How to Repair Scratches or Stains on Wood Floors

How to Repair Scratches or Stains on Wood Floors
  • Opening Intro -

    Nothing adds value to a home like natural wood flooring.

    Over time, those lovely floors can develop scratches or stains that can really detract from their look.

    Are they ruined?


Definitely not. There are plenty of tricks you can use to do small repairs on your wood floor without having to replace it. Some things may be covered up, but you might also have to try floor sanding and polishing to get things looking great again.

Scratches and stains are the two most common ways to damage a wood floor, and you’ll need different techniques for each one.

Fixing Scratches

There are two ways of dealing with scratches on a wood floor: actually sand it out or fill it in to make it invisible. Very shallow scratches can be erased with a gentle sanding, and then resurface with whatever sealant the floor already has in place (varnish, polyurethane, shellac).

Alternatively, you can fill in the groove in a matching color to mask the scratch. Most home improvement stores will sell wax sticks for wood floor repair, and they come in wide range of shades and colors. Get one that is the closest to your floor color. Or if you happen to have crayons around, you can actually make do with a wax crayon in the right shade.

Clean the scratched area, and carefully rub the wax stick or crayon along the scratch to fill it in. Use a soft cloth to give the area a good buffing to remove any excess wax  and to create a smooth surface finish. A coat of the proper sealant may help as well.

Cleaning Stains

Stains can be a whole other matter since there can be a large number of different substances soaked into the wood to deal with. First of all, you do need to determine if the stain is actually in the wood or just on the surface. Try getting it clean with some warm water and dish detergent first.

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Still stained? Sand off the surface coat and then try to remove the stain. Use a little hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach on a cloth, rubbing the liquid deep into the wood grain. Let it sit and (hopefully) bleach out the stain. Once the stain is gone, re-stain the area if you need to and give it all another coating of sealant.

You can also do a little sanding to remove any stains that will not come out any other way. Gently sand out the stain and either coat with sealant or use the wax sticks we already mentioned to help the color of the sanded spot to match the rest of the floor, if necessary. If it’s a larger area, think about a new coat of stain too.

On a side note, you can protect your floors from future stains by giving it a good protective coating of varnish or polyurethane to create a stain-proof top coat. Some products will even create a tough coat to protect against scratches as well as stains. A little prevention an go a long way to keeping your floors looking good.

Home Improvement reference:

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