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The ability to differentiate between home repairs and improvements that you can make yourself and those that will require the help of a contractor is a very important skill to have. Not only will this skill prevent you from spending more money than you need to on professional services, but it will also help you to avoid costly mistakes by attempting DIY projects that are out of your league. It is my hope that this information contained in this blog will help you to obtain this skill. More importantly, it is my hope that once you have identified a project you wish to take on, this information in this blog will help you to get the job done.

My Hope For This Blog

Tips For Repairing Scratches On A Hardwood Floor

Ross Stewart

Over the years, things like furniture, chairs, and pet claws often cause scratching on the surface of a wood floor. When the damage is localized, repairs are fairly simple, and won't require you to refinish the entire floor. But first it's important to know just what you're doing. If you have hardwood floors in need of repair, read on. This article will present some valuable tips for getting the job done right.

Sand Smart

The first step in repairing a scratched wood floor is to sand the damaged area. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize how important it is to attend to this aspect thoroughly. As a result, they end up with a finished product that is rough, bumpy, and/or fails to fit in with the rest of the floor.  

There are three main keys to proper sanding:

  • Choosing an appropriate starting grit
  • Smoothing with a gradation of finer grits
  • Always sand along the grain

The sandpaper you begin with should vary depending on the depth of the damage. For especially deep scratches you may employ a 60-grit sandpaper, but for most damage something finer will suffice. To help hide the refinished section, sand about an inch beyond the edges of the damage.

Remember that the finish you will be applying is not a magic wand. Any roughness left behind by the sanding process will still exist once the damaged area has been finished. Therefore, sanding should progress in stages, using a progressively finer grit at each stage. Your goal should be to get the wood as smooth as possible.

Finally, as in all wood-working, remember to always sand along the grain of the floorboards. Sanding perpendicular to the grain will result in scratches and scuffing that will remain visible even after the finish has been applied.

Use The Correct Polyurethane

Once you've sanded the damaged area, you'll be ready to apply a coat of polyurethane finish. But wait! First, you must realize that not all polyurethanes are the same. Unless you want to end up with a highly conspicuous patch, it is crucial you use the same type of polyurethane the rest of your floor.

There are two varieties of polyurethane, each of which will impart a different look to your floor. Water-based polyurethanes will leave a clear finish, allowing the natural color of the wood to shine through. Oil-based polyurethanes, on the other hand, lend a distinctly amber glow to the surface of the wood.

If you're not sure which variety was used on the rest of your floor, you'll need to do a test. Find an out of the way patch of flooring--in a closet, say, or under the bed--and sand down a tiny area. Then apply a couple of drops of each polyurethane to different parts of the patch. Once they've dried you'll be able to determine which one provides a better color match. To learn more, visit Front Range Interiors