DIY Before the Holidays
DIY Before the Holidays
Flooring 101 Home Floor Care and Repairs Repairs Repairing Scratches and Gouges

Repairing Scratches and Gouges

Repairing Scratches and Gouges

Regrettably, scratches can happen in all wood flooring. Fortunately good looking repairs can be made to most wood flooring products. First determine the nature of the repair, is it a surface scratch, a deep scratch or a gouge? Repairs should be made soon after discovery to protect against possible water damage. Ensure the repair products you select are compatible with clear urethane finishes. Follow these common steps for repairing hardwood or bamboo flooring.

Surface scratches

Very light Surface scratches are best treated using scratch covers, spray concealers or lotions. These products will camouflage the scratch, not removing it. Color stain markers are available from most home repair stores and are also ideal for concealing scratches. These markers have a stain and urethane mixture that even applies a shine to the repair. When using these products make sure the scratch is clean from dust and debris. Next shake the marker well to mix the stain and urethane. Apply the stain liberally to the scratch. Use a clean rag to remove any excess stain before it dries to keep stain from discoloring adjacent wood. You may need several colors for concealing scratches in exotic species.

Deep scratches

Deep scratches are best repaired using Wax color-fill sticks or lightly sanding and recoating the scratches.

Wax color-fill sticks are available from most home repair stores; these can be used to fill nail holes and deep scratches. Wax color-fill sticks will not dry-out like ordinary putties, it will protect against moisture and can be buffed to a luster. Just rub into a scratch and buff with a cotton rag.

Sanding and recoating scratches in a board.

1.     Tape around the scratch with blue painters tape # 2080, to protect the floor.

2.     Minor scratches often can be buffed away using a nylon pad or progressively finer sandpaper grits. Restrict your sanding to the scratched area, feathering only slightly into the surrounding surface in-line with the wood grain direction.

3.     Dampen a soft cloth with mineral spirits, wipe off any wood and dust particles on the scratched area of the floor.

4.     Allow to dry.

5.     Select a finish compatible with your floor. Follow the finish labeling instructions for application. Apply using a spray or from a can with a fine paintbrush.

6.     Be careful not to overwork the finish or the area will look much different from the rest of the hardwood floor.

7.     Allow to dry overnight.


Gouges may be fixed using a combination of the above techniques. Depending on severity an individual board replacement may be necessary.


Technical and Installation 04/2019

Flooring 101 Home Floor Care and Repairs Repairs Repairing Scratches and Gouges