How to Get Rid of Scratches on Hardwood Floors [ Top Ways ] and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Undoubtedly hardwood floors look classic and chic, but if you have them, it is inevitable to avoid scratching your wooden floors even if you stay careful using these prevention techniques. Most of these scratches result due to pets, furniture, and smaller rocks tracks from outside. Restoring the hardwood floor is not a difficult task. It is rather easy but also depends majorly upon the severity of the damage done by scratching. By taking the help of some simple yet easy steps, you can conceal and repair the scratches and nicks in your hardwood floor, thus adding to the longest life for your wooden flooring.

Wooden Staining Marker

For making use of the wooden staining marker, first, wipe the area that is scratched. Then use a dampened rag that is soft and gently clean the surface of the hardwood to get rid of any of the excessive debris and dirt. Also, remember that there should be no debris and dirt inside of the scratch as well, which can be dealt with using a broom for hardwood floor, as well.

Once you’ve cleaned the area, you are supposed to do a spot test first. Before using the marker on the area you need it, test the marker on any other area that is in disguise to check if the wood color matches well or not. Now, if you have a good match, then you can use it on your scratch comfortably. These wooden stain markers are available in many different colors, and you can easily find them in paint stores, department stores, and hardware stores as well.

After applying the marker on the stain, if you are sure and confident enough that you have got a good match, you can use the tip of the marker over the scratch many times. Moreover, if you feel like the color of the stained area looks lighter, then you do not need to worry. You can easily go over the area again and again, and if it gets darker, you can rub off the excess easily as well.

Now rub the stain inside the scratch. Take a clean rag and soak it in a few mineral spirits and press lightly into the wood, thereby focusing the area that is scratched. Now rub the area where you have applied the stain to get rid of any of the residues that may be leftover there. This method of application works best as there is a gradual build of the stain and assimilating everything in just a single application.

If you are using the marker to draw and fill the stain, you can also fill in the scratch with the stain. This would lead to making the area of scratch darker as compared to surrounding. Now, if you draw into the scratch directly, it can result in making the scratch mark even more obvious and dark.

Fix the Superficial Scratches

For this method, you should first clean the scratched area. Use a soft rag such as a microfiber pad or cloth, if the protective covering of the hardwood floor is scratched off then use a small quantity of the best hardwood floor cleaner in order to remove any of the remnants of the area scratched. You should carefully remove all the dust particles, whether small or large, so that they do not make a permanent space on the floor after you have added the sealant.

Once you’ve don’t that, you should rinse the cleaner off. Dampen another rag cloth with water followed by cleaning of the scratched area and wiping down the area to remove any hardwood cleanser. Now allow the area to dry before going any further.

Now apply the coating on the top. After the area that is scratched gets completely dry, take a small tipped brush and put a really sheer layer of the protective finish onto the scratched area of the floor. This protecting finish can be any sealant or shellac or any other kind of polyurethane varnish. It is an ideal choice to use the same type of finish that is already used on the floor as the protective coating. You are also suggested that you can consult any employee at the local hardware store for advice on which type of finish you should use on your floor.

Moreover, if you have no experience or little experience with wood or if your wooden floor has any kind of special finish such as polyurethane with high gloss, you are suggested that you should hire a professional to finish and repair the floor. However, hiring any professional would cost you more money, and it might seem that letting the scratches accumulate is more cost-effective instead of hiring a company to fix just a small scratch.

Scratch Fixing Using Sanding Method

For sanding the scratched area, first of all, you should clean the area (check out how to clean hardwood floors). Now take a soft rag and add a small amount of hardwood cleaner and clean the scratched area of the floor. This procedure would take out any of the small dirt and dust particles and make sure every time that you have a clean surface to work with.

Now rinse the scratched area. Wipe the area you have scratched and take a rag or microfiber pad and wipe all the area. This procedure will eventually remove the additional cleanser and further sanitize the workspace. After all of this process, allow the area that you have damped to get totally dry before moving further.

Once you’ve done that, you should fill the scratched area. Take the wax stick and rub it over to fill in the scratch. If you want, you can also use a plastic-tipped knife to let the wax down into the bumps of the scratched area. Wood wax is also available in a different shade; these can be clear, brown and honey shade as well. Now, after application, allow the wood wax to dry, and it gets hardened afterward. You can leave it for at least 10 minutes. There are also wooden wax sticks available that you can easily find in paint stores, department stores, and other local hardware shops.

Now after drying the wax for a day or two, you are advised to buff it or add any of the sealers or finish to the area. Now buff the scratch out. Make use of a small cloth and rub it back and forth over the area to buff the wax evenly into the scratched area. Now remove any excessive amount. This would restore the shine of the hardwood floor as well.

Deep Gouges & Scratches

First of all, clean the scratched area. Take a soft dampened rag or microfiber cloth and take a small quantity of the floor cleaner to scratch the wooden area. Now rinse away the hardwood cleaner. Damp another rag or microfiber pad and wipe the scratched area of the floor. This will make sure that your workspace is clean, and it has no excess dust, dirt, and any other debris. Now before proceeding further, allow the scratched area to dry down completely.

Now take the mineral spirit and rub it over the scratch. If your hardwood has a coating layer of polyurethane, you are strictly suggested to remove the layer before fixing the scratches. On the other hand, if your floor does not have any of the coatings, you should not worry about removing the uppermost coating. Take a scouring pad, dampen it with the help of mineral spirits and gently rub the pad on the desired area that you have scratched previously. Now take a clean cloth and wipe the area and then completely dry it down.

It is again suggested that if you have less experience working with the wood stuff, hire a professional to get your flooring repaired for you. To fill in the deeper gouges and scratches, take a small amount of wooden filler, the one that has a similar color as that of your hardwood floor onto your pointer finger. Work with the wood filler using your finger, into the scratch or gouge, spreading the filler in all the directions, making sure that there are no air bubbles. You can amply use the wood filler as the excess can be removed from the place later on.

Also, make sure that you are using wood filler to fill in rather than putty. These two materials are not the same, and if you use wood putty for filling the scratch, this might alter the efficiency of matching the color of the floor, and this might also affect the filling to take on the color of the staining properly. You are also advised to give a day to the filler to get dry after the application.

Now, after all this, you should wipe off the excess filling. After the fillers have been dried for a good long day, take a putty knife and drag it over the wooden filler. This would help to smooth out the top surface and also help to pull the wood filler into the scratch. Take the putty knife and drag it over the scratched area in many of the directions and make sure that all the edges of the scratch and the filler are even and flat.

If you are left with excess filling around the scratch, and the filling, use a small pad of finer grit sandpaper, around 220 to 300 grit, and sand the area surrounding the scratch, where the wood filler was spread and do this process gently. You can also sand by using a smaller circular motion. In whatever way, you always make sure to sand really very lightly.

Now wipe the excess filling away. Take a cloth dampened with water and wring it thoroughly. The cloth after wringing should be relatively dry yet moistened enough. Make use of your finger for wiping away the excessive filler surrounding the scratch, really precisely. Now male sure that the area where you have spread the filler is wiped off and try to avoid the area filled with scratch.

Now, after all of this, seal the area that you have patched and use a sheer layer of the same sealer that you have used on the rest of the floor and the patched area. Make use of a brush having natural, small bristles or take a lambswool roller for application of the sealer, varnish, or polyurethane. Now let the sealer sit there for almost 24 hours to get dried completely before you allow any of the traffic on that surface. Now, if you opt for a foam roller, you can have a risk of leaving air bubbles inside the sealing material. For the best results, you should apply two layers or coats on the minimum.

Related Guides: Getting rid of scratches on any wooden floor

Hardwood Floor’s Scratch FAQs

1- How can you fix scratches in the wooden floor without sanding?

  • First of all assess the damage.
  • Use a fine steel wool and rub it over the scratch for lighter scratches.
  • Use a light weight sandpaper, if you have deeper scratch.
  • Make use of mineral spirit on the sanded area.
  • Use a wood filler that has been premixed earlier.
  • Now wipe all the dust and then sand the filler.
  • Seal the area that you have sanded.

2- How can you repair deeper scratches of hardwood floors?

  • Before drying the material, wipe any excess. Now, if you have a small gouge or a deeper scratch, take a wax filler having a matching color. You can also use a brown crayon until you have filled the nick. Take a soft cloth in order to remove any of the excess wax. Use a putty that has matching color to fill the hole if you have a deeper gouge. You can learn more about cleaning on Rmom.

3- How do you get dog scratches out of hardwood floors?
  • Make sure the area is clean. Apply a small amount of hardwood cleaner directly to a rag and wipe the area around the scratch.
    Stain the scratch. Use a stain-filled wood marker, or another type of colored wood polish, to fill in the scratch (of course, in the same color as the wood you are repairing). Seal the wood.

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