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Simple Finish Repairs: Starting from Scratch

Feb 16, 2016

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If your floors are coated with a hardwood floor finish, chances are you’ve noticed some nicks and scratches. Even with great care, hardwood floor scratches are inevitable. Here are a few steps to fix floor scratches to help maintain your wood floor finish.

Take a Closer Look at the Damage: Deep gouges require more attention than small surface scratches. To determine the depth of the scratch, take a few teaspoons of water and let them drip directly onto the scratch, then take a few minutes to let the water settle. If you notice a dark spot where you dripped the water, the scratch has gone through the finish and into the wood. If you notice beads of water instead, then you are dealing with a surface scratch, and you do not have any damage to the wood itself.

How to Remove Light Scratches in Polyurethane Surface: We recommend you tape off the scratch along the board seams and gently rub the taped area with sanding strips. Do not apply too much pressure to avoid making the damage worse. Light scratches should rub out. Once the area is completed and abraded evenly, wipe the dust away with the tack cloths and water for a waterbased finish, or mineral spirits for an oil-based product. Apply finish per manufacturer’s instructions.

For deep gouges, you will follow a similar procedure. You will also want to have very fine sand paper and a wood stain that matches your hardwood floors. To begin, sand through the finish until you have reached the wood.  Brush on the wood stain per manufacturer’s instructions and allow it to dry, then using the tack cloth, brush away any dust. Proceed to apply a layer of floor finish over the wood. This may take several coats depending on the severity of the scratch. It is important you allow each layer of finish to dry before applying the next coat.

Basic Coatings® recommends using a National Wood Flooring Association Certified Professional for wood floor repairs to avoid possible further damage to your wood floor or finish.

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