Do you have scratches on your hardwood floor? Are you looking for quick fixes that aren’t very hard to execute? You’ve come to the right guide.
Fixing a scratch on your hardwood flooring can be as easy as coloring it, depending on the depth of the scratch. There are many different possible causes for the scratch, but all scratches can be fixed with the same variety of methods.
Repair Scratches on The Hardwood Floors
We bring you ways to fix scratches on your hardwood floor, from easy homemade DIY tricks to professional products.
Here’s a quick table of all the methods with the timing and cost required, including difficulty. The detailed process is described below.
For Minor Scratches
These tricks can be done at home with easily accessible items; you probably have the required materials already.
Yes, a walnut. Walnuts can help fix the small scratch that you have on your hardwood floor. It is an easy and quick method to fix scratches, though many may not believe it. Here’s how you can use a walnut to fix scratches;
Walnut kernels have about 60% of the oil quantity in them. This oil will end up soaking into the wood to heal the small scratch.
Lightly rub the walnut on the scratched area. The walnut will reduce as the grains and the natural oil in it will be removed onto the scratches and heal. This will take you around 30 seconds to a minute and you will see the results instantly.
The oil present in the walnut will soak onto the scratched parts to camouflage them.
Wipe down the wood with a soft cloth once you are done rubbing the walnut on the floor. This will wipe out extra oil on the surface with no unsightly scratches.
The scratch on your hardwood flooring should have disappeared with satisfactory results.
Rubbing Olive Oil with Vinegar
You can fix a small scratch on your hardwood floors with this additional method. This is similar to using walnut on the floor, the only difference is that the olive oil will seep into the wood to heal the scratch instead of almond natural oil.
This method of removing scratches works better than rubbing walnut onto the scratch as it is much easier to apply and you probably already have olive oil and vinegar at hand.
The directions are very simple and straight-forward;
- Mix ½ cup of olive oil with ½ cup of vinegar
- Soak it into a rug and rub it onto the scratched surface
- You will see the results instantly.
Mayonnaise contains vegetable oil and as we already know, oils repair the floor by seeping into the wood. This method can also be used to polish your floor if your finish has turned cloudy.
Similar to the olive oil with vinegar method, the directions are simple and straight-forward;
- Spread some vegetable oil rich mayonnaise onto the scratched surface
- Make sure it is spread evenly
- Let the mayonnaise rest on the floor for several hours or overnight for most results
- Wipe it off with a soft cloth to see the satisfactory results.
While mayonnaise can help fix scratches or polish the hardwood, remember that it is not a substitute for cleaning solutions.
Buffing with A Floor Cleaner or Paste
You can buff (polish) the scratched area with a floor cleaner that contains mineral oil and pumice (these are available in powder form at any hardware or paint store) or you can create the paste yourself by mixing them with water.
For this method, you should use extra-fine grade steel wool for maximum efficiency.
- Soak the floor cleaner or paste onto the extra-fine grade steel wool
- Rub it into the scratched surface of the wood
- Wipe it off with a dry cloth and buff it.
A stain pen is a pen used on wood floors or surfaces to cover scratches and blemishes. It perfectly blends with the wood surface.
The stain pen is to be used as a normal marker, use it to draw on the scratches on the wood and it will look like new. Minwax stain pens are the best stain pens on the market. You can find it with 8 types of shades. Moreover, the drying time is much lesser than its counterparts.
Other good brands are,
- Boxgear Touch-up Pen
- Varathane Stain Marker
- Rejuvenate Wood Markers
Sometimes the shade you apply might be darker than the wood surface. hence, instead of hiding the scratch, you may end up revealing it more. In such cases, buff the stain with a damp cloth till it lightens and blends with the surface’s color.
Stain pens are easy to use, they instantly dry on application and are a quick way to hide any scratches or blemishes.
Here’s a link to a step-by-step guide for applying stain pen on the wood surface perfectly.
Repairing Deep Scratches
The quick tricks to fix your light and minimal scratches won’t work if you have a deep scratch on your floor. These sorts of scratches are also called gouges as a part of the wood appears to be gouged out.
Repairing gouged wood or deeply scratched wood surfaces is done with the use of different products, though the applications of using them may be the same. There is some term knowledge to be learned before you get into work on deep scratches.
Sanding refers to rubbing away at the area around the scratch to make the scratched surface disappear. This is similar to slicing away the dirty part on an eraser.
The term sanding or sand is also used when you use sandpaper on repairing products, this is normally done so the repairing product on the wood stays on the same level and does not have bumps or inconsistencies.
Using Wood Fillers to Fix Deep Scratches
Wood filler is a substance that can be used to fix hardwood surfaces. It’muddy-type is substance and can be applied like a paste on the wood to fill deep scratches or gouges.
Using a wood filler requires sanding, both before and after the application of wood filler.
Firstly, sand and clean the surface that needs repairing. Use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the surface that needs repairing. Once the sanding is done, clean the surface with a dry cloth.
Then, take a scoop of wood filler and apply it in the gouge or deep scratch. Use a putty knife or a flat object to spread it evenly across the damaged area. Be sure to remove all the excess filler with the use of a flat object or the same putty knife.
Let the wood filler dry. The wood fillers can take anywhere between 15 minutes to 6 hours to dry depending on the depth of the damaged surface, since you are only fixing deep scratches, waiting a minimum of half an hour should do the trick.
Next, use fine-grit sandpaper to sand the filler area to match it to the level of the surrounding area. This should ensure that the filled area is not bumpy or higher than the average level of the wood.
Finally, finish the wood filler. The goal of using a wood filler is to make the repairs unnoticeable. Most wood fillers are receptive to new stains or paint. Use a wood stain or a stain pen on the wood filler to make it match the rest of the wood.
Here are some alternatives to using a wood filler;
Heating up some wax of the same wood color and applying it to the gouged or deep scratched wood will fill the area like a wood filler. This should be applied carefully as melted wax cannot be sanded.
You can also heat a crayon instead of wax to achieve the same result.
Wood putty is similar to wood filler, but it cannot be sanded or stained/painted. However, Wood putty is ideal for any environment whereas wood fillers are good for the indoor environment.
However, the wood putty has a bigger drying time than wood filler.
Using Specialized Care Products on Scratches
There are products available on the market that are used specifically for repairing scratches. Some products are also made to cover the scratches on the wood surface.
Minwax Hardwood Floor Reviver
Minwax Hardwood Floor Reviver is a product that brings the beauty of your hardwood floor back to life. This product hides the scratches and needs no sanding before or after application.
It is stronger than polish and also gives your scratched/damaged floor a protective surface after healing it.
To use the Minwax hardwood floor reviver;
- Prepare the area
Properly clean the scratched area that needs repairing. The reviver is a paste that you will have to apply on the floor, so make sure there is no dirt between the reviver and the floor.
- Squirt a small dot on the scratched area
After squirting a small dot on the scratched area, use a flat object like a putty knife to spread it evenly across the scratched area. This will fill the damaged wood with the reviver
- Let it dry
It will take approximately two hours for the coating to dry on the scratched surface.
Upon drying, you’ll see a substantial improvement in the scratched area. The polish will look luster and have protective qualities so no more scratches will occur on that spot in the near future.
You can find scratch covers at a hardware or home maintenance store. These covers go on the scratches of the floor to cover it. They will keep the same finish on your wood and cover the damaged/scratched surface.
The application of scratch covers is generally mentioned in the manufactured directions;
- Soak the scratch cover onto a clean soft cloth
- Wipe the scratched or damaged area with the cloth
- Use a dry clean cloth to wipe the area till it becomes lustrous
We know how to repair scratches now, but how do we prevent them from happening? Aside from using the floor reviver by Minwax, the other methods do not provide protection.
How to Prevent Scratches
Some quick tips and applications of products to keep your hardwood floors safe from future scratches and damage.
Welcome Mats at the Entrance
Dirt and grit are brought in through the footwear. They are like sandpaper to your hardwood floor; always be sure to use a welcome mat or a rug in high-traffic areas.
A brush attachment on a hardwood floor is ideal for cleaning. Cleaning hardwood floors with a brush attachment is ideal. Vacuuming the hardwood floor regularly will prevent dust and debris from scratching the wood floor or being lodged there, causing damage.
Use any rug pad to go with rugs on your floors. Be sure to choose 100% non-solvent-based waffle-type rubber or a natural fiber like wool or jute.
Using area rugs in the kitchen at high-spill locations can keep your wooden floor safe from spills and further damage. Cotton will be a good fabric as it is easy to clean. Areas such as refrigerators, stoves, and sinks should have an area rug. These will prevent scratches if any object were to fall.
Pets will need a rug for drool and other wet coats. Be sure to trim your pet’s nails regularly to avoid any scratches.
Older furniture that has furniture wheels can scratch your hardwood floors. Use casters encased with a polyurethane coat to prevent scratches.
Aside from these tips to keep your floor safe from scratching, there are some measures you can take to avoid future damage.
Protective Sealing of The Floor
Installing a sealant over wood floors is generally necessary to keep them protected from impacts, humidity, and other damage. The sealant works by covering the wood surface with a protective coating. There are very strong sealants available on the market that can protect the floor from scratches. Follow this tutorial from wikiHow for the sealer applying process.
A scratch-resistant finish can prevent scratches on the floor. The Rust-Oleum water-based polyurethane finish, due to its thickness and double coating, is one of the strongest materials available on the market that works well on wood. Below are three major types of wood finishes and their effectiveness.
|Oil-Based Polyurethane Varnish and Catalyzed Lacquers
|Shellac and Nitrocellulose Lacquer
|Acrylic and Polyurethane Water-Based