How to Fix Scratched Wood Floor – DIY Tutorial [2023]

A wooden floor not only shows off the elegance of your house but also captures your family’s memories year after year.

So it is natural to feel devastated if you somehow notice an unwanted scratch on the base of your home.

Now if you are looking for ways to patch up that scratched area without replacing the whole wooden floor, you are in for a treat!

In this blog, I will show you how to fix scratched wood floor with simple DIY steps and ingredients that can be found in your local hardware store as well as in your kitchen!

Fixing a Scratched Wooden Floor

Wooden floors can get scratched for a number of reasons. It can be anything from a child or a pet causing small scratches to furniture mishaps causing intense scratches.

In this section, we will get a clear understanding of fixing small, medium, and deep scratches in detailed steps.

How to Fix Small Scratches on Wood Floor

  • Small scratches, also known as ‘superficial scratches,’ only damage the floor’s finish without penetrating the wood.
  • Use a clean rag to wipe the area to remove any debris.
  • Take a stain pen and shake it to mix the stain properly.
  • This will ensure even stain application all over the scratch.
  • Gently press the tip on one end of the scratch and apply along the length of the scratch.
  • Follow the grain of the wood to ensure complete coverage.
  • If the scratch is long, use the stain pen to feather the stain along the edges of the scratch.
  • This blending technique creates a seamless look on your hardwood floor.
  • For smaller scratches, simply apply the stain within the scratch.
  • If your floor has a lighter wood stain, apply the stain on a rag instead of putting it directly on the floor.
  • Rub the stained rag over the scratch until the finish matches with the surroundings.
  • Allow the stain to dry for 15-20 minutes.

Required Tools

  • Stain pen
  • Clean rag
Fixing small scratches with a stain pen on a wood floor

How to Fix Medium Scratches on Wood Floor

  • Medium scratches usually penetrate through the protective coating and damage the wood.
  • Clean the scratches for any wood debris that may have been there.
  • Take the heat gun in your hand and start melting the wax with it.
  • With the tip of the heat gun, keep on filling up the scratches with melted wax.
  • To ensure even coverage, fill the scratch in such a way that the wax rises a bit higher than the floor level.
  • Once the wax has dried, carefully scrape the excess wax with a plastic scraper.
  • Make sure to scrape very gently, or the scraper itself may create new scratches.
  • Run your finger over the edges to ensure the wax has filled the scratch completely.
  • Once you are satisfied, put some wood stain on a rag and thoroughly rub the waxed area until the finish matches the whole floor.
  • You can also melt color crayons that match the color of your wood floor to fill up the medium scratches on your hardwood floor.
  • Finish the repaired area in the same manner with a wood stain.

Required Tools

  • Heat gun
  • Wax
  • Color crayons
  • Wood stain
  • Clean rag
Fixing scratches with melted wax on a wood floor

How to Fix Deep Scratches on Wood Floor

  • If you ever move around your furniture without using any padding, they are likely to cause deep scratches on your wood floor.
  • Fixing a deep scratch on a hardwood floor requires more precision than a small or medium scratch.
  • First, clean the surroundings and the inner area of the scratches by wiping and blowing off the wood debris.
  • Apply painter’s tape surrounding the scratched wooden floor.
  • Take a bit of wood filler and keep on filling the scratch with gentle pressure.
  • Make sure to fill the scratch completely with the wood filler.
  • Take a 180-200 grit fine sandpaper and start sanding the area lightly.
  • Make sure to feather the edges while sanding.
  • Do not put excess pressure, as the sandpaper may damage the adjacent floor.
  • Sand until the repaired area is smooth and level with the floor.
  • Once you’re done sanding, wipe away the debris with a clean, dry rag.
  • Put some wood stain that matches the color of your wooden floor on the rag, and start staining the area.
  • You can also use a stain pen to stain the repaired area properly.
  • After the staining is done, it’s time to finish the area.
  • Put some wipe-on polyurethane on a clean rag, and start wiping the repaired area.
  • Keep on rubbing until the finish matches the old floor seamlessly.

Required Tools

  • Painter’s tape
  • Wood filler
  • 180-200 grit fine sandpaper
  • Wood stain or stain pen
  • Wipe-on polyurethane
  • Clean rags
Sanding scratches on a wood floor

Home Repairs for a Scratched Wooden Floor

You can also use some household items from your pantry shelves to repair minor scratches.

  • If you notice very small and thin scratches, you can repair them with walnuts.
  • Rub a walnut on the scratched area using small circular motions until the oil from the walnut fills the scratch completely.
  • Let the oil sit on the floor for a few minutes, then polish off the area.
  • You can also use coconut oils to get rid of small scratch marks.
  • Apply a small amount of coconut oil on the scratch with a sponge.
  • Make sure to apply a thin layer and wipe off the extra oil.
  • Let it sit there for 5 minutes, then buff out the scratch mark with a clean rag.
  • You can also use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and olive oil or baking soda and olive oil.
  • Apply the mixture to the scratch and let it sit there for a few minutes before wiping it off.
  • This will remove small scratch marks and give your wooden floor a refreshed look.
  • If your wooden floor is painted with a water or oil-based color, you can simply use the appropriate paint to cover the scratch marks.
  • But before painting, you need to clean and prime the scratched area, or the finish won’t match the wooden floor.
  • Dip a small paintbrush in the paint and paint the scratch following the grin.
Rubbing natural oil on a wood floor

Preventing a Wooden Floor from Getting Scratched

After repairing the scratches on your wood floor, it’s time to make sure it doesn’t get scratched ever again.

You can follow these simple tips to prevent any further scratching on your wood floor and preserve the beauty of your home.

  • Place adhesive furniture pads or felt protectors under the legs of chairs, tables, and other furniture before moving them around.
  • Put polypropylene rugs in high-traffic areas, under furniture, and near entryways to provide a protective barrier for your wooden floor.
  • Regularly trim your pet’s nails to prevent them from scratching the floor while running across the house.
  • Sweep and vacuum your wood floors regularly to remove dirt and debris that can act as abrasive particles and scratch the wooden floor.
  • Avoid using any cleaning supplies with harsh chemicals on your hardwood floor, as they are likely to damage the protective coat.
  • Use a mop with soft bristles so they do not cause any scratches during daily cleaning.
  • Use oil-based polyurethane, water-based polyurethane, wax coating, varnish, stain, or aluminum oxide coating to provide your wooden floor with a protective barrier.

Bottom Line

And there you have it!

Your polished hardwood floor now looks brand new, as if nothing ever happened!

However, it is important to follow the prevention tips that I have provided once you’re done fixing the scratches.

Otherwise, next time any scratch could cause more damage that is beyond repair and empty your wallet by making you replace the whole floor.


Does baking soda and olive oil remove scratches?

Yes, but they only work on shallow scratches on wood.

Olive oil creates a protective seal that prevents moisture and grease damage, while baking soda is a gentle abrasive that buffs out the scratches.

Do wood floors scratch easily?

Yes, even dragging light items over a wood floor can create scratches.

Can Colgate remove scratches?

No, but it can make the scratches less visible.

Colgate toothpaste contains mild abrasives that act as fine polishing agents.

When applied to a scratched surface, Colgate wears down the uneven edges of the scratch.