Bob Vila Radio: 4 Ways to Fix Scratched Wood Flooring

If unsightly surface scratches are driving you crazy, you may be wondering whether it's time to refinish your wood flooring. Certainly, there's no substitute for starting over, but if you're reluctant to go to extremes, try one of these quicker, easier repair methods first.

Hardwood flooring adds beauty to your home, and it’s durable enough to last a lifetime (or more). But that’s not to say the material isn’t prone to both wear-and-tear and incidental damage. Fortunately, there are a handful of ways for homeowners to fix wood floor scratches quickly and without too much trouble.

Hardwood Floor Scratch Repair



Listen to BOB VILA ON WOOD FLOOR SCRATCHES or read below:

Option one: Treat the affected area with floor wax or acrylic floor polish. However, remember to use such options sparingly. Over time, they can dull or darken wood floors, and if that happens, removal—a process that involves mineral spirits, ammonia, and hard scrubbing—isn’t very enjoyable.

You can also address wood floor scratches with a wood “renewing” product like Bona Pro Series Hardwood Floor Refresher or Minwax’s Hardwood Floor Reviver. Before you apply a renewing finish, be sure to clean the floor thoroughly and afterwards, allow plenty of time for the coating to dry. The downside? It may be necessary to reapply the coating much more often than you would like.

If the damage to the floor has eroded the existing finish and exposed bare wood, you have two options—a stain marker or, in the case of a large area, traditional wood stain. In the latter case, choose your stain carefully, apply it with a small brush or swab, and don’t forget to wipe away the excess before the finish dries!

What do you do about deep gouge? Your best bet is to fill it with pre-colored latex wood filler. Apply the product with a plastic putty knife, let it dry completely, and finish the job by sanding the patch down to the surface level of the floor. Then, to coat the repair, use varnish thinned with 10% or 20% turpentine.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!