using. General Finishes will not be responsible for color satisfaction, misapplication, nor compatibility with other manufacturers' products. General Finishes will be responsible only for the cost of our products, and not for costs such as labor, damage or project replacement.
Contamination and Compatibility
Our finishes are engineered as a system and are compatible with each other. General Finishes cannot guarantee an ideal refinish when applying our products on top of or combined with another company's products or over surfaces that have been in contact with waxes, polishes or sprays containing contaminants such as silicone. Test for adherence and aesthetics before beginning.
FIRST AID: Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms occur due to the following. Eye Contact: Remove any contact lenses. Flush eyes with water for 20+ minutes while lifting upper and lower eyelids. Skin Contact: Wash thoroughly after handling. Inhalation:Move to fresh air and loosen clothing. If not breathing, if breathing is irregular or if respiratory arrest occurs, provide artificial respiration or oxygen by trained personnel. Ingestion: Call physician immediately. Wash out mouth with water. Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person.
Prop 65 WARNING: This product can expose you to Ethylene oxide, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. This product can expose you to chemicals including Hydrazine, 1,4-Dioxane, Propylene oxide, which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, and Ethanediol, which is known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.
CAUTION: MAY CAUSE EYE IRRITATION.
WARNING: Keep out of reach of children. Avoid contact with eyes. Keep container tightly closed when not in use. Wash thoroughly after handling.
Interior wood stains are formulated for interior use and do not contain UV absorbers, mold retardants or HALS (Hindered amine light stabilizers used to protect the polymers from the effects of photo-oxidation.) Waterbased interior stains are much more likely to fail.
You could try this look on an exterior door that will not receive a lot of sun, but be prepared for more maintenance than usual. It is not recommended.
Everyone should note that all exterior finishes need to be maintained at some point - MOTHER NATURE wins the longevity war
Water Based Stains will always exhibit a bit of bleed through. When glazing with any color over water stains, we recommend some type of seal coat is applied first.
Unfortunately, the two colors you have chosen do not work very well together. Expresso will always bleed if Whitewash is applied directly over top. In the future, seal the Espresso stain with a coat of Shellac, and then General Finishes High Performance Topcoat. Allow both to dry, then apply Whitewash as a glaze (1 part stain, 1 part topcoat mix).
Here are two remedies we recommend to fix for bleeding that has occurred:
Strip away finish and start over.
Stain with Espresso, top with Shellac, and then with 1-2 coats High Performance. After the HIgh Performance has dried, apply the Whitewash as a glaze (1:1 stain & HPTC). Seal with High Performance.
Paint over the bleeding stain.
Seal current finish with Shellac and then paint with Seagull Gray Milk Paint.
Any time you apply a light stain over a dark stain there is a possibility of bleed through. Therefore, it's important to seal off the base color first.
If the look of the wood grain is not important, Dark Chocolate Milk Paint is an exact match to Java GelStain when painted, and it could be used as an alternative base color.
SPRAY APPLICATION OF GENERAL FINISHES WATER-BASED FINISHES:
All General Finishes water-based topcoats and wood stains are ready to spray from the container without additives with the exception of Conversion Varnish. Always strain material through a medium to fine mesh filter before spraying. If necessary, in hot or dry climates, reduce 10 to 15% with General Finishes Extender to extend the open time.
Softwoods such as Pine absorb stain at an uneven rate and may respond better to staining if the wood is pre-sealed. General Finishes Pre-Stain Conditioner Natural can be applied to raw wood to condition the surface for uniform penetration of the stain. Pre-sealing will cause the final stain to be lighter so you may need to use a darker color. Always test your color on a hidden part of the furniture. Allow the Pre-Stain Conditioner to dry 30 minutes before applying your final stain color.
If you are using a sprayer that has been used for oil-based or lacquers, clean the unit thoroughly with acetone followed with hot water to purge the fluid passage. Apply a thin coat first that will dry and harden faster. Sand this first coat down to a smooth base on which to build your finish coats with a 220-320 grade foam sanding pad or #400-grit sandpaper. It is better to spray 2 thin coats rather than 1 heavy coat.
Contact your supplier to verify proper tip sizes for your specific equipment. GF's general recommended fluid tips for Wood Stains and Top Coats are Compressed air - .040 and Airless - .009.
This PDF lists general guidelines for several different types of sprayers with specific General Finishes product recommendations for HVLP listed below.
RECOMMENDED TIPS FOR GENERAL FINISHES PRODUCTS USING HVLP:
Milk Paint: 1.8mm-2.0mm
Brushable White Enamel 1.8mm-2.0mm
Stain Blocker: 1.8mm-2.0mm
Pearl Effects: 1.8mm-2.0mm
Glaze Effects: 1.8mm-2.0mm
High-Performance Topcoat: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Flat Out Flat Top Coat: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Water-Based Wood Stain: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Water-Based Dye Stain: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Exterior 450 Topcoat:1.1mm-1.3mm
Exterior 450 Stain: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Enduro Sanding Sealer: 1.3-1.4mm
Enduro White Poly: 1.3mm-1.5mm
Enduro Black Poly: 1.3mm-1.5mm
Enduro White Under Coat 1.5mm-1.8mm
Enduro Clear Poly: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Enduro Pre Cat Lacquer: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Enduro Conversion Varnish: 1.1mm-1.3mm
Air caps should be medium size. Contact your supplier to verify proper tip sizes for your specific equipment.
Break your work into sections such as dresser top or drawer fronts. Spraying too large of an area can result in a textured grainy surface. A correctly sprayed finish should appear even and glossy. It is important to spray enough material to allow proper flow and leveling of the finish.
Spray medium wet films at 3-5 wet ml thickness. Practice makes perfect. If you have never sprayed finishes before, take a large piece of cardboard and practice your technique first. Spray water on the cardboard to learn how the gun works. Check your fluid settings and adjust the controls to get comfortable with the spray angles and to develop your technique.
Keep your gun at a 90* angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6 to 8 wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray. For topcoats, overlap each pass 25% to conceal lines.
Keep your gun at a 90* angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6 to 8 wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray. Overlap each pass of stain 50% for even coverage and wipe back the excess with an absorbent cloth. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray.
SPRAYING WATER BASED DYE STAINS:
Keep your gun at a 90* angle, 6-8" from the surface. On large flat areas, use wet, even patterns 6 to 8 wide. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray. Overlap each pass of stain 50% for even coverage. If coverage is even, there is no need to wipe. If you have issues with uneven coverage, wipe back the excess with an absorbent cloth. For narrow surfaces, reduce the fan pattern to 2-3" to reduce overspray.
Thin GF water based stains with distilled water if desired. Start with 5%, adding up to 10% by volume.
Increase open time, if needed with up to 5% General Finishes Extender if allowed by local regulations. GF Extender will improve flow and leveling and increase open time, which is helpful in dry climates.
California Residents: Adding more than 2% of GF Extender will make the products non compliant per SCAQMD Regulations. GF assumes no liability for the improper use of these products.
GF Enduro RTM stains are a thinner formula designed for professional spray applications.
Renewable resources are a recent, eco-friendly advancement in the paint and coatings industry.
They are comprised of plant proteins such as corn; as well as conventional and innovative oils derived from plants such as Euphorbia lagascae, Vernonia galamensis from the sunflower family, and Calendula officinalis, aka marigold.
General Finishes products formulated with renewable resources meet the standard of excellence you have come to expect — including adhesion, coverage, color and durability — with all benefits of water finishes.
GF coatings made with Renewable Resources are: Enduro-Var II, Milk Paint, Water Based Wood Stain, Exterior 450 Stain and Wood Turner's Finish. Look for the green icon!
Maple is one of the most difficult woods to achieve a dark, uniform stain color on because it is a dense, closed grain wood and often absorbs stain very unevenly. General Finishes Gel Stains or Water Based Stains usually will perform very well because they are more topical than traditional liquid oil stains, and contain more colorants.
We do not recommend pre-sealing Maple with a conditioner because it closes up the grain of the wood even more, further preventing color adherence. In the future, just use our water-based stains or gel stains on their own. Do not use liquid oil-based stains on Maple because they will blotch.
Also, prep sand Maple with 120 grit, followed by 150 grit or 220 grit.