After identifying the extent of the damage, you will most likely either have light scratches or deep scratches. For light scratches, you may use a fine steel wool. For deep scratches, use fine sandpaper. To start, lightly rub along the direction of the grains or veins of the wood and not against or across it to avoid any further damage to the area. If there are instances where the scratches, wood grains or veins come from different directions, rub in a circular pattern.
For deep scratches in particular, you may apply wood filler, not the putty type, using a plastic putty knife for visible dents and chips to even out the surface. To ensure a better and even finish, buff the area with fine sandpaper again, in very light strokes. Then with a damp rag, wipe off any residue or dust. You may also use a mineral spirits solution then ensure that the area is clean and then let it dry.
Usually, hardwood floors are treated with a natural wood stain or varnish topped with wax for a clear glossy finish. Some other materials used for hardwood floors would be polyurethane which is a plastic mixture and can be bought in an oil-based type or a water-based variation. Most contractors and homeowners for healthier reasons prefer the water-based types when they repair scratches in hardwood floors. Water-based materials though, require a number of coatings to ensure a nice strong and glossy finish. Make sure to follow the steps provided on the product label. You may also opt to consult your local hardware store before purchasing the product. It is recommended that applicators such as bristle brushes with natural hair or lamb’s wool be used to apply liquid types of finishes.
Opt to revive and repair an entire floor area if the damages are found in several parts already. This is to ensure that your entire area is protected from future damages and to avoid unsightly patches especially for deep scratches. The key to successfully repair scratches in hardwood floors is to match the final coating nearest to the original color or stain used. Once you have finished applying the final coating, it would be best to let it dry for a few hours or even overnight and of course, to avoid any dust or debris from scattering on the surface while the curing or drying period is on-going.