Your solid hardwood floor can be sanded down and refinished up to a dozen different times during its lifetime to keep it looking great and lasting long. But, if your hardwood floors have become damaged with gouges and scratches, you can repair them without sanding them down to the wood for refinishing. With the right tools and instructions, you can repair this type of damage to your hardwood floors. Here are instructions to help you.
Repair Flooring Scratches and Gouges
If your hardwood flooring has acquired scratches that mar the surface's polyurethane coating, you don't need to sand down the entire floor and refinish it to repair the damage. With a brush, apply a small amount of acrylic floor polish onto the scratch to fill in and smooth it over. If your flooring has multiple scratches over its entire surface, you can treat the whole floor with a wood floor surface refreshing or reviving product. Be sure to clean the surface of your hardwood before applying this treatment, then allow time for it to cure before walking over it.
If your hardwood floors have acquired scratches that have gouged into the coating and the wood, you will need to fill in the gouge with stain and then cover it with a protective coating. Leaving unrepaired scratches in your hardwood flooring exposes the floor's bare wood and puts it at risk of moisture damage and warping. You can find a stain marker matching the color of your hardwood floors at most home improvement stores and color it onto the bare wood scratch. Or, you can reapply a matching stain color to the floor scratch with a small paint brush, wiping away any excess stain that has overlapped the sides of the scratch. Keep a can of touch-up stain just for this purpose. When the stain has dried, apply a coat of polyurethane onto the scratch to fill in the missing coating.
If your floor has become gouged and some of the wood is missing, first, you will need to fill the gouge with a tinted latex wood filler matching the color of your hardwood floor stain. When the wood filler has dried, sand it down smooth with a 100-grit or 120-grit sandpaper to blend in the patch with the surface of the surrounding floor. Last, with a small paintbrush, apply a polyurethane coat over the sanded patch.
Buff to Restore Your Hardwood's Surface
When your hardwood flooring has become worn and scuffed, but the underlying wood flooring is still in good condition, you can restore it with a buffer and new coating. This will restore the shine and protection to your floor.
Before you can buff and reapply a new top coat, you need to wash your floors to remove any wax or oil soap residue left behind from common hardwood floor treatments. If you don't clean and remove this residue, the new polyurethane layer will not adhere onto your hardwood floors. You can buy a commercial floor cleaning product at most home improvement or janitorial supply stores to clean off any wax or oil soap. You can also mix together ammonia and water to clean the residue from your floors. Apply this mixture to your floors and wipe it up with a mop.
If you are not sure if your flooring contains oil soap or wax, test out one area on your hardwood flooring. To do this, rent a floor buffer to buff the test area's surface, then apply a spot of polyurethane to see if the coating adheres and dries to the buffed spot. If the flooring dries, you don't have any residue on your floors and can restore your hardwood floor's surface. Now you can buff your hardwood flooring, then apply new protective polyurethane to your floors.
Use this information to help you repair any scratches and gouges in your hardwood floors without completing a full floor refinish. For more information, contact a company like Costen Floors Inc.