Hardwood floors are in high demand among many homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges in terms of repairs, cleaning, and maintenance. After a few months or even years of heavy use from shuffling chairs and kids’ toys, it might be time for some DIY hardwood fixes.
If you’ve got a good eye for color matching, you can actually use markers or crayons or purchase wax sticks from the hardware store to fill in minor to moderate scratches. Try to match the stain color on your floors, but don’t worry if it’s a little off. Once the scratch is filled, it’ll look like a variation in the wood grain if the color is close enough.
Household ingredients can add up to make a polish solution for your hardwood floors. Mix vinegar and olive oil in equal parts. Pour the mixture directly into the scratches. Then, wipe it off after 24 hours. It may take several applications to make a major difference, but this homemade polish solution will cover and fill most scratches.
Although it’s not a long-term solution, sometimes the easiest way to cover scratches in your floors is to hide them with a furniture arrangement or a well-placed rug. This works especially well if you have great style, otherwise it will just add insult to injury.
If you’re dealing with deeper scratches, you’ll need to spot sand with sandpaper or fine steel wool, use wood filler, and seal and stain the repaired area. If this doesn’t sound risky, it is!! This is probably the last project you should start unless you are a professional. Most time when this is attempted, once the fix is complete, no matter how good the scratch is hidden or fixed, that section of the floor could look different than all the rest (see ‘clever decor’ section). If your floors are bad enough, consider refinishing the entire room, not just one spot.
The best tip I could give you would be to prevent those scratches! Don’t walk on the floors with shoes, don’t let your big dog on the floors and use furniture pads! These seem like simple ideas, but over time, a lot of people get lazy and in a few short years (or months) they have created hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of repairs. If you are a dog lover, go into your local flooring store and ask about hardwood floor alternatives – laminate flooring isn’t what it use to be and is almost impossible to scratch!