Do you remember the first scratch in your hardwood floor? Most people with hardwood floors do. It may have been from a piece of furniture that was dragged across the floor. Or from pet claws as they slip and slide as they run and play. Or even high heeled shoes as you walk out the door on your way to work.
That first scratch is cringe-worthy. But it won’t be the last. And when scratches occur, you won’t have to refinish the entire floor to make it look new again. Most scrapes can be sanded and filled, then repaired so that it is often unnoticeable when the repair is complete.
Start by sanding the impacted area with a fine grit sandpaper. Remove the surface abrasions as well as the floor finish. Make sure you run in the direction with the wood grain, not against it.
Clean the area and make sure to remove all sanding and grit. Make sure the area is dry before moving forward.
Apply wood filler that matches the shade of your floor. Do not use wood putty instead of wood filler, as putty will not stain and will be lighter than the rest of your flooring. Use a plastic putty knife as a metal one may create more scratches.
Smooth the filler into the scrape and make sure it is level with the floor. Wipe away all excess filler.
Sand the scrapes smooth so it matches up with the rest of the flooring.
Restain the floor to match the existing color. Let dry thoroughly before applying a finish. Do not move furniture over the area for at least 24 hours.
You can find touch up kits at flooring centers or at most hardware stores. When installing new hardwood floors, talk with your contractor about colors, stains and options for when accidents occur.