How to Repair Scratches in Hardwood Floors

Someone has pulled back a chair and scratched your hardwood floor. You gaze down and there are these ugly marks marring your floor's surface. Do not be overly concerned because a scratched surface can be disguised with varnish, cod liver oil, polish or beeswax. Here is how to repair scratches in hardwood floors.

Get down on your hands and knees and scrub the area clean. Remove all dirt, debris and dust from the area. Check to see how much damage is done. Check the length and width of the area that will need to be repaired. Go to your local hardware store, procure your items and bring them home

Using varnish to hide the scratch is easy to do. First you must thin the varnish with a little bit of denatured alcohol. Take a small paintbrush and apply the varnish over the scratched area. Moving with the grain of the wood.

Allow the first coat of varnish to dry completely. After the first coat of varnish has dried completely then you will applying a second coat. The second coat must dry completely. Re-evaluate the damaged area, if the scratch mark is still peeking through then you would apply a third coat of varnish. Usually the two coats of varnish will take care of the problem and only in rare occasions is a third coat necessary.

If the scratch is not too big, you may use cod liver oil to hide the scratch. Pour a cap full of the cod liver oil onto the scratched area and let it soak in. Allow the area to dry thoroughly.

It the scratch is deep, then try to fill the spaces. Melt beeswax in a small container. Put the melted beeswax near you while you are working on the floor. Take a spatula or small putty knife and dip it into the beeswax, then apply the beeswax to the scratched area. Allow to dry throughly.

Allow all your work to dry thoroughly before you sand the area in question. Take a piece of fine sandpaper and gently sand the portion down to the floor. Take a broom and dust pan and sweep away the sand particles from the floor. Gently wash the area with a mild soap and water. Dry the area completely with a soft cloth.

To restore the shine apply a thin coat of polish with a soft rag. Buff the area to a shine.


Evaluate the area that needs to be repaired. If the area is really damaged then a professional restorer may need to be called in to repair your floor. However for minor abrasions they can be maintained by a little bit of work on your end.


Wear protective clothing when working with paints and solvents, always work in a well ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine sandpaper, Bottle of Cod Liver Oil, Varnish, floor polish, or beeswax. Small knife or spatula, denatured alcohol, fine sandpaper, clean cloth, gloves
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About the Author

Cathy Pelekakis has been writing professionally since 2006. She retired from the Department of the Army in 2007. Her professional experience includes work in writing, contracting and proofreading. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in business from Thomas Edison State College.