The good thing with hardwood flooring is that it is so easy to fix, the only thing it needs is maintenance. Scratches and shuffle marks are hard to prevent especially in high traffic areas and can ruin your wood-floor finish. One solution to keep the scuffs and scratches to a minimum is to place a doormat or a rug in front of traffic areas like the doorways. Dust and dirt, as little as they are, can still do damage to your beautiful hardwood flooring. They are like sandpapers, scratching your floor. So minimize the scratches by mopping the floor with a damp mop.
To fix the scratches, you can touch up the wood flooring by yourself. Follow the steps below to give your hardwood flooring a retouch just like a pro:
- Try hiding first the scratches. In concealing scratches, your may use a touch-up stick. If the concealing is unsuccessful, use a felt-tip touch-up pen instead. This contains wood stain, which if used on the wood, can provide a good camouflage.
- Determine the wood-floor finish. Before you apply anything or do anything to it, identify first the type of finish it has. To do this, pick a scratched spot on the floor, which is partially hidden and then apply an acetone-based nail-polish remover to it. If the finish comes up, then it can be varnish, shellac or wax. If it does not, then it is polyurethane. You need to do this so you can apply the correct retouch to the floor.
- Remove the shuffle marks. For waxed floors, spray it with vinegar-based cleaner and let it sink in.
- Wipe the floor. Using a 0000-grade extra-fine wool, gently wipe the floor with this. Let it dry.
- Buff it. Spray liquid wax or apply paste wax on the floor. Buff it with soft, dry cloth.
- Use a pencil eraser if the coating is polyurethane. On floors with surface finish, or what is commonly known as polyurethane-finish, you may use a pencil eraser to remove shuffle marks. Polyurethanes are water resistant and durable. They form a protective coating on the floor, which requires less maintenance.
- Refinish if the repair is noticeable. In spite of touch-ups for the scratches and scuff marks, if the repair is noticeable, then you have no other choice but to refinish the entire affected slab. Use sandpaper or steel wool to gently remove the finish without damaging the adjacent floorboards. But it should be narrower than the width of the floorboard. When you are through, you can apply the old finish. If it is polyurethane, then brush the floor with polyurethane using a roller or small brush. Be careful not to damage the other boards. Let it dry for three hours, depending on the brand. If the old finish is wax, then apply the paste wax of the same shade using a soft cloth. It does not matter whether you go outside the affected floorboard. After 30 minutes, simply buff off the refinished spot with a soft, dry cloth.
You can contact the manufacturers of factory-finished flooring for a finishing repair kit. They sell matching colors so you will not have trouble getting a match of yours.