Best Wood Conditioner

Best Wood Conditioners: Top 10 Picks for 2021

Bring old wooden furniture back to life with the best wood conditioner. After applying the first coat, you will notice a huge change. These conditioners can really bring out the grain if applied properly.

The achieve the best finish on any wooden project, you will need to bring the natural color of the wood without changing it. Conditioners help to enhance that original color.

If you have worn down furniture and want to bring back that deep color and glow again, I would suggest you check out the top wood conditioners listed here.

Why bother paying thousands of dollars to a professional to refinish your old wooden cabinets and other wood-based furniture when you can do the job on your own.

There are food-safe conditioners as well that can be used on wooden bowls and plates. You can even remove watermarks from your furniture.

These conditioners are more like a magic eraser that can erase scuffs, scratches, water spots, and any other blemish.



Editor's Rating


Howard Products FW0016 Wood Polish & Conditioner

5 out of 5

Howard Products BBC012 Butcher Block Conditioner

5 out of 5

Daddy Van's All Natural Unscented Beeswax Furniture Polish

4.5 out of 5

Minwax 41500000 Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

4 out of 5

John Taylor Butcher Block Conditioner

4.5 out of 5

Top 10 Best Wood Conditioner in 2020

Give these conditioners a try and see the result for yourself. Once you learn how to apply conditioners, you won't even pay a professional to do these kinds of jobs again.

1. Howard Products FW0016 Wood Polish & Conditioner

Don't leave your unfinished raw wooden furniture unstained for too long. Use the Howard Products wood polisher and give your old or new furniture an enhanced, natural finish. This conditioner can greatly enhance the wood's original depth of grain on both unfinished and finished furniture.

The wood polish features Carnauba Wax and Beeswax that not only allows you to polish all type of wooden surface but also create a protective coating with a soft luster. It is also the perfect remedy for dried-out wood. The conditioning oil penetrated deep inside the wood to protect the material from fading and drying.

You can use this conditioner on wood doors and trims, kitchen cabinets, dining tables, antiques, and more. When applied correctly, it can also prevent deterioration of the finish of your wooden projects. Not only that, but this conditioner is also widely used to prevent further drying of wood.

If you are working on newly restored furniture, use the Howard Products FW0016 for a perfect follow-up. The Feed-N-Wax from Howard is mainly intended for the restoration of old wooden cabinets and chairs. However, it can also bring out the natural depth of grain of new unfinished wood.

Highlighted Features:
  • Features a blend of Brazilian carnauba wax & beeswax
  • Contains orange oil and mineral oil
  • Can be used to polish all wood surfaces
  • Add a protecting coating

2. Howard Products BBC012 12 oz, Butcher Block Conditioner

The Butcher Block conditioner from Howard Products helps protect the wood by keeping the mineral oil in and the moisture out. This conditioner is a mixture of food-grade mineral oil, carnauba wax, and beeswax. This is the ideal conditioner for maintaining and conditioning utensils, wooden bowls, and butcher blocks.

You can also use it on cutting boards and block countertops. The mixture of mineral oil and waxes can even repair knife marks on the cutting board. The penetrative properties of the all-natural mineral oil protect the surface while the water-resistant properties of carnauba wax & beeswax help to revitalize the wood. 

This conditioner can also help prevent the drying of the wood by creating a protective layer. Whenever the wood feels or looks dry, you can add a bit of this polisher and spread it evenly to keep the wood in mint condition. It is ideal for bamboo and hardwoods thanks to its revitalizing blend.

This blend prevents cracking and drying while adding natural protection to the wood. You can also use this on wooden toys, wooden spatulas, spoons, and salad bowls. If you want to keep your cutting board beautiful and functional, create a habit of using this conditioner after every wash

Highlighted Features:
  • 100% toxic-free, food-grade conditioner
  • A perfect blend of beeswax and natural oil
  • Ideal for wooden food appliances
  • The natural oils will never go rancid

3. Daddy Van's All-Natural Unscented Beeswax Conditioner

Create a deep and rich glow to both unfinished and finished wood with a 100% biobased USDA certified beeswax from Daddy Van's. It can be used to nourish, protect, and polish all wood types. You can also apply it on chalk painted and mil painted surfaces since this works as a preservative conditioner.

It creates a protective topcoat that's non-toxic and chemical-free. This means it is a food-safe conditioner that can also be used in the kitchen.

Since it is baby safe, you can use it on wooden toys and cribs and also bring life back to old, worn-out wooden objects. Beeswax is naturally free from all harmful chemicals.

This wood wax comes in a tin that weighs six ounces. There is enough in there to polish a lot of furniture in your house. You only need to take a small amount of Daddy Van's beeswax to bring back the healthy glow of the wood. As for the usage, take a small portion, use a soft cloth, and rub it on the surface.

Rest assured, this conditioner is safe for your family and your home. This product is third-party tested and contains a blend of food-safe ingredients. This isn't just about safety. It's about conditioning the wood, and this product does a good job at that. It's healthy for the wood and also protects the surface in the long run.

Highlighted Features:
  • Harmful chemical-free, all-natural beeswax
  • Can be used on both unfinished and finished wood
  • Food safe and baby safe wood wax
  • Contains all the finest natural emollients

4. Minwax 41500000 | Best Wood Conditioner Before Staining

Finally, we have a pre-stain conditioner on our hands. And guess what? This is the product that every woodworker uses before they stain their unfinished wood. It's safe to say that this is the best pre stain wood conditioner out there, and the reviews are there to back up this claim. You use it once; you will get hooked.

This one from Minwax prevents blotchiness and also prepares your wood for staining. It is recommended for porous and softwood so that the surface of the wood can accept stain more evenly. This will make your DIY project look more professional. It takes about 5 to 15 minutes to penetrate the wood.

If you have untreated wood and you want the stain to spread evenly and take a nice, deep color, go ahead and apply this conditioner.

This will help fill in the pores and do the project that much nicer. One quart of this conditioner can cover almost 75 square feet of the wood surface.

While the manufacturer says that you can start using oil-based stain almost immediately after applying it, it's better to wait 15 to 30 minutes. When working with this product, make sure to use high-grade paintbrushes. For example, Pro-Grade works best because they come in a set that contains various sizes.

Highlighted Features:
  • Small can enough to finish a lot of DIY furniture projects
  • Recommended before staining softwood
  • Allows the stain to spread evenly
  • Prevents blotchiness

5. John Taylor Butcher Block Conditioner Food Grade

Protect your treated and untreated wood for years to come with this butcher block conditioner from John Taylor. One bottle of this conditioner is enough to treat and revitalize all the furniture in your house. From pine, maple, and bamboo to teak, this conditioner is safe to use on woods of all types.

It's easy to apply and has less curing time than regular conditioners. You can use it to restore old wooden countertops and wood surfaces to like-new condition. Your old wood countertop will look new and expensive after being treated with this product. It's also food safe and contains mineral oil and beeswax.

This means it is safe to use on wooden spoons, salad bowls, and even on children's wooden toys. After being treated with this mixture, the surface won't look oily, slick, or greasy.

Instead, it will look rich and shiny. The mineral oil quickly gets soaked into the wood instead of sitting on the surface.

This leaves a soft to the touch and smooth feeling on the surface. The wax and food-grade oil won't leave any bad taste or smell. It won't even interfere with your food.

This makes it even safer to use around pets, children, and food items. It also creates water resistance properties on the wood surface when applied.

Highlighted Features:
  • Doesn't leave an icky or greasy film on the surface
  • Less curing time than regular wood conditioners
  • Works on woods of all types
  • Leaves a soft the touch, smell-free layer on the wood

6. Daddy Van's All-Natural Lavender & Sweet Orange Oil Beeswax Furniture Conditioner

Nourish, renew, and protect raw and finished wood with Daddy Van's furniture conditioner. The previous one on this list was unscented. However, a lot of DIYers prefer their conditioner scented.

And for that reason, we have picked a furniture polish that contains the scent of pure sweet orange and lavender.

The scent is mixed with the essential oil, and a small portion is enough to give a pleasing smell to your furniture. This beeswax polish contains no artificial fragrances, no solvent, no petroleum byproducts. It's all-natural and 100% chemical-free. This is a biobased product that is USDA certified.

Daddy Van's wood conditioners are made in the USA using renewable ingredients. They also use recycled steel tins for their packaging.

This wood polish is safe for your home and also for the environment. Also, a tiny bit of wax can do a miracle to your undernourished and dry wood.

In this wax, there is a mixture of pure essential oils, olive oils, carnauba wax, and unrefined beeswax. Out of the jar, it has a yellowish tone to it, but once you apply it on the wood, it becomes clear. It does darken unfinished wood a bit when you apply this polish as a simple waxing treatment.

Highlighted Features:
  • One of the best wood conditioner for antiques
  • Has a sweet smell of lavender and pure, sweet orange
  • Works well with fragile and precious antique heirlooms
  • Makes wood moisturized and healthy

7. TriNova Wood Cleaner, Conditioner, Wax & Polish

TriNova presents the ultimate wood cleaner and conditioner that keeps your wood conditioned and home clean. This spray formula contains waxes and natural oils that create a luster and adds a natural shine to your finished and stained wooden furniture. You can use it on tables, cabinets and more.

It's a gentle formula that won't harm wood surfaces. It's the perfect remedy against residue that attracts dust. This spray-on system is very easy to use. 

Apply it on any surface and start wiping. One wipe can eliminate most surface stains. It doesn't leave a film on the surface, but it will nourish the wood.

It doesn't leave any residue behind either. This is a gentle formula that prevents nasty oil build up. For the best results, leave the formula for an hour to make it fully dry.

Wipe away the excess if any remains with a soft cloth if you want a smooth, shining surface. You can spray it on a cloth or directly on the surface.

In a nutshell, consider this as your one-step, quick cleaning and conditioning service. You can easily enhance the look of your unfinished, untreated look without leaving behind any oily build-up or residue. It can also protect your furniture against deterioration or drying.

Highlighted Features:
  • All-natural oil for nourishing wood
  • Conditions and cleans wood surface in a single application
  • Adds a non-greasy luster and natural shine
  • Can be used on stained wood

8. Howard Products FW0128 Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish & Conditioner

The famous Feed-N-Wax wood conditioner that comes in a jar so big, it is enough to last you a lifetime. Well, not literally. However, the largest jar available is 128 oz. You can also go with the smaller 8 oz jar to polish all wood surfaces. This mixture contains natural beeswax and carnauba wax for polishing.

It also contains orange oil essence to give you that sweet smell when you are polishing wood with this conditioner. Use this one when you need to polish all your furniture to a soft luster. It also protects the wood from drying and prevents cracking. Useful for kitchen cabinets, dining tables, and antiques.

This wood polish can easily bring out the depth of grain and natural beauty in unfinished and finished wood.

Notice that it isn't a pre-stain conditioner. This means you can use it after staining wood. In addition to that, this polisher can also prevent deterioration of the finish.

Don't try to use it on wooden floors. It's a conditioner, not a cleaning agent. If your finished wood is already sealed, there is no point in using this one.

Instead of conditioning, it will make it slippery. On a side note, if you want to achieve maximum penetration from this formula, let it sit overnight.

Highlighted Features:
  • One gallon can cover about 1500-2000 square feet of a wooden surface
  • A thin coat is enough to enrich finished and unfinished wood
  • Best for antiques and furniture
  • Contains the fragrance of natural orange peel

9. Therapy Wood Cleaner and Polish Kit

If you are looking for one easy step solution for cleaning, conditioning, and protecting your wooden furniture, the Therapy wood cleaning kit is for you.

This cleaner and polisher formula is safe to use on antiques, Amish furniture, cabinets, etc. Apply a small portion, buff twice, and admire the natural beauty of the wood.

It leaves a non-greasy finish on the surface and doesn't cause any long-term milk-white residue or build-up. This polisher contains no VOCs and is a great alternative to regular wood furniture polish spray. Think of this mixture as a premium wood conditioner and wood restorer.

Use this restorer if you want to make your 40-year old heritage wood furniture look like new. It's an amazing product that won't streak and dull the wood. Apply it once and see the result for yourself. It can keep your furniture shiny and clean for days and won't attract dust particles.

It's easy to use and comes with a large microfiber cloth. Use a small portion but don't apply it directly on the wood. Instead, use the microfiber cloth to clean and condition the wood. This formula doesn't leave a sticky film and contains no fake perfume smell. Buff to a natural shine without any hassle.

Highlighted Features:
  • It comes with a large microfiber cloth
  • All-in-one conditioning and cleaning agent
  • Ideal for finished wood surfaces
  • Protects wooden surfaces against stains and spills

10. General Finishes Oil Based Wood Conditioner

If you are looking for a general-purpose wood conditioner for pine, this last item in this might do the trick. It's an oil-based pre-stain conditioner that is meant to be used on raw wood. If you are working with pine, poplar, birch, cherry, aspen, and other soft and porous wood, use this conditioner before staining them.

This formula prepares new wood to accept an oil-based stain in a uniform manner. The mixture goes into the grain of the wood and creates a temporary layer for oil-based stains. This allows softwoods to get even coverage when paint is applied.

It also eliminates blotches and uneven wood color. This formula comes in a 1-quart size can and produces a natural color.

Before you stain, do yourself a favor and apply a small portion from this conditioner if you want to ensure an easy and finished product.

It can make a world of difference to your DIY wood finishing project. It won't raise the grain of the wood, which is a plus in my book. As for the usage, you don't need a professional woodworking degree to apply this coat. A small cotton rage is all you need.

Highlighted Features:
  • Easy to apply on wood
  • Works well with pine and other softwoods
  • Doesn't leave any sticky layer
  • Penetrates deep into the pores

Top 10 Wood Conditioner Compression Table




Curing Time



Food Safe

Howard Products FW0016 Wood Polish & Conditioner

Howard Products FW0016 

Polish & Condition

20 minutes

16 oz



Howard Products BBC012 Butcher Block Conditioner

Howard Products BBC012 


15 minutes

12 oz



Daddy Van's All Natural Unscented Beeswax Furniture Polish

Daddy Van's  Beeswax Furniture Polish


10 - 15 minutes

6 oz



Minwax 41500000 Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

Minwax 41500000 

Pre-stain conditioner

24 hours

16 oz



John Taylor Butcher Block Conditioner

John Taylor Butcher Block Conditioner


15 minutes

12 oz



Daddy Van's All Natural Furniture Polish

Daddy Van's All Natural Furniture Polish

Polish & Condition

20 minutes

6 oz



TriNova Wood Cleaner, Conditioner, Wax & Polish

TriNova Conditioner

Polish, Condition & Clean

10 minutes

18 oz



Howard Products FW0128 Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish & Conditioner

Howard Products FW0128

Polish & Condition

20 minutes

128 oz



Therapy Wood Cleaner and Polish Kit

Therapy Wood Cleaner and Polish Kit

Clean & Polish

15 minutes

16 oz



General Finishes Oil Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner

General Finishes Oil

Pre-stain conditioner

30 minutes

32 oz



Wood Conditioner Buying Guide

When staining wood, it's not always mandatory to use a pre-stain conditioner. However, it's often necessary. Before staining softwood, it's a must that you use a wood sealant.

Wood Types for Conditioning

Wood Types for Conditioning

Between pine, oak, and walnut, you definitely want to use a pre-stain conditioner on walnut and pine. For oak, it's not worth the effort because you will hardly be able to notice any difference.

I would totally recommend you use conditioner on pine and also on walnut. On the other hand, if you want to avoid blemishes altogether, just use a pre-stain conditioner. It doesn't take that long. You will only need to let it sit for two hours. After that, you can finish up staining the wood.

If you are working with white pine or any other softwood, you know how these woods can absorb stains like tissue paper. These are very porous wood and can soak up a lot of stain.

If you want to let the wood grain show through, apply wood conditioner first and then use wood stains. This way, you can get a beautiful finish.


Okay, so let me jump in here with a few tips for success. If you are using an oil-based stain, you want to use the oil-based pre-stain. The same thing applies to water too. If you are using a water-based stain, you should use a water-based pre-stain.

You should also take note of the timing. Always apply your stains within 2-hours of applying your pre-stain. And if you can, do a test area first just to make sure you get really good results. The size of the can won't matter, especially when you are using your conditioner for your DIY finishing project.

Food Grade Wood Conditioners

If you're inquiring about a wood conditioner that can be applied to a wooden plate or bowl, there are specific products for that. However, not every wood conditioner is non-toxic. You need to use 100% food-grade conditioner on a bowl that will be used to eat out of. 

Quality Control

Some conditioners have a mixture of extra virgin or mineral oil that penetrates deep into the wood. Ensure that the conditioner you are applying has odorless, food-grade, and pure mineral oil.

This type of oil is safe for all wood surfaces that will come in contact with food. Virgin mineral oil should not come in contact with glutton, nuts, or other potentially allergenic materials. 

Benefits of Conditioning Wood

Hard and soft pieces of wood may look identical, but some of them have differences like night and day. Take a piece of oak, for example. It's very hard wood. Compare it with a piece of white pine, which is a softwood.

Now, the trouble is, oak is easy to stain because the cellular structure of the wood is very tight. When you stain it, the stain has a very hard time getting into the wood. However, clear white pine wood is different. 

Pine is as absorbent as a paper towel. If you want to make sure that the grain of the white pine shows through when you stain it, you have to use a wood conditioner or a pre-conditioner on the wood.

Closing Up Wood Pores

A wood conditioner is perfect for closing up the wood pores of softwoods. Think of these materials as thinned down varnishes or urethanes.

Takes Less Curing Time

It takes only 15 minutes at most to apply these conditioners. They go on clear, and it takes only 30 minutes to dry before you can continue working on these conditioners.

Preps Soft Wood for Staining

The reason why I would want to use a conditioner is to prep the softwood for staining. The difference is huge for softwoods. It's amazing what these conditioners can do.

Prevents Blotchiness

When you apply stains directly on a softwood like pine, the blotchiness will come out just like that. You don't have any control whatsoever because there is nothing there protecting the wood from the stain seeping into different parts of the wood.

When you prep softwood with conditioner, you won't see any blotches. Instead, the stain will turn into a nice, rich color with a lot of more even tones. You want to achieve even color and not finish with a lot of blotches.

Ideal for Inexpensive Wood

When you are using softwood like pine, which is very inexpensive, it is highly recommended that you use conditioner first and then apply stains. Pine and other softwoods are used for a lot of projects.

DIYers prefer pine because of the price and the beautiful texture of the wood. And wood conditioners can really help to bring out the natural texture and color of the wood.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Wood Conditioner?

What is a Wood Conditioner

Answer: This is the stuff that you apply to soft, porous woods before you apply stains. In short, a wood conditioner is a material that is used in the pre-staining step for wood projects.

It's a necessary requirement for softwoods if you plan on using oil-based stains. This helps prevent uneven staining and blotchiness on the surfaces of porous and softwood, such as alder, fir, pine, birch, and maple.

There are different types of wood conditioner. We will only focus on the most important one, which is the pre-stain conditioner. Additionally, you will find other kinds of conditioners that used to revive old wooden furniture back to their original glory.

>> Here we describe more about wood conditioner

2. What is a Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner?

Answer: If you want to achieve even coloring on the wood surface or prevent blotchiness, these pre-stain conditioners can play an essential role. It's only used for new or bare wood. By penetrating deep into the wood, these conditioners form a temporary cover while enhancing the rate of absorption.

Thus, when you apply stains, it creates a beautiful, even layer of color. Regardless of the angle of the view, the result looks absolutely gorgeous. For this reason, pre-stain conditioners are very popular among woodworkers.

3. Is Wood Conditioner Necessary?

Answer: By now, I'm sure you already have the answer. Wood conditioner is only necessary when you are dealing with porous and softwood. You can also use them on wood surfaces that are less appealing.

Also, sealers and stains alone cannot bring out the deep color of the wood. You will need to prep the surface first to ensure the wood adheres to the finishes easily.

4. Do I Need Wood Conditioner for Oak?

Answer: No. Oak is a hardwood that doesn't need any conditioner. You can, however, apply it, but you will hardly notice any difference. You can go down the traditional route for staining oak wood, and that is drying the wood for a day and sanding the hell out of it.

5. Is It Necessary to Sand Wood After Applying Wood Conditioner?

Answer: It depends on the type of wood conditioners that you are using. If you plan on using water-based wood conditioners, you will need to use fine grade sandpaper for sanding the wooden surface. This is because water-based pre-stain wood conditioners make the fiber of the wood bulge.

On the other hand, if you are using an oil-based pre-stain conditioner, you will only need to let it sit for 15-20 minutes or long enough to let it dry and penetrate deep inside the wood. You won't need to sand the surface afterward.

Final Words

You won't realize how important pre-stain is unless you attempt to stain softwood without one. Make sure to pick up the best wood conditioner and use that whenever you are using wood that is very soft, like maple, birch, pine, alder, and aspen. Use these for those projects, and you will get great results.

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