How to Fix Scratches on Wood Floor: 7 Steps

Having a hardwood finish on your floor can be the grounds, pun intended, for an extremely appealing visual. The sleek aesthetic of wood on the floor is something that should be taken care of for the long term. However, just because the durability is present, doesn’t mean that it is impervious to wear and tear.

A wood floor is great for the aesthetic of your home. You always want to ensure that its lifespan is extended as much as possible. Accumulating scratches, no matter the magnitude, is inevitable if you have a wood floor. Whether it is by moving furniture or just by negligence, the damage can be off-putting. Just remember that it isn’t necessarily permanent; restoring the floor to its former glory is simple.

In the event that your wood floor gets a scratch or two, don’t stress out. It may seem like this has permanently damaged the surface, but it can be rectified with the proper resources.  When scratches appear, grab the required resources and begin the removal process as soon as possible!

If this has happened to you, follow these steps on how to fix scratches on the wood floor:

1. Clean the wood floor

The visual of scratches on wood floors can be apparent at best and downright unpleasant at worst. In order to fix scratches on wood floors, your first plan of action is to gently clean the surrounding area in order to fix the damage. The best tools to use in this scenario would be a vacuum to clean up any dirt, followed by a soft mop.

Afterwards, you can also use a commercial after-cleaner to finish up the initial cleaning process. These are great to employ because of the biodegradable cleaning agent found within. Let the surface dry and you are ready to proceed to the next step.

2. Testing the floor stain

Before you proceed to the wood staining part of the process, it is important to conduct some preliminary testing. This can be done by purposefully streaking a nearby area of the floor with a stain marker. When you apply wood stain to the mark, it should be a good match. This is a good indication that you can use it on the scratch.

3. Rub the stain on the scratches

Once the test provides a positive result, apply the stain marker to the scratch in question. Lightly run the tip of the marker over the scratch a few times to effectively stain it. This allows you to be in the best position for rubbing the stain into the scratch.

4. Use mineral spirits

After you have applied a good amount of stain marker on the scratch, grab a lightly soaked rag dipped in mineral spirits. Rub the area that was applied with the stain to eliminate any residue.

Also, it is important to not make the scratch darker than how it appeared before you applied the stain marker. You risk making the scratch darker than the surrounding wood if you do.

5. Apply a protective coating on the floor

If you choose to use a protective layering of top coating instead, then that is also a viable option for how to fix scratches on wood floor. This type of protective coating should come in the form of sealant or shellac.

If you are unsure of how to apply it to your scratch, consult the services of a professional. It may be a bit more expensive, but your wood floor can be fully and properly repaired as a result.

6. Sand out the scratches

You can also use sanding as a scratch-removal technique during the latter stages. After cleaning, fill in the scratch with a wax stick to heal the damage made by the scrape. Once this is completed, allow the wax to dry for a day.

After drying for a solid amount of time, the next step would be to buff the scratch. Using a clean, soft cloth, rub back and forth over the area in question to smooth the scratch and restore a good shine to the floor. The best wood wax sticks can be found in any home department store. Make sure you find the correct wax color in order to fully restore the wood’s appearance.

7. Diagnosing large scratches

For the most part, scratches on your wood floor should be minor enough to deal with. However, sometimes they may become enlarged. As such, you’ll want to take the necessary steps in removing them outright.

Use the same preliminary methods you would use for minor scratches, such as spot cleaning and rubbing mineral spirits over the area. Afterwards, the next step is to apply wood filler into the large scratch. Once the filler has dried, wipe off the excess filler and sand the area. You’ll want to clean this area and apply a thin layer of sealer to the patched area when it has dried.