Tips & Tricks to Repairing Scratches on Timber Flooring

Tips & Tricks to Repairing Scratches on Timber Flooring

November 18, 2016

Foreword: The scratch repair methods mentioned below are intended for use on timber floors with a lacquer or polyurethane type finish - these finish types are usually much harder and more scratch-resistant than oil or wax type finishes, but when a scratch does occur it cannot usually be spot-repaired unlike many oil or wax type finishes.

Some colours will be easier to repair than others. Also scratches tend to vary widely and different repair methods are used for different scratches. Some scratches damage the finish coating only, while others are deeper and damage the timber underneath the coating. Some are so deep that they even remove the stain colour of the timber. Where the stain colour has been removed by the scratch it may be necessary to apply colour to match it back to the rest of the floor. We advise patch testing in a not so visible area first to ensure the results are what you want.

The nut trick

The nut trick is really best just for a quick fix, for example if you are having people over and want to quickly hide a scratch before they arrive. In saying that it is really something you should try because it is amazing how well it can work!

BEST FOR: Quick fix for scratches from minor to serious. Works on most colours
EFFECTIVENESS: Usually highly effective, fills in depth while blending to match most colours. However not intended as a long-term fix so will likely wipe off in time
METHOD: Use an oily nut such as a Brazil nut. Remove the outer shell and any of the brown paper-like coating so you are down to the raw nut. Rub the nut across the scratch, up and down and side to side. The natural oil in the nut together with the small nut pieces of the nut that scrape off from the friction together should be able to fill most scratches. Wipe with your finger or a clean rag to remove any excess oil or nut pieces

Wax filler

Wax filler is a more long-term solution which can also do a really great job at filling scratches. At Forté we supply a couple of different wax repair products

BEST FOR: Longer term solution for most scratches, from minor to serious. Especially useful for deeper scratches where you need to fill a reasonable area in a certain colour
EFFECTIVENESS: Usually highly effective, fills in depth while you can blend colours to get the perfect match. Lasts a pretty long time
METHOD: The area to be repaired should be sanded lightly with the abrasive pad to ensure adhesion of the wax to the repair area. Wax colours can mixed to achieve different shades to match the area being repaired. Marker pens could also be used after application of the wax filler, in order to modify the colour.

Car scratch repair pen

The car scratch repair pen is very easy, reasonably effective and best for very shallow scratches only, as it does not fill but rather provides a coating like that of a polyurethane or lacquer. The pen we use is Mantis brand - this pen contains a state of the art formula fills, seals and protects from corrosion with results that are waterproof and permanent. The Mantis scratch repair pen is available for purchase from The Warehouse.

BEST FOR: Shallow scratches to the floor coating. It is transparent, so can be used on most colours of flooring
EFFECTIVENESS: Sometimes effective, best on shallow surface scratches only. Lasts a long time
METHOD: Draw over the scratch area with the pen, wipe off any excess liquid from around the edges of the scratch if desired then allow to dry

Marker pens

Marker pens can be useful for replacing colour where a bad scratch may have removed the floor colour. We use Spectrum Noir marker pens which are alcohol based, fast-drying and allow for seamless blending of colours. A car scratch repair pen could potentially be used after the marker pen to seal in the colour. They could also be used after the wax filler, to colour the filler to match the floor colour as desired.

BEST FOR: Adding colour where it has been scratched off
EFFECTIVENESS: Very effective. It may take a bit of skill to get the colour exactly right
METHOD: Find a marker pen that matches the colour of your floor, or if having difficulty try mixing or layering colours on a piece of paper to get the right colour. Colour over the scratch you wish to recolour and voila

Disclaimer: Forté will not be held responsible for any damage or harm to persons or property as result of trying any of the above suggestions.

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