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water-based) or water-soluble dyes. The problem wood in these cases is usually highly figured (such as curly or quilted maple) with exposed end grain that sucks up extra stain. Extremely dense resinous areas can also cause blotchiness, since concentrations of resin can actually repel water dyes. And it's possible to have blotchy results when staining flat-sawn boards or veneers that show alternate bands of carlywood and latcwood with vasdy different absorption rates (a condition that occurs frequently on Douglas fir plywood).
If you suspect your wood falls into one of these categories, it's a good idea to test your stain or finish on a small piece of similar scrap before finishing your project.
In these exceptional situations, wood conditioner won't do the job. It will have little effect on pigmented stains, and it will make a water-soluble dye behave even worse than if you used nothing at all. Instead, your best bet is
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