If you recently had hardwood flooring installed, chances are that you will want to maintain its pristine look for as long as you possibly can. Hardwood flooring may be a very durable material, but it can still become scratched and damaged over the years. A scratch can ruin the floor's aesthetics, becoming an eyesore that you'll notice every single day. Thankfully, you can remove small scratches on your own with the proper knowledge and tools.
Tools & Materials
Before you can begin, you will need to gather the following items. Anything you don't have can be purchased at a local home improvement store.
- Fine sandpaper (or steel wool)
- Mineral spirits
- Putty knife (plastic)
- Wood filler
- Varnish brush
A common mistake it to use wood putty instead of wood filler. Wood putty will not maintain the color like a wood filler will, and can make the scratch become visible after the color wears off.
Prep The Floor
Start by thoroughly washing the part of the floor that you will be repairing. You will want to make sure that there is no dirt and dust in the scratch, because it will make it harder to repair. The floor must be completely dry before continuing.
Sand and Fill
Use your sandpaper to smooth down the scratch by rubbing the sandpaper along the wood grain. Then take a rag and soak it with mineral spirits, and use it to rub the area down. This will help remove the dust created from sanding down the scratch.
You can now apply wood filler to the scratch, while making sure to smooth the scratch out with the plastic putty knife. You will want the wood filler to be level with all of the surrounding hardwood floorboards. The wood filler will then need to dry until the material has completely hardened.
Sand and Varnish
Now you can sand excess wood filler with your sandpaper, and use a damp cloth to clean up any debris of dust left over from the sanding.
Apply the wood varnish to the area using the brush. After the initial coat has dried, apply an additional coat of varnish. The scratch in the floor should barely be visible if you did everything correctly.
Your floors should now look much better than they did before. For more tips on how to care for your hardwood flooring, check with your hardwood flooring installation company.