How to Repair Scratches and Pet Damage to Hardwood Floors
Wood floors and pets don't always mix well. If you have wood floors in your home, it's a good idea to know the best ways to get rid of scratches. Keep your floors looking great, no matter how often your furry friends dig their claws in a little too far.
Buff Small Scratches
When your pet gets a little too crazy on your wood floors, you may need to consider buffing out the scratches. If you have to buff out a scratch, make sure that you're gentle and patient with the process. You can either use sandpaper or wire wool to gently buff out the scratch.
Remember that deep scratches should not be repaired with buffing. This process should only be used with shallow scratches since you're removing wood around the scratch when you buff. There are some things to remember when you're repairing a scratch by buffing.
First, make sure you move in the same direction as the grain of the wood. Otherwise, you're likely to cause more damage to the floor. Keep your movements light, with very little pressure. If you're buffing a large scratch, you may need to finish it with a wax stick or a coat of finish.
Fill Larger Scratches
If you're dealing with a larger surface scratch, there are several options for making your floor look great again. One of the easiest ways is to use a stain-filled marker or wax pen. These will fill small scratches and keep them the same color as the stain already on your floor. This method should not be used on scratches that penetrate the surface of the wood, since it will just cover the problem, not fix it.
If you're dealing with a deep scratch that has penetrated the surface of the wood, consider using color matching wood putty. Fill the scratch with the putty and let it set. Once it has set, you'll need to sand the area smooth with a fine-grade sandpaper. When using putty, don't forget to add a coat of finish to the area when it's done. This seals the area and protects it in the future.
If your pet has an accident on your wood floor, you may notice staining. These stains, unfortunately, may penetrate the stain or finish and actually affect the wood itself. Light colored stains are generally simple to fix. Sand the area until the finish is off, then wash the wood itself with wood bleach. You'll need to refinish the area after it is clean.
If the stain is dark, or if you notice that you're still smelling an ammonia-type smell around the stain after bleaching it, you'll need to replace the wood. These are signs that the damage has penetrated too deep into the wood, and you won't get rid of the stain or the smell without replacement. Your pets are a part of your family. Just like humans, they can cause damage to your wood floors. However, with proper treatment the scratches and stains don't have to affect your floors for long.
Featured image via Flickr by photochem_PA