A hardwood floor can be a joy to behold but scratches can mar its beauty. Dealing with scratches depend on how deep the scratches go and whether your hardwood flooring has a protective coating or not. You do not need complicated procedures and hard to find materials to deal with the damage to the floor. Here are some tips from Hardwood Champ to help you manage scratches on your hardwood.
Assessing The Damage
The first thing you have to do is to assess the damage to the floor.
How deep do the scratches go, the direction, and the extent of the coverage of the damage are factors that you have to consider before you go out to get materials for dealing with your damaged floor.
Materials Needed for Surface Scratches
- soft cloth (for fine scratches that damaged the coating only)
- fine-grade sandpaper (for bigger scratches that went down to the actual wood)
- mineral spirits or hardwood floor cleaner
- coating or finishing (such as shellac, polyurethane, sealant, whichever was initially used on your floor)
- a couple of dry rags
- cotton buds (optional)
- small paint brush (optional)
- wood stain (optional)
- wax stick (optional)
DIY Hardwood Floor Repair
The first step is to clean the area with the scratch. To clean, get one of the rags and dampen it with water or wood floor cleaner. Rub the area of the scratch gently but firmly. In most cases, it is only the protective coating that is damaged.
If the scratch clears up, leave it to dry thoroughly before sealing it with protective coating. You might need to use the cotton buds to apply the sealant if the area is very small. Use the small paint brush to apply the coating if the area is larger.
If the scratch is still very visible (it may have damaged the actual wood, not just the coating!), you need to use the fine grain sandpaper. Rub the sand paper softly on the scratch and a little bit of the surrounding area to remove the vestiges of the damage and the coating. DO NOT rub too much or you will make the damage bigger.
Once you are satisfied with the disappearance of the blemish, wipe the area clean with mineral spirits or hardwood cleaner. Let the area dry fully before trying to repair it. You need to use the wax stick on the blemish if the floor retained some of the deeper scratches. Fill in the fine gouges with the wax and smoothen well.
If your wood floor is stained or painted, you need to apply the right color stain before sealing the repaired area. It is important to match the color or stain of your floor because the repaired area will stand out if the stain is a different color. Let the stain dry thoroughly before applying the sealant.
When the damaged area is fully dry, apply the protective coating carefully with the paint brush. Dip the brush into the coating container and wipe the brush on the brim of the container to remove excess sealant. Applying too much sealant can cause an uneven appearance on your floor. Let it dry well.
The ease of repairing surface scratches on your hardwood floor does not mean that you should take it for granted. Preventing scratches is the best way of maintaining your beautiful flooring for years to come.