How to Repair Superficial or Light Scratches in Hardwood Floors
Before you begin repairing scratches, the hardwood floor should be thoroughly cleaned. Use a specialized cleaner that is designed for use on hardwood floors. The results of the repair efforts will be diminished if the floor is not spotless. Next, apply a pigmented wood polish or a wood marker to the area. The polish can be applied with a clean rag. Only apply one coat, and allow it to dry completely before deciding if another coat is needed. Once you have achieved the right shade, you will need to apply polyurethane or shellac on top of the area if the rest of the floor has a glossy finish.
How to Fix Deeper Scratches in Wood Floors
Deeper scratches are more challenging to repair, but rest assured that a solution is available. As is the case when you are repairing shallow scratches, the first step to take when dealing with deeper scratches is to thoroughly clean the area with an appropriate cleanser. You will then apply a small amount of wood putty to the scratch using a putty knife. Follow the product’s instructions carefully, and allow ample time for the filler to cure before proceeding.
When the putty has cured, sand the area until it is flush with the rest of the floor. Clean the area carefully, and apply the wood stain with a clean rag. An alternative is to use a wood stain marker. Allow the coloring to dry thoroughly. Then, repeat the coloring process until the right hue is achieved. Finally, apply shellac or polyurethane as needed on floors with a deep sheen.
Other Methods: How to Fix Scratches in Hardwood Floors from a Dog
While these are the more common methods for fixing hardwood floor scratches, there are some other proven solutions that you could consider. Generally, these solutions are most ideal for lighter scratches, but you can try them for deeper scratches before you use the other method.
Vinegar and Oil
Combine three parts olive oil with one part white vinegar. Rub the mixture on the scratch using a clean cloth. This can dramatically reduce the appearance of fine scratches.
Oil and Lemon Juice
A variation of the vinegar and oil solution is lemon juice and oil. You can choose between olive oil, vegetable oil and canola oil for this method. Combine equal parts of the oil and lemon juice. Apply the liquid to the floor by following the wood grain’s direction. For best results, use a microfiber cloth.
You can use several types of nuts for this method, but the texture of walnuts makes them the preferred type. Other possibilities include Brazil nuts, almonds and pecans. Gently rub the nut over the scratch in the floor. These nuts have natural oils that will conceal the scratches.
If you have black tea or another type of dark tea in your house, this substance can work well to hide scratches where the natural wood is exposed. After you steep the tea, use a Q-tip or a cotton ball to gently apply a small amount of dark tea to the area. Avoid using excessive moisture, and keep a clean rag nearby to mop up standing moisture. Observe the results after the area is dry, and decide if the process needs to be repeated to achieve darker results.
If you have pets and hardwood floors, there is a good likelihood that you will have to deal with this problem on more than one occasion. Keeping your pet’s toenails trimmed can reduce the damage, but you still need to know how to erase signs of damage from mishaps. Keep these strategies in mind as you prepare to repair your hardwood floor.