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It's been a while since I had to do this and I can't recall off the top of my head...but is it shellac or varnish I mix with 5 parts alcohol in order to make a wood conditioner? I have some pine I am staining and need to condition the soft spots. Thanks in advance
 

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To make a washcoat simply reduce whatever product you want to use (lacquer, shellac etc.) to about 5% by volume. The % solids of the material as purchased will be stated on the label.

Minwax pre-stain conditioner works too, as well as any simple stain base.
 
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